Risk versus reward

By Caroline Sweeney

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Graphic by Paul Trap

An estimated 11,000 college athletes are diagnosed with concussions every year and about 350,000 athletes die from sudden cardiac arrest per year, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

This could be why former NFL Quarterback and Hall of Famer Brett Favre says he is “afraid” for his grandkids to play football.

In an interview with CNN, Favre explains that he knows the consequences of playing football, and he knows that these consequences can be life-threatening. However, Farve is still not entirely discouraging his grandkids from playing football.

According to the University of Missouri Health Care, physical activity and athletics offer many benefits for young people. These benefits include student athletes at any level doing better academically. Sports provide an outlet for students to get away from the stress and pressure of academics; participating in sports teaches teamwork; and the obvious health benefits athletics impart.

“It is a good experience to be involved in a sport, especially in college,” said Sarah Deangelo, Wellness Coordinator for DCCC. “Sports offers not only health benefits, but also allows students to be involved with the college. They are a part of a team and a community.”

However, with the recent extensive research into sports injuries, specifically concussions, many are wondering if the positive aspects of sports outweigh the chance of life-changing injuries.

“I believe that when you are competing in a sport, injuries are bound to happen,” said Suni Blackwell, director of Wellness, Athletics and Recreation via email. “Athletes don’t go into a sport thinking about getting injured. If this is the case, most athletes will not work hard due to being cautious.”

Deangelo explained how important it is to keep athletes safe. She added that the college is constantly tending to fields, making sure the ground is ready. Also, maintenance is conducted on sports facilities to make sure all equipment and floors are in shape for the athletes.

There are also DCCC trainers at every home sporting event, who treat the student on the spot and continue to follow up with the student after the injury, Deangelo added.

Despite these precautions, severe injuries can occur.

In 2002 Dr. Bennet Omalu discovered the degenerative brain disease of chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE, in NFL players.

The condition occurs when someone has had multiple hits to the head. According to experts, that does not mean just concussions; however, any head impact could lead to CTE.

The NFL has been at the center of ongoing controversy surrounding concussions, CTE, and how the league handles athletes’ post injuries.

The NFL has finally acknowledged the connection between football and concussions.

According to the NCAA, if athletes start a contact sport at a younger age, they are more likely to be diagnosed with CTE because of the constant impact.

The younger the athletes are, the longer it takes for them to recover from a concussion because their brains are not fully developed, according to the Concussion and Brain Injury Clinic.

Blackwell and Deangelo both agree that concussion protocol is so important for any sport. “We have to do a better job at the youth sport level educating offering trainings for coaches, parents and players on how to treat and/or avoid concussions and sport injury,” Blackwell said.

According to the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, minor injuries also have the potential to become a life-changing event. Painkillers for injuries have become “the dirty little secret” of the sports world, the journal notes.

Athletes, even at the college level, have easier access to pain-killing medication because these athletes do not always need a prescription by a doctor to obtain them. Especially in a contact sport like football, trainers have the access to these medications and hand them out freely to athletes who feel they need them.

It is common that athletes take the pills to stop the pain without allowing their bodies to recover, making even a small ankle sprain more dangerous, reported the American Addiction Center.According to the American Psychiatric Association, despite all of the facts and figures on the risks of sports, the majority of athletes, both college and professional, will take that risk.

In an interview with the American Psychiatric Association, Ronald Kamm, director of Sports Psychiatry Association in Oakhurst, N.J., said, “[Sports] have become a religious experience for many participants.”

Kamm explained that sports are an important part of people’s identity. He describes sports as providing athletes and fans a sense of belonging, that leads to why athletics are so beloved to some.

“Passion psychologically drives people, in both athletes and fans,” Kamm said. “To win and be the best is intoxicating. It is a driving force that cannot be stopped.”

Contact Caroline Sweeney at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

‘Soul Steps brought an energetic, exciting performance to the campus’


Soul Steps brought an energetic, exciting performance to the Marple Campus on Feb. 22 as part of the Black History Month celebration. The 5-person squad demonstrated the historical perspective of step performance, and how that history shapes current performances. During the show, they brought a large number of audience participants on stage to learn a combination of their own. Soul Steps was enjoyed by students, staff, faculty, and the community alike. Photo by Brieanne Rogers

Black History Month: how a week became 28 days

By Andrew Henry 


February is Black History Month, but why?

When 10 students on Delaware County’s Marple Campus were asked, nine of them admitted to having absolutely no idea.

“Isn’t is because February is the shortest month of the year?” asked Angel Goins, a criminal justice major.

The reason February was chosen has nothing to do with the length of the month. It was chosen by a black man named Carter G. Woodson, the second black man to earn a doctorate degree from Harvard University, according to Daryl Michael Scott, a professor of History at Howard University and vice president for Programs of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

In 1915 Woodson went to Illinois to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the emancipation of the slaves in the United States. The event commemorated the progress black people in America had made since the abolition of slavery. Approximately 6000 to 12,000 black U.S. citizens attended the three-week event, according to Scott.

Due to the overwhelming turnout, Woodson formed an organization known as the Association For the Study of Negro life (ASNLH), which promoted the study of African people’s history and genealogy, and the sharing of those findings.

Woodson thought that sharing the historical facts about Africans would help to improve race relations by changing the way that Africans were perceived.

In 1926, Woodson established that a week in February would be known as Negro History Week and would be used to promote and teach the history of black people, writes Scott.

The Month of February was chosen because it holds the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, a former slave turned abolitionist, and President Abraham Lincoln, the president who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves.

In 1976, 50 years after the establishment of Negro history week, the ASNLH finally had enough influence to establish Black History Month, and since then every president has acknowledged February as Black History Month, according to Scott.

DCCC’s Marple campus will be holding events all throughout the month February.

Allyson Gleason, director of Campus Life at DCCC expressed the importance of promoting diversity on campus both during Black History Month, and all year long.

“It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate different cultures,” Gleason said. “We try to reach out to everyone, which is why we had the play ‘Tres Vidas’ in October for Hispanic Heritage Month.”

Contact Andrew Henry at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Bleeding green while crying tears of joy

By Shannon Reardon

Super Bowl LII

Being an Eagles fan isn’t a choice, it’s a right of passage that is transferred down through our bloodlines, and the bond that holds the city of Philadelphia together.

Part of the Philadelphia Eagles spirit comes from the preseason hope that “this will be our year,” though it never is.

Except for this year.

This year started the same as all those that preceded it, overly excitable fans filling the lower level of Lincoln Financial Field on two hot August days to watch the full team participate in Training Camp.

After Training Camp, fans had to wait until week three for the Birds to play at home against the New York Giants.

Just like every other home game for the season, the parking lots were filled with the smell of charcoal grilled hot dogs, the echoes of E-A-G-L-E-S chants from various tailgates, and the colors green, black, and white as far as the eye could see by 9 a.m.

I tailgate with a group that is unlike any other. They call themselves “4th and Jawn,” a weekly podcast group that report solely on the Eagles.

We do things the same as everyone else, drinking and talking about football, with the added bonus of beer bong baptisms for newcomers or anyone who is looking to drink in the name of Carson Wentz, Howie Roseman, and Doug Pederson.

As the season progressed this year, the usual feeling of disappointment never reached us.

Sure, we suffered some devastating player losses with Darren Sprouls, Jason Peters, Carson Wentz, and other key players, but the “next man up” mentality carried us through the season.

I’ll be the first person to admit that I did not think that post season was even in the cards for us. I pictured us as having eight wins at best.

But this was our year.

It was a year filled with excitement, then tears, trepidation, and, finally, tears of joy.

Watching the Super Bowl, I was again so sure that the Eagles were bound to lose, but I was there along for the ride.

Man, was I wrong.

Nick Foles stepped up to the plate, the eyes of the country on him, knowing he was our second string quarterback, and he gave The Patriots the Philly Special: he sent Tom Brady home ringless.

Things in our house erupted, my stepdad couldn’t control his excitment as he kept yelling, “What?”

I sat just staring in disbelief.

Did we really just win the Super Bowl?

It took 52 Super Bowls for The Eagles to win a Championship. They finally brought the Lombardi Trophy home to Philly, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

I’ve never been more proud of a group of men, and for our city, who desperately needed a win to show the true tenacious spirit of Philadelphians.

Contact Shannon Reardon at communitarian@mail.dccc. edu