"There are lies, damned lies, and statistics."
- Mark Twain
Need some evidence of that?
You've probably heard the ongoing dialogue regarding football injuries, specifically brain injuries caused by repeated concussions. Just this week, NFL player Chris Borland announced his retirement from the San Francisco 49ers at the age of 24, because he doesn't want to risk those kind of injuries.
In response, on Tuesday Dr. Joseph Maroon, a neurosurgeon, said, "There are more injuries to kids from falling off bikes, scooters, falling in playgrounds than there are in youth football. Again, it’s never been safer. Can we improve? Yes, we have to do better all the time to make it safer, but I think if a kid is physically able to do it and wants to do it, our job is to continue to make it safer. But it’s much more dangerous riding a bike or a skateboard than playing youth football."
Is he talking "tackle" bike riding, or "flag" bike riding?
It might be meaningful that Dr. Maroon earns money as a consultant to the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee. He's also team neurosurgeon to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It's probably a safe bet that more kids break their heads riding bikes than do playing football. But Maroon is obviously and conveniently ignoring the fact that for every kid who plays football, probably 1000 ride bikes. And 999 of those 1000 kids emerges unscathed.
If he really believes what he says... perhaps he's had a few concussions over the years.
NOTE! I unhesitatingly advocate wearing a helmet (both children and adults!), and wear one myself, because of the possibility of konks to the noggin! Don't get me wrong! Cyclists suffer head injuries every day of the year. But let's get real, and not try to convince people by distorting facts.