Doug Robinson: Merril Hoge’s book challenges the popular narrative regarding football and CTE

SALT LAKE CITY — Merril Hoge is taking a few hits from the media. He should have expected as much because his book “Brainwashed” challenges the popular narrative that football can lead to CTE — Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (degenerative brain disease widely believed to be associated with repeated blows to the head).

It might be easy to dismiss Hoge as a former NFL player and former ESPN analyst who is simply shilling for the game, but he’s got an expert to cover his backside. The book is co-authored by Dr. Peter Cummings, a forensic pathologist who has challenged the findings of Boston University, which has contributed to the anti-football movement and provided the research it is based on. BU is also Cummings’ employer, likely much to the school’s chagrin.

The complete title of their book tells the story — “Brainwashed / The Bad Science Behind CTE and the Plot to Destroy Football.”

Hoge and Cummings believe BU’s research is faulty and misleading, and that while there is a correlation between football and CTE, there is no legitimate research that shows causation (there’s a big difference). Maybe they’re already too late; many have already made up their minds that football is the cause of CTE.

Hoge and Cummings say several reporters they contacted told them they would not read the book. Others made their opinions clear: “Merril Hoge Doesn’t Want You to Use Your Brain,” deadpanned Deadspin. “Don’t Be Brainwashed by New Book that Rejects Sound Football CTE,” said the Idaho Statesman, a newspaper based in Hoge’s home state. “Hoge’s ‘Brainwashed’ Is for Football Diehards, Not for Advancing Science on CTE,” said Forbes.

Hoge and Cummings are challenging a widely accepted premise. Maybe it’s just another target in an era when teeter-totters, merry-go-rounds and red rover have been banished from the playground because they’re considered …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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