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Did Concussion Rules Help Beat the Chiefs?

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RUSH: NFL football over the weekend, 42 million people watched the Packers and the Fort'iners -- 42 million people for a Sunday afternoon 4:30 start.  That's phenomenal numbers.  Now, granted, there wasn't much else to do, particularly in the frozen tundra north of the Mason-Dixon Line. You had to stay inside. But still.  A lot of people are talking about the Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts. "Whoa, what a great game, Rush! What a great game."  Do not count me among those who thought that was a great game. It was fun to watch, don't misunderstand. I had no vested interest in it. It didn't matter to me who won, but I didn't think that was great football. It might have been fun and entertaining, like ping-pong, if you like watching pong back and forth, but don't count me among those people. A great football game was the 49ers and Packers. That was a football game. That was a game.

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RUSH: Look, everybody's asking, "What do you mean, Chiefs and the Colts?" I'm just telling you, last year and years prior, the Chiefs lost three players who were said to be concussed. Last year, they woulda kept playing. The year before, they woulda kept playing. This year they lost 'em, and there are couple other things. Coach. Eagles fans know what I mean.

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RUSH: I'm not kidding and I'm not trying to be provocative. I don't have to try. I'm just telling you, a lot of people think that the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts was a great, great game. There was no defense in that game. How anybody thought... It wasn't great football. There wasn't any defense! Particularly... I don't know how a team up 38-10 in the third quarter loses. Well, yeah, actually I do. You got a coach that botched the clock management, time-outs in the second half.

But I'm just telling you. The Chiefs lost three key players, Jamaal Charles being the first, in the first quarter, to concussions. Last year, previous years, they would have come back in the game. They were gone. They lost a couple other people to hamstring and knee injuries. That's part of the game. Don't misunderstand. I'm not claiming it's unfair. But the concussion business, some of these guys would have been back, and it would have made a difference.

In fact, in the Green Bay-Fort'iner game... You may not know this. Bryan Bulaga, I think, is the starting left tackle, might right tackle. He blew out a knee in training camp and has been on injury reserve the whole season. He had a backup named David Bakhtiari, and in the game yesterday, the backup got a concussion, okay? Fine. But you know what he did? He snuck past the doctors and the coaches and he got back in the game, and there were some people in the media really mad about that.

I'm not kidding you. There were stories about this guy. Bakhtiari, I think was his last name. Bakhtiari. Yeah, he's an offensive lineman, and he went out for an extra point try. The doctors were trying to determine if he had a concussion. He said, "To hell with you," and he went back out there. He went back out there -- and, of course, the news story said, "Well, what are a bunch of doctors gonna do?How are a bunch of doctors gonna stop a mad offensive lineman of 300-plus pounds?

"If he wants to go back, he's gonna go back." But the media was livid that this guy was permitted back in the game, livid that he would even try to get back in the game. "The NFL just can't be serious about this concussion business, if you're gonna let this kind of thing happen." The guy didn't want to lose the game. Anyway, I thought it fascinating that a guy might have suffered a concussion, tried and succeeded in putting himself back in the game, and there were some people in the media really upset about it.

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RUSH: Let's go to San Diego. John, hi. You're up first today on the phones. Great to have you with us, sir.

CALLER: Rush, how you doing? I got a question on the NFL thing here, you know, as far as helmet-to-helmet contact.

RUSH: Hit me.

CALLER: Basically I think the only way to solve it, 'cause I don't know what the protocol is for the doctors on the sideline to ask these players if they have a concussion or not unless they have a dilated pupil or obvious brain damage. I mean, most of them sound confused anyways off the field, so I think, you know, asking them a question like what day is it or who's the president, you know, I don't know what they do on the sideline, but I think just put an accelerometer in their helmet, they get a certain number of G forces, you're out, and, you know, last man standing wins the game, you know? I don't know. It's kind of crazy. How do they figure this stuff out?

RUSH: Well, here's what they do. Before the season starts every year, every player is given a rudimentary test. It's not really an IQ test, it's a who's your grandmother, when was she born, that kind of stuff, and that's the concussion baseline. And when the player has a concussion he has to be able to answer all those questions or a certain percentage of 'em. This among other things, but that's one of the things they do.

So what the players have begun doing is acting really stupid during the original test, because they want to play. So the players have been lowering the baseline on purpose so that they'll more easily be cleared. Now, the rule when you have a concussion, you have to stay out three or four days. What they ask 'em on the sideline, I don't really know.

Now, I will tell you this. Jamaal Charles was hurt in the first quarter of the Chiefs-Colts game. They played the replay. Nobody could figure out where in that replay. The announcers, nobody, the viewers, we were told that Jamaal Charles had a concussion. We watched the replay, no player hit his helmet. So then they concluded, well, his head must have hit the turf on the way down, but that didn't even look particularly vicious. Yet we were told he had a concussion.

So they cut away later to Jamaal Charles being examined by doctors on the sideline, and the sideline reporter -- I don't know who it was. Might have been Alex Flanagan, the NFL. The sideline reporter actually intimated that the doctors can't figure out when it happened. They're not sure what happened because you look at the replay, and it doesn't look like Jamaal Charles' head hit anything, much less hard enough to cause a concussion. Yet he's out for the game. My only point is that last year, the year before, Jamaal Charles would have been back in. And there were two other concussions I think the Chiefs players suffered, they're gone. Once that happens, concussion in a game and you are finished.

If the team calls it a head injury, then you might have a chance of a player coming back. But if it's called a concussion, and they've got doctors on the sideline now, they made a big deal about the doctors being independent, not paid by the teams, so that they're not working against the players' interests. And if a concussion is diagnosed, then that's it, you're histoire, you're gone, and you're not cleared until you pass what is called the concussion protocol all during the next week. And that involves that baseline test that every player takes before the season starts. Simple questions that just in the normal course of a day you'd know the answer to. What's your mother's maiden name? When were you born?

So the players will get that stuff wrong on purpose to lower the baseline. Some of them do. They want to play. They particularly want to play in the playoffs, as evidenced by the offensive lineman for the Packers, Bakhtiari, who said the hell with it, I'm going back in, and he forced his way back in, irritating -- (interruption) Well, they're champions. They want to win a championship. They want to play. Snerdley's peppering me with if they're slaves and if they're being exploited by rich owners and so forth. That's coming. You just wait. That's coming. But the rudimentary concussion test is memory, concentration, and balance. Those are the things that they examine on the sideline after a player's been concussed.

But the Jamaal Charles, if you go back, if you've got NFL Rewind, I don't know if you do, it costs money, but every NFL game is on it, the website, you go back and look at it. And I made a point, 'cause I didn't see the injury either. And do not anybody say, you know, don't do a pope thing on me here. I am not saying there wasn't a concussion there. I'm just telling you nobody could see how -- kind of like the phantom punch, Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston. Nobody saw it, except Ali said he threw it. Liston said, "What?" 'Cause he didn't know. He was on the canvas. As a fan, nobody saw it, remember? Ali said, "You didn't see it 'cause it goes down. Most punches are uppercuts, this one went down, nobody saw it." And people said Liston took a dive. Obviously Liston took a dive. "No, no, no, no. You just didn't see the punch."

The only thing I'm saying is, and I'll repeat it, there are some injuries that happened in that game that in years past the players woulda kept playing. That's it. I'm gonna get in enough trouble for that. Don't ask me to add to it.

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