BOZICH | Chris Redman Super Bowl bound -- with player safety in mind
Former Male High and Louisville quarterback Chris Redman took his share of blows to the head and has become involved with a mouth guard that raises awareness about concussions.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Chris Redman remembers the opponent – the Cincinnati Bearcats. He remembers the venue – on the road. He remembers the result – Redman ran for a touchdown.
Redman remembers what he does not remember. And what he does not remember was walking back to the sidelines after scoring six points for the University of Louisville football team.
Perhaps? It was never diagnosed.
“Back then there wasn’t all the awareness about the importance of diagnosing head injuries and treating them seriously,” said Redman, whose quarterback career started at Male High School, moved to U of L and then finished in the NFL.
“Back then you just said, ‘I got my bell rung, or I got dinged up.’ You sat out for a few plays and you went back in the game when you felt better.”
As Redman said, that is not what you do today. As a former player, father and business person Redman, 40, wants to become part of the solution to making football and other contact sports safer.
He has become a spokesperson for Vane Mouth Guards. Redman will attend Super Bowl LII matching New England and Philadelphia in Minneapolis Sunday. Philadelphia defensive end Vinny Curry will be the first player to wear a Vane mouthpiece in a game.
(Necessary trivia: Redman was drafted 75th in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft. Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady was selected 124 spots later in the seventh round of the same draft. Redman won a Super Bowl during his rookie season as a back-up quarterback with the Ravens.)
Vane Mouth Guard has created its market share in Mixed Marshall Arts events and youth sports. In addition to the traditional protection a mouth guard is designed to provide for teeth and the jaw, this one was designed to improve concussion awareness.
How does a mouthpiece mitigate issues with head injuries? By serving as a diagnostic tool.
The mouthpiece, priced between $39 and $79, changes colors when an athlete absorbs a blow at a force of 90-to-100Gs. That does not signify a concussion. “But it’s definitely another tool that a coach or trainer can look at to ensure the player is evaluated,” Redman said.
Didn’t happen that way in Redman’s time. I remember a game in the 80s when a former University of Louisville team doctor threatened to quit when the coaching staff tried to send a concussed receiver back into the second half of a game.
Redman does not remember how many diagnosed concussions that he suffered but is sure that he took serious blows to the head at Male, Louisville, Atlanta and Baltimore. Football is a game of collisions. Sometimes heads are the focal point of the collisions.
“I wouldn’t take anything back from my football career,” Redman said. “I’d definitely let my son play the game because too many good things come from the game.
“But if we can find ways to make the game safer for everybody, why not? I’m all for it.”
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