CONCUSSION by Karl “the Flick Fanatic”

Concussion-Movie-Poster        must_see

Will Smith scores a touchdown against the NFL in the new film “Concussion”

Football in the seventies was referred to as “smash-mouth” due to the vicious hits the players took. Teams and players adopted nicknames when they consistently laid out there opponents like the Pittsburgh Steelers “steel curtain” defense led by “Mean Joe” Green. Players would take the hit and hit the smelling salts and come right back into the game. The were considered tough, later it would be termed reckless.

All this changed when Max Webster, pro bowl center of the Steelers, committed suicide. The new film “Concussion”, Will Smith stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu, a pathologist that speaks for the dead, that discovers a brain disease after autopsying Max Webster that sends shockwaves through the NFL. Max Webster had been troubled with headaches that were treated with medication, no one determined that it was a concussion. Webster was living in his car and tazering himself to alieve the pain when it was too much for his system and he died.

Dr. Omalu (Smith), studied Webster’s brain after numerous people objecting to the tests as Webster is a hero in Pittsburgh. Dr. Cyril Wecht (Albert Brooks), supporting Omalu, tells him to do what it takes. Soon Omalu discovers that repeated blows to the head like they have in football, causes a brain disease they labeled C.T.E.

C.T.E. is the results of repeated concussion and will have the person experience headaches, delusions and result in violent actions. After Webster’s teammate Justin Strzelczyk (Mathew Willig) died in a fiery crash after driving the wrong way down the highway. Omalu finds Strzelczyk also suffered from CTE and sent his findings to the medical journals.

This sent shockwaves through the NFL. Dr. Wecht warns his collegue that he is going up against a multi-billion dollar company that “owns a day  of the week, the church used to but now the NFL does!” Led by official and soon to be commissioner Roger Goddell (Luke Wilson), the NFL discredited Omalu and his findings, have him fired from his hospital and has the FBI investigating Wecht.

Dave Duerson (Adewale Akkinnouye-Agbaje), of the Chicago Bears and Player representative to the league for the union, supported the league stance and the decision both he and the NFL would regret. Duerson who unknowingly suffered from CTE, shot himself in the chest leaving a note to have Omalu test his brain for the concussion disease. This disease would take numerous lives of players like Lyle Alzado, Frank Gifford and Junior Seau.

The NFL and ne commissioner Goddell now have to scramble to find answers to the concussion problem in the game and the lawsuits brought by families of the players who died.

Concussion is a fantastic film and nust see for football fans. Smith and Brooks are amazing and should see award nominations this year.

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