Friday, June 22, 2012

"3rd year of Pop Warner, I was knocked unconscious" - George Visger

Reprinted from
Submitted by George Visger on Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:45.

Long Term Effects of Concussions in Youth Sports

My football career began at age 11 playing Pee Wee Pop Warner for the West Stockton Bear Cubs.  During my 3rd year of Pop Warner, I was knocked unconscious in a meaningless "Bull In The Ring" drill and was hospitalized.   I went on to to play for the undefeated and nationally ranked Amos Alonzo Stagg High in Stockton, CA in 1975, and attended the University of Colorado on a football scholarship in 1976.

While at Colorado, I majored in Fisheries Biology, played in the 1977 Orange Bowl, and was a 3 year starter at defensive tackle.  The New York Jets selected me as a 6th round pick in the 1980 NFL draft, but I ended up playing the 1980 and 1981 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, who had picked me up before the 5th game of the 1980 season, a few days prior to the first Dallas game.  After two days of practice I was put in the game early in the first quarter and suffered a major concussion on my first play.  The trainers and doctors laughingly told me later that week (when my memory returned), that I went through over 20 smelling salts during the game to keep me on the field.  They would hand me a handful each time I came out, pop a couple to clear the cobwebs, and I would go back in.

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