Informative Speech Outline
Concussions in the NFL tied into American culture
Specific Purpose: To inform the audience about concussions and how they are affecting the National Football League (NFL).
Central Idea: To inform the audience that concussions involve a blow to the head, and the NFL is taking steps to try and make the game safer after numerous incidents involving current and former players.
In America our professional athletes in the NFL are some of the best competitors in the world and in our culture our competitiveness takes over and we don’t consider the damage we do to our bodies to make millions of dollars sorely to just provide entertainment around the world.
Desired Outcome: As a result of this speech, the audience will be informed on what a concussion is, why the NFL is having issues with them, and what the NFL is doing to fix the problems.
As more has been learned about concussions, we have found out they can have lingering effects and their seriousness is being realized. They have become an especially big problem in the National Football League in recent years. Today, I’m going to tell you what concussions are, how they are affecting the NFL, and what the NFL is doing to try and make the game safer and how we Americans might just in fact be destroying our athletes lives after the NFL as they provide us with entertainment through their professional careers jeopardizing their lives.
A)Football is a full contact sport that can be dangerous and the NFL is taking strides to make the sport and the players safer.
B)The NFL understands that head injuries are a problem and they are taking huge strides to prevent, diagnose, and treat head injuries.
C)I am going to go over the dangers of concussions, the rule changes that have been made to prevent head injuries, and the new technology being used to make equipment safer.
D)So first I am going to explain the dangers of concussion, and the other injuries that follow.
(Transition: First, I’m going to tell you what a concussion is and what the symptoms are, and why you should be worried about them.)
I.A concussion is a blow to the brain and can affect a variety of people.
A.According to Medical News Today in 2009, a concussion can occur when the brain abruptly makes contact with your skull, which leads to the tearing of nerves and the rupturing of blood vessels (Goldberg, 2008).
B.According to Mayo Clinic in 2011, signs and symptoms include headaches, loss of consciousness, dizziness, confusion, nausea, and fatigue.
C.Years after a concussion is suffered, it can still be problematic. Many former football players have reported memory loss, movement problems, depression, and dementia.
D.You may not think you are at risk, but you are. Any hard bump on your head puts you at risk, and anytime you play a sport you are at risk. Even if it is not a heavy contact sport, any limb or ball that smacks you in the head with force can cause a concussion. You could also fall and hit your head hard against the ground or run into someone else at a fast speed (Monette, 2012).
(Transition: Now that I’ve told you what a concussion is and why everyone is at risk, I’m going to tell you how concussions are becoming a problem in the NFL.)
II.Concussions are affecting multiple generations.
A.Firstly, the concussion issue has affected current players.
1.Just two seasons ago, three games on the same day featured helmet to helmet hits that resulted in concussions and fines for the players who made the hits. This “Black Sunday” brought awareness of the concussion problem in the NFL.
2.The league promised to crack down on punishing hits, but this caused more problems for players. According to Sports Illustrated writer Damon Hack in 2011, players such as Brandon Meriweather questioned how you are supposed to hit a short player below the head, especially when running full speed (Mirer, 2017).
B.Secondly, concussions are affecting former players.
1.For example, a 2012 New York Times article written by Alan Schwarz about Dave Duerson says he committed suicide and asked that his brain be used for research on football’s long-term risks. Dave’s son Tregg is now suing the NFL, saying his dad’s suicide was due to the NFL’s lack of attention to concussions (Karimipour, 2016).
2.Another article from 2012, this one from ESPN, is about a group of former players living in Louisiana that are suing the NFL. This suit accuses the NFL of ignoring players’ concussion risks, resulting in concussion-related dementia and brain disease.
(Transition: Now that you know why concussions are such a big problem in football, I’ll tell you what the NFL is doing about it.)
III.The NFL is fighting the lawsuits and implementing rules and punishments to try and make the game safer.
A.Bob Grotz wrote a 2012 article in a Pennsylvania newspaper called The Mercury, stating that the NFL will fight the lawsuits, saying, “The NFL has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit.”
B.To make the modern game safer, the NFL is fining players who make helmet-to-helmet hits or hit a defenseless player. They have even made a suspension for an “illegal hit” in the case of James Harrison. They have also implemented new rules in recent years, such as moving kickoff up five yards and limiting the players’ running start so that fewer players will get hurt.
C.The NFL has also shown it will also punish coaches who don’t play fair. The Saints had a bounty program (paying players to knock out certain opposing players) running for years, which is illegal. The head coach has been suspended a year, the defensive coordinator suspended indefinitely, the GM suspended half a year, and the team fined. This shows the NFL’s efforts to make the game safer.
To sum it all up, concussions have become a large problem in the NFL as we have learned how harmful they can be. Many current and former players are feeling the consequences, and the NFL is trying to implement rules and punishments to make the game safer. I hope you have a better understanding of concussions, and I urge you to use caution when dealing with them. If you push yourself too far, you may find yourself paying for it later in life.
Mirer, Michael, and Mark Mederson. “Leading with the Head: How NBC’s Football Night in America Framed Football’s Concussion Crisis, a Case Study.” Journal of Sports Media 12.1 (2017): 21-44. ProQuest. Web. 14 Sep. 2018.
Monette, Michael. “Heavy Hitting: Concussions and Safety Law.” Canadian Medical Association.Journal 184.12 (2012): E641-2. ProQuest. Web. 14 Sep. 2018.
Karimipour, Nicki. “Suicide on the Sidelines: Media Portrayals of NFL Players’ Suicides from June 2000 to September 2012.” Journal of Sports Media 11.1 (2016): 49-80. ProQuest. Web. 14 Sep. 2018.
Goldberg, Daniel S,J.D., PhD.(c). “Concussions, Professional Sports, and Conflicts of Interest: Why the National Football League’s Current Policies are Bad for its (Players’) Health.” HEC Forum 20.4 (2008): 337-55. ProQuest. Web. 14 Sep. 2018.
(2009, July 27). What Is Concussion? What Is Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI)? Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/158876.php
(2012, February 19). More ex-NFL players sue league. Associated Press. Retrieved from http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7589200/more-retired-players-sue-nfl-concussion-effects
Grotz, B. (2012, March 3). NFL: Concussion issue a major headache for NFL. The Mercury. Retrieved from http://www.pottsmerc.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120303/SPORTS03/120309837/nfl-concussion-issue-a-major-headache-for-nfl&pager=full_story
Hack, D. (2011, October 24). Learning To Play Nice: To curb concussions, the NFL must get through to its players. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved from http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1191392/index.htm
Mayo Clinic staff. (2011, February 22). Concussion Symptoms. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from