NFL UPDATE -- AUGUST 27, 2014
TITANS PARTICIPATE IN ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE IN HONOR OF FORMER PLAYER TIM SHAW
All football storylines took a back seat last Wednesday as the Titans' organization accepted former Titans linebacker Tim Shaw's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Shaw, a two-time team captain who spent three years as a Titans linebacker and special teams ace from 2010-12, announced the day before on the team's web site that he had been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) -- also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Doctors diagnosed Shaw in April of this year -- a devastating verdict after he had been feeling weakness in his muscles since late in 2012.
"It's the hardest thing I've ever had to hear," said Shaw. "Every thought runs through your mind, but as a man you have a choice. What are you going to do? Are you going to stand up and fight for your life, or are you going to accept what someone else tells you is reality? As staggering as that news was and as shocking is it was to hear, I made that choice to live life to the fullest."
BROWNS OWNER JIMMY HASLAM SUPPORTS HEADS UP FOOTBALL WITH LETTER TO LOCAL YOUTH FOOTBALL LEADER
Earlier this month, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam sent a letter encouraging Ohio high school principals, athletic directors and coaches to seek more information about and implement USA Football's Heads Up Football initiative within their programs in an effort to advance player health and safety throughout the sport. The full text of the letter is available here.
The Browns also visited Cleveland Muny Football League players and coaches during a practice last week to present them a $20,000 grant, as well as surprise the group with 200 tickets to the team's preseason home opener.
The Browns supported Heads Up Football throughout Northeast Ohio this summer with events including the Browns Youth Football Camp, High School Player Development Program and Moms Football Safety Clinic, joined by Cleveland Browns Foundation president Dee Haslam and Vernet Farmer, wife of Browns general manager Ray Farmer.
NFL HOSTS INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL SPORTS CONCUSSION RESEARCH THINK TANK
Earlier this week, scientific and medical officials representing preeminent international sports organizations convened at the NFL offices for a two-day 'Think Tank' on concussion research, diagnosis, management and treatment.
The International Professional Sports Concussion Research Think Tank was assembled by Dr. Rich Ellenbogen (chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington co-chair, NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee), and three co-chairs of the 4th International Consensus on Concussion in Sport: Dr. Jirí Dvorák (chairman, FIFA Medical and Research Centre; chief medical officer, FIFA); Dr. Paul McCrory (associate professor, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia) and Dr. Willem Meeuwisse (professor, University of Calgary Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre and Hotchkiss Brain Institute).
Following a discussion on approaches to concussion management and research among sports, attendees identified areas where collaborative research among the sports leagues holds the promise to make sports safer for athletes at all levels. The group intends to support research that enhances sideline assessment tools for concussion.
"This will change the paradigm," Dr. Ellenbogen said of such cooperation among sports. "How can we accelerate the information? This can provide a unique perspective to get people back to health. There are a lot of big ideas that can come out of this that resonated with all the leagues that may have not come up if they had done it in isolation."
"This is an exciting development in the science of sports concussion," said Dr. McCrory. "Working with international sports leaders not only benefits athletes in professional sports but amateur participants throughout the world."
ARIZONA CARDINALS HOST "PLAY 60" CAMP; BUILD CHARACTER WITH LOCAL KIDS
More than 400 youngsters -- boys and girls ages 9-13 -- spent two days inside the stadium learning football skills, while also learning about building good character, team-building and emphasizing exercise. The two-day non-contact camp featured former Cardinals players including tackle Anthony Clement and safety Kwamie Lassiter, as well as Cardinals cheerleaders and team mascot Big Red.
The program was run in collaboration with USA Football and its NFL FLAG curriculum, which introduces children to football by teaching basic skills in a non-contact setting.
CHIEFS HOST ANNUAL CHARITY GAME
The Kansas City Chiefs hosted the annual Chiefs Charity Game during the Chiefs home preseason game on Aug. 7. Since 1984, this outreach initiative has helped to raise dollars and awareness for local charities with a focus on underserved children. This year, the Chiefs Charity Game raised more than $600,000 for Big Brother Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City (BBBSKC), the second-highest amount raised in the history of the event. In the three years that BBBSKC has been the recipient of the Chiefs Charity Game, more than $1.5M has been donated to the outreach organization.
Since 1984, more than $6.5 million has been generated for local children's charities since the game's inception. In addition, the Chiefs announced that the 2015 Chiefs Charity Game beneficiary will be The Children's Place. Since 1978, The Children's Place has been committed to meeting the developmental and mental health needs of the youngest survivors of abuse, neglect and other trauma.
-- NFL Communications