The NFL has produced a poster alerting players to the dangers of concussions, a big change for the league which had denied the long-term effects of multiple concussions as recently as three years ago.
The poster, which will be distributed to teams leaguewide, includes various information on symptoms, causes and effects of the brain injuries. The New York Times printed the poster in its Tuesday editions:
It's basically the same "scare tactics" strategy used in middle school health rooms across the country, a tact which is mildly effective depending on the subject matter and how the message is conveyed. In this case, the league went with stuffing as much information into as little a space as possible instead of the "gross out" tactic utilized by various anti-smoking ads. As a first step, this is a good thing. Get the facts out there and then, once players understand the risks, begin pressing them a little more on the subject. As another famous PSA once said, knowing is half the battle.
While the poster is a good tool to get out the message, said message will only be absorbed by people interested doing so. If a player doesn't concern himself with concussions or thinks one could never happen to him, then those 15 symptoms listed on the top right probably won't resonate if they present themselves after a big hit.
The information on the poster will also be given to players in the form of a brochure. The poster may get ignored and the pamphlet may get thrown out, but if either helps at least one player, then they've done their jobs. Knowing, as they say, is half the battle.