If you saw the highlights of last night's Richmond -v- St Kilda match you would have seen Jack Riewoldt smack his head into the deck, get up with jelly legs, be assisted from the field, shamble down the race to see the doctors for a concussion test, then re-emerge to crack the shits at the Tiger medical staff for not letting him return to play.
Whether Jack's tantrum was warranted is worthy of debate. Should he have carried on like a pork chop? Should he have sucked it up and accepted the medical verdict? How bad was his concussion? Could he have continued to play without impairment? How much residual damage is he likely to incur, if any? Was he in fact fine and cracking the shits with a clear head as he thought the medical staff were over-reacting? Was he totally addled to the point where he was oblivious to his dummy-spit? All fair questions which could have been debated on the 3AW pre-match when they discussed last night's match. Instead Matty Richardson jumped in with an alacrity that suggests he may have been previously worded up by the Tigers. I paraphrase:
"Jack's reaction was understandable in the circumstances, since emotional and angry responses are classic symptoms of concussion."
This was followed by a blithe acceptance from the other members of the AW footy panel and the debate ended right there. Richo, Riewoldt's friend and former team-mate, had neatly shut down the discussion via a statement of fact.
Now, I am no doctor, so following Dr. Richo's diagnosis I sought a second opinion from my local internet. Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
- Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Dizziness or "seeing stars"
- Ringing in the ears
- Nausea or vomiting
- Slurred speech
That list was from the Mayo Clinic and several other sites failed to list "emotional and angry responses" as classic symptoms of concussion.
But at least one question came immediately to mind: how often have you seen players blowing up after copping a concussion?