Another Heat-Related Fatality. Another Preventable Death?

R.I.P., Korey Stringer
​It was 10 years ago that Minnesota Vikings' offensive lineman Korey Stringer dropped dead on the team's training camp field, a victim of a heat stroke. I covered the Vikings' first game in the wake of their teammate's death, a pre-season game played right here in San Antonio's Alamodome.

Still, long after we've realized that humans are no match for heat and that even football players aren't indestructable super heroes, people are dying on football fields.

Last week 14-year-old Tyquan Brantley collapsed and died in South Carolina and yesterday in Plano a football assistant coach died, apparently of heat exhaustion. Prestonwood Christian Adacemy assistant football coach Wade McLain passed away after the team's first practice of the season.

While the Cowboys practice in the 75-degree cool of The Alamodome, north Texas is sweltering toward a record summer. Apparently you guys are headed for 109 degrees today and will soon threaten 1980 for the most consecutive days over 100. Today we're at 31; the record is 42.

I'm generally one of those "It's summer. It's hot. So what?" guys. In '80 I was a 16-year-old punk working at a record-pressing plant on Irving Boulevard in Dallas. My job? Take giant tubs of hardened, scraggly vinyl scraps from records and manually cram them into a 300-plus degree re-grind machine that melted them back into liquid vinyl for the next record. All while wearing jeans and being yelled at by my boss, who doubled as my dad. In the '70s I played football at Reed Junior High in Duncanville, where we beat the heat only with salt tablets and by taking two breaks per practice sharing a water hose. Shoot, even last weekend I got out and played tennis at noon.

Stubborn, yes. But not to a fault.

Even I realize that this heat can kill you. Especially if you're not acclimated.

You can read any number of stories claiming that all heat-related deaths are preventable, yet still it goes on.

But, believe it or not, it's getting better, not worse. We have fewer deaths, just more publicity of them.

The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research in Chapel Hill, N.C., reported that 132 football players suffered heat-related deaths in the U.S. from 1931 through 2010, including a record eight in 1970. Hasn't been more than three in a year since '90.

Since those eight in '70 we've gotten smarter. Medical attention is winning out over macho pride. Seems to me every school -- at the very least -- should keep a kiddie pool filled with ice water handy since doctors will tell you there is a 100% survival rate in those situations.

When Jimmy Johnson arrived to coach the Cowboys in 1989 he told a struggling kicker to "take your ass over to the Asthma field!" And in the '90s the Cowboys regularly practiced outdoors in St. Edward's in Austin twice a day in pads to the backdrop ambience of Jimmy yelling "Let the mind control the body, not the body control the mind." Water, it was often repeated, was for losers.

We know better now. Be careful out there.

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Concerned Mom
Concerned Mom

I am a mother of 2 children and continue to read these stories of tragic and unnecessary loss with sadness and frustration. It breaks my heart, in particular, knowing that additional losses are totally preventable. Fox 40 has developed a mouthguard that can stop death and illness due to heat stroke in its tracks. We do not need to grieve the loss of any more athletes. This mouthguard changes color as the player's internal temperature reaches 102 degrees and fully changes color when their body temperature reaches 105 degrees. Saving kids' lives is as simple as taking the player off the field for a break and rehydration when their mouthguard changes color! Follow this link for additional information regarding these mouthguards right from the Fox 40 website.

 http://www.fox40world.com/site...

Please make sure that you do your part and share this information with as many people as possible. The sooner players have these guards in their mouths the sooner parents and coaches can rest a little easier!

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

I have no clue how many of you mfers, have to deal with this shit every damn day. Some of us do. Kidney stones, loss of a kidney due to heat and other bad, horrific stuff LIKE FUCKING DYING! is a real concern. No BS. If you are out in it, take care of yourself. If you run a crew, watch them like a hawk. A jug of water is worth the paperwork. Do it. There aint one damn thing macho about being dead because you cooked yourself. 

Guest
Guest

My sophomore year of high school was hot as the dickens too.  What was bad during our two-a-days is that if our coach didn't feel like we hustled enough, he wouldn't let us have water during water breaks.  Not the entire team, just individuals.  I promptly quit the football team as a result.  The coach was fired and I continued fucking Roosters momma.

Yes, it happened
Yes, it happened

the temperature was a blistering 98° on that fateful summers day at the village country club in dallas nearly 4 yrs ago.a then 47 y/o robert gregory williams was caught snorting a line of coke off a portajohn toilet lid.now i say THAT is a person who is ACCLIMATED to the heat, bruthaaaaa 

antiarmen
antiarmen

LOL....well, ya got half your name right! Greggo's alright! He's just in a tough situation. I know, I know, he put himself there....

antiarmen
antiarmen

What some people might not remember, or even know, what triggered the unusual weather during 1980 summer, was the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Living in Eureka Springs Ark during that period, there was an ashy haze everyday that year, all across the nation. I agree with Greggo...the end might be nigh upon us! Also, I normally don't like Corby's stories, but his "cop" story today really hit home!

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Mt. St. Helens had a cooling effect, dingus. Ash reflects sunlight. That cooling effect? About a tenth of a degree globally.

antiarmen
antiarmen

Not much of a "cooling" effect.......since it WAS HOT AS HELL!!

MoronDog
MoronDog

You agree with Greggo? Your credibility is now equal to a Harry Hines crackwhore.

Sports Cactus
Sports Cactus

Speaking as a Cactus, I quite enjoy this weather.

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

even the cactus are hanging on for dear life. even if we are well adapted for such events, it still sucketh.

Julorgal
Julorgal

EVERYONE, PLEASE if you don't have to be working on a job in this heat, PLEASE, PLEASE, STAY  INDOORS where it is cool and drink plenty of water. We are suppose to reach 109 today and it is 106 already.  Why subject yourself to the DANGER of a HEAT STROKE. The "Mind DOES NOT control" the heat on your body causing you to dehydrate. So PLEASE EVERYONE, Be on the SAFE SIDE. STAY INDOORS.

Annoying Knowitall
Annoying Knowitall

It takes two weeks physical activity to get acclimatized to the heat. Acclimatization results in increased blood volume, redirecting blood to the skin, and reduced heart rate. None of this can be accomplished without increased water intake. Thirty years ago kids spent more time outdoors during the summer so acclimatization was not as much an issue. Anyone participating in summer sports activities needs to be gradually increasing working out in the heat with ample hydration at least two weeks before the organized activity starts.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

You'd get more credit for this if a week or so ago you weren't beating the "in my day" drum when it came to hardass football coaches and two-a-days when talking about the CBA.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Bravo RW, glad you covered this.I had a genius of a high school coach. If we kept messing up doing drills during two a days, we'd keep doing them over until we got them right, no water breaks. There was an infamous 2 hour practice with exactly one water break; we also ended every practice running between 2-6 400 meter sprints around the track in full pads. I can't believe I made it through 4 years of two a days in Texas, and I won't be butthurt if my 3 boys don't want to play football.

It would have been interesting to see how the schools with $$$ do two a days. Are SLC's practices all indoor?

Storm_71
Storm_71

Not a bad post RW string some more of those together. See what happens when one "writes" outside the box.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

clap, clap, clap, clap.  my buddy tried to play disc golf last friday and I laughed when he claimed he could take the heat.  It wasnt so funny when my friend with him made him quit 8 holes in bc he was speaking incoherently and stopped sweating.  Damn close call, so its not macho or barbarian, its fucking stupid to be out in this heat

#1 FAN FAN
#1 FAN FAN

I wouldn't call it stupid, some of us have to work in it. You're welcome to call it stupid, just don't ask those of us who fix your A/C to come out and work on it when its 108 if its stupid.I just drink gallons upon gallons of water so i don't dehydrate. I was in an attic earlier and used my temperature gun, it was 189 up there.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Leave it to a Fan fan to not get the gist of my post.  Let me help you here,  If fucking dumb to be out in the 110 heat for pleasure (the disc golf I was talking about).  You are being compensated for the risk of the job you do, if your compensation isnt enough for the job you do then charge more.

Rage Fan
Rage Fan

And you are a ticket cock sucker.

#1 FAN FAN
#1 FAN FAN

Sorry, and I always charge more during the summer. What are people gonna say when its over 100, don't fix it i'll wait for someone else?

Just Me
Just Me

Gay.

Rage Fan
Rage Fan

Yes you are gay.

Sybils Beaver
Sybils Beaver

At least he is banging his wife, your getting rub n tugs from spare 3rd rate male radio hosts, trying ride their coattails. I know I saw u last night! And u turned me down, something about being scared of pussy

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