Dunigan still feels the effects of PCS...

Friday, September 7, 2007 - 10:00PM

[url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func=display&nid=19545]www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=newser&func ... &nid=19545[/url]

By Ed Willes,
Vancouver Province

Matt Dunigan will tell you it's better. There's more information available on concussions as well as an increased awareness about their dangers and a heightened sensitivity about their treatment. Dunigan remembers a time when the world of sports wasn't that far removed from leeching when it came to head injuries.

Now, at least, they're paying attention.

"I remember one year they accused me of milking it to get a better contract," the former CFL quarterback says, before employing a colourful, compound adjective to describe, "they."

"Can you believe that?"

So, Dunigan takes some comfort in knowing that Dave Dickenson is not being exposed to further injury and is receiving the necessary care. What he doesn't know is what the cumulative effect of Dickenson's concussions will be and what they could mean down the road. That's because no one does.

"I'm concerned about Dave's situation," said Dunigan. "I don't want anyone going through what I go through."

Dunigan, who retired in '96 after 14 CFL seasons and 12 documented concussions, won't come right out and say that Dickenson should retire; that the potential risks of returning to the Leos far outweigh the potential rewards.

Then again, if you're aware of his story, he doesn't have to.

For the past decade, Dunigan has waged a private battle against the debilitating effects of post-concussion syndrome. On television and in public, he remains the same revved-up, good-old boy from Louisiana Tech who came to Canada back in '83 and built a Hall of Fame career. But behind closed doors it's been a different story for Dunigan.

A far different story.

"I struggle with it every day and some days are better than others," he said. "It's a small cross to bear compared to what other people have but it's there.

"I deal with it and move on. There are no excuses for me. People look at you differently when they find out about this stuff and I don't want that."

Dunigan is asked about the condition. Among other things, post-concussion syndrome can bring on mood swings, memory loss, headaches. Is he afflicted by those things?

"All of the above and there are speech problems and the ability to think clearly at times," he said. "It's like a fog."

Dunigan, of course, came by every one of those concussions honestly, playing quarterback the way Jerry Lee Lewis plays the piano. He was fearless. He was reckless. There was also a time he thought he was indestructible, a notion which was encouraged by the organizations which employed him.

At least that part has changed for players like Dickenson, who's missed the last two months of the Lions' season dealing with the after-effects of his third concussion in 21 months. The Leos' quarterback has consulted with Dr. Karen Johnston, one of North America's foremost experts on head trauma. The team has exercised patience as Dickenson rests and rehabilitates.

He says he's improved. But eight weeks after the fact he still hasn't been able to resume practice and the frequency of those concussions, coupled with the duration of his recovery, raises serious questions about his return this season.

This week, Dickenson also said if he's not back by the end of the month, he'll shut it down for '07. True, he has another year on his contract but by then he'll be a 35-year-old with a history of concussions.

There's a chance he could come back and everything will be all right. But as much as the medical community has increased its knowledge about head injuries, they can't make that guarantee.

"Concussions used to be considered minor head injuries because we were taught in medical school that a concussion had only a temporary effect," Dr. Charles Tator, professor of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto , said in a lecture some time back. "It's true that some of the symptoms are temporary, but the effects on the brain are often permanent. We can't really speak any longer of a minor concussion. There is no concussion that is truly minor."

And that's the one thing they can say conclusively.

No doubt he doesn't need advice from you or other opposition fans. He's consulting with far more knowledgeable people then forum members. And also considering people ( eg ;his family) who care more about his well being then you or other forum members.

Hey, all I did was post this from the main page, I thought it was interesting enough to post.. of course its his decision and his family's as well.

On another note I used to look forward to reading your posts.. but not now. You used to be objective , but now you are just another one of those Lion fans who are like RLR and BCL4life... too bad.

...seriously penn, what was the point of your post?....

How many times has it come up everyone on here gives DD all this advice to retire? Sambo , yes you posted an article which is fine , but your title says it all " DD , take note" . As if he doesn't already know all that in the article and lots more already. It's like you addressed it to DD personally , the way you worded your head line. When I read all those previous posts to DD to hang it up all I can do is roll my eyes . Those are all things he's heard already from people who mean far more to him than opinions on an internet message board .
Notice in that article how Dunnigan had 12 concussions , 9 more than DD . DD is being advised by one of top concussion specialists in North America , so he already is getting the advice he needs .
It's his (and his families) decision . He doesn't need to hear my opinion .( or your's)

You're a bright guy, Penn.
Which makes your post all the more odd.
I think that the vast majority of the fans who post on these forums are truly concerned about the future of Dave Dickenson.
And I think we certainly have the right to discuss it.
Not to mention you are shooting the messenger here.
Sambo doesn't even give any "advice", just offers an interesting article about somebody who is knowledgable about the topic and to whom DD should in fact consult with.

Dave Dickenson has been nothing but a class act, both on and off the field, and fans do not want to see the guy in a wheel chair.
I suspect you don't want that, his family doesn't want that, Matt Dunnigan doesn't want that, I don't want that, Sambo doesn't want that.
99.99% of the fans, "opposition" or not do not want that.

So to whom are you directing your comments?
Most peculiar!!

...I am 100% sure Dave scrambles to this forum every morning to look for advice....

I have my doubts if he even read my original post. He just saw who started the thread and decided to be sanctimonious and self-rigtheous on this, really penn you think that because you are a Lions' fan that give you more insight on this than anyone else? If you look at Matt Dunigan's comments, he says "no one really knows" the long term effects of post concussion syndrome. Even the ones that are qualified dont really know, and that is the scary part, for all of those who have had to retire because of taking too many shots to the head. I would say Dunigan is the one DD should be consulting, as this article points out what he is currently going through with PCS, I would say Matt is the one who can give Dave the best advice, even better than the doctors can, because he is living with the long term effects, something that DD really needs to evaluate.

I am going to say this loud and clear.
If you actually care about Dave Dickenson, then he needs to retire.
yes, Matt had 12 concussions, not 3.
Did you read the article?
Because he did not retire, he continued to suffer more concussions and that has affected his quality of life.
Not just a tiny bit, but a whole lot.
If DD continues to play, the chances of doing further damage are very high.
Of course it is his decision, and his families.
And he will undoubtably make that decision regardless of anything on these forums or regardless of your opinion, my opinion, Sambo's opinion.
I for one think he should be taking the opinion of Matt Dunnigan to heart.
And he has, on air, stated he thinks DD should seriously be looking to retire.

Frankly, I am surprised at your reaction to this article and the fact that Sambo posted it.
I find it somewhat disturbing....

Like I said I only took issue with the tone of the headline , I already explained it... now lets have 12 pages to hash that out guys, that's what some of you best... just do it with out me. Maybe trash me like some of you did to the guys with differing opinions in the face masking diatribe.

Ya Arius , iread the article in the news paper before it appeared here. No doubt DD saw it there first too.

Sheesh!
Who pissed in your fruit loops this morning?

If someone like RLR, hwgill or Sportsmen posted this and worded it like I did, would you have taken issue with the title? My guess would be no.

And what’s your point?
That for some reason,talking about this article is taboo?
Discussing Dave Dickenson, unless you are a card carrying Lions fan is forbidden?

I hope you are right, and DD has seen the article and is listening.

It is worth noting, perhaps, that at Lionbackers.com, the same article was posted for discussion.
I imagine Penn will scoot right over there and inform them how inappropriate it is, and how worthless their opinions are, as it is up to Dave and his family....

blame the bc lions o-line, if murphy and jimenez weren’t wasting time kickind defenders in the groin and trash talking in the media, dickenson would have been okay, those linemen in bc are selfish and only care about themselves, thats why they take unsportsmanlike conduct penalites all the time and trash talk opposing players and coaches. Also if the BC linemen weren’t so dirty, the opposing defenders would have much more respect for dickenson and would probably avoid any cheap shots at him.

Do you guys read what is posted? I said I have no problem with posting an article. I just think the title as it is worded is condescending towards DD , stating the obvious as though he is stupid. That's all.
And no I don't think he reads this forum , why would he( or any other player) want too ? With all the low grade and juvenile threads posted that here why would they consider this worthwhile?? Look at all your own posts in the face mask threads (not to mention countless other endless bs threads that got locked out) to see what I'm talking about.
Lionbackers.com on the other hand, Arius, actually has one of the current high profile Lions players who takes part in some discussion once in awhile . And that is because it is actually respectable forum .

As for discussing should DD retire , go ahead talk about it already and why worry about me??? I won't give my opinion on it here, as I don't consider there to being a point to it. Intelligent threads here are far to rare.

If you dont like it here, why bother even coming here to post then? I guess your first post here was just to troll. In NO WAY did I intend to be condescending towards DD. Yes, maybe the title is a little provocative, but that was just to get other poster's attention. It must have worked, because of the way you are taking offence to title. I noticed that threads are locked over at Lionbackers.com, so that tells me that the posters are no better there than over here. Go to your little Lion forum, where the posts are sanitized for your protection.

A note to the mods that read this, since pennw is so sensitive with the 'DD, take note," part of my thread title, could you please take it out for me, so that penn doesnt have to be offended... :roll: :roll:

PS- never mind, I realize that I can do that myself...

Sambo , it wasn't me who you were insulting , so I'm not the one offended . But everyone seems claims to care about DD , and that is their reasoning for saying that he should retire. So why put in a title that could be read as insulting towards him? Obviously you must have agreed in hindsight as you now have changed the title . That , BTW ,I think took a bit of owning up , so thank you.