Andy Reid is Out in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Eagles have officially cut ties with head coach Andy Reid.  The Eagles fired Reid after 14-seasons with the team, which ended a 4 – 12 2012 campaign by suffering a 42 – 7 loss to New York Giants on Sunday afternoon.  Reid is the winningest coach in Eagles history with 140-career victories, and he ranks 22nd on the NFL’s all-time list. 

In 1999, Reid’s first year with the organization, the team went 5 -11, but only had two other seasons below the .500 mark. 

Off-the-field drama also affected Reid earlier this year when his 29-year-old son Garrett passed away at the team’s training camp facility on the campus of Lehigh University.

More Kids Going To The Emergency Room For Concussions

State lawmakers are working on legislation to protect youth athletes from complications of concussions.   A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more kids are ending up in the emergency room for head injuries. 

A review of emergency department visits for sports and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, shows an increase of 62% for kids up to age 19 between 2001 and 2009.

Dr. Julie Gilchrist, co-author of the study, says common activities were involved, including bicycling, football, basketball and soccer. Officials believe much of the increase occurred because more adults realized the youngsters needed to be seen by health care providers.

Boys between the ages of 10-19 were most likely to wind up in the emergency department for a sports or recreation related head injury. About 70% of the injury visits were among boys.

Dr. Gilchrist , a Pediatrician, researcher, and medical epidemiologist at the CDC’s Injury Center,  says for children 0-4 and 5-9, boys and girls were most commonly injured in playground and bicycling activities. She says for boys 10-19, football and bicycling were the most common activities.  For girls in that age group, she says it was bicycling, basketball and soccer.

Dr. Gilchrist says there are a number of things that can be done to prevent injuries.  She says a helmet or the proper safety gear, having the proper skills for the activity and obeying the rules of the sport are key. She says strength and conditioning can also affect concussion rates.

She says beyond prevention, it’s important for people to know the signs of a brain injury and to know what to do. She says a child with a suspected brain injury needs to be evaluated by a health care provider who is familiar with this type of injury.  They will need both physical and cognitive rest until they have fully recovered. 

The state House has passed the ‘Safety in Youth Sports Act’.  It requires student athletes to be pulled from games if they show signs of a concussion.  It also requires students and parents to sign a concussion awareness sheet, and coaches to complete a concussion certification course.  Senate concurrence is pending.

Keystone State Games Underway

Keystone State Games5,000 amateur athletes have descended on the Hershey-Harrisburg region or the 30th annual Keystone State Games.  This is the third time they’ve welcomed athletes from all 67-counties.  “We are an Olympic-style sports festival.  We are Pennsylvania’s largest annual sports festival.  From where we started in 1981, we’ve had over 300,000 participants,” says James Costello, director of events. 

The mission is to promote physical fitness as a health improvement strategy, and to drive what amateur athletic competition is all about.  “To really put in the sportsmanship, the work ethic that goes into amateur sports,” Costello adds. 

He says the games welcome a wide range of ages too: “We start at age six in our wrestling… and it goes all the way up to 99-years-old in our track and field competition.”  However, most participant are scholastic athletes, in high school or college.   

The 2011 Keystone State Games started on Tuesday and will continue through Sunday.  You’ll find everything from handball to hockey when you check the live score updates online

This week’s winners will be eligible for the State Games of America, which will be coming to the Hershey-Harrisburg region in the summer of 2013.  “Throughout the country, any athlete who places in the top three positions, within the next two years, is automatically eligible to compete in the national competition.”

PNC Park

Beer in the Bleachers: Enjoy Responsibly

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) calls on sports fans to keep game days safe, and enjoy responsibly.  The message comes amid a growing number of reports of alcohol-related incidents at sporting events across the country.  Specifically, spokeswoman Stacey Witalec cites the near-fatal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at the LA Dodgers home opener.  “Excessive use of alcohol may have been a contributing factor,” Witalec says.

In a statement, LCB chairman PJ Stapleton said safe and responsible consumption should be fans’ top priority.  “As a fan, you owe it to yourself, and to the family sitting next to you, to ensure they can leave the ballpark as safety as they arrived,” he continued.

Witalec also points out a University of Minnesota study that looked into fans’ behavior.  “8% of people were legally drunk, and 40% had something to drink while they were in the stadium.  So some concerning statistics.” 

For its part the LCB is reaching out to Pennsylvania’s colleges, major and minor league teams to help educate fans, and ensure they know their limits.  Witalec tells us the goal is to “start the conversation” about what changes need to be made to protect the families attending sporting events.