Monthly Archives: February 2012

Minor Injury, Great Miracle at Daytona 500

When the fog dropped on the Daytona 500 Monday night, engines were ready and drivers were off. For the first time in NASCAR history, the race had been postponed for an entire day because of rain. This was not destined to be a Sunday afternoon slosh-fest. Tracks were slick, fans were nervous, and anything was possible. That’s why viewers were shocked when a utility truck, used to blow water off the track, was struck from behind by an out-of-control Number 42 Chevy, driven by Juan Pablo Montoya. Apparently, Montoya’s car had a malfunction, making him lose control on turn 3. The Michigan International Speedway (MIS) truck burst into flames with just 40 laps left in the race.

Duane Barnes, who was driving the MIS truck, was rushed to the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, where he said his neck was sore, his foot was hurting, and his helmet was burnt to a crisp. Amazingly, caught in a flaming utility truck, Barnes came away from it all without more serious injury. Friends say that he’s ‘a tough dude’, so recovery should be quick.

While the race was delayed for more than 2 hours in order for rescue and clean up crews to do their work, the close of the race was one for the books. At 1:00am on Tuesday morning, the checkered flag gave a victory to Matt Kenseth, who also won the race in 2009.

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Ohio: A Tragedy Unfolds Through Social Media

Teachers and students across the country were on guard Monday when they heard news of a tragic and frightening shooting at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio. More than 13 years ago, when two boys opened fire at Columbine High School, news traveled much slower. Teenagers didn’t have cell phones. Social media was essentially non-existent. And the idea of a school shooting was almost unheard of in the United States. Today, not only does everyone have a phone, but they can reach their entire family on Facebook via blackberry or iPhone within seconds. Oh, and the shock factor has all but dissipated from the consciousness of U.S. Citizens.

At 7:30am on Monday, a high school student entered his cafeteria and began shooting. Two people were killed and at least three others were injured. Most of the students were either already in their classrooms at the time or making their way to class, leaving the dining hall far more empty than it might have been at other times in the day. The lone shooter, still unidentified according to several reports because of his age, was taken into custody soon after the violence began.

The last time an incident of this magnitude struck the nation was early last year in Omaha, Nebraska, when a principal and assistant principal were both shot multiple times (the latter becoming a fatality) in retaliation for an enforced suspension on a student. But even then, the tragedy took place at an odd time of day when most students were not present.

In the Chardon incident on Monday, teenagers and teachers were all over their cell phones, texting and networking to all the people they knew and loved. Parents who rushed to the school were able to connect with their children via social media, an almost absurd thought just ten years ago. Unfortunately, social media also has its flaws during a tragedy in which truth is difficult to parse. Children were often, either intentionally or unintentionally, spreading misinformation about the actions they perceived. Two gunmen? Shooter still on the loose? Ten people shot or just six?

At the end of the day, social media proved a greater comfort than any hassles it might have also created. Rumors were spreading, yes, but families were confident that their loved ones were secure in a locked classroom away from the danger. Injuries were sustained by three people, but most of the 1,100 students, faculty and staff were able to walk away from the tragic events in quiet contemplation. Our hearts collectively go out to the families of the two young people who lost their lives on Monday morning.

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Danica’s Crash in the Final Lap

There’s something strange and scary about the final lap of a NASCAR race. Every car is vying for its last chance to turn the corner and make a pass. But Dale Earnhardt’s crash was in the final lap. And now, in a surprising moment of another final lap, Danica Patrick and her car slid down the track into a wall blocking the infield. Worst of all, her crash was nose first.

Thankfully, the driver-turned-model was not injured. In fact, she was barely shaken by the incident.

“It sucks,” she said, but you “just kind of brace yourself and be thankful that I’m a small driver and I’ve got room and kind of hug it in and let it rip.” Yikes! Perhaps more interesting is that Danica crashed into a special type of wall, designed since the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001. It’s called a SAFER barrier. Like the crumple zones of a car, these walls are designed to compress on impact, blunting the force of the contact.

The Daytona 500, which airs on Sunday, February 26, will be Patrick’s first major foray into the biggest stage of NASCAR. When the accident happened this week, fans immediately wondered if she’d be able to compete over the weekend. An impact as tough as Danica faced would be hard for anyone, let alone someone who intends to get right back in a car and drive in excess of 200 mph. Experts say that she’ll still be able to race, but she’ll be in the back of the pack with a loaner vehicle. GoDaddy, who sponsors Danica Patrick as a race car driver, will give her what they can, but it remains to be seen whether this backup vehicle will even be competitive.

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Fans Responsible for Their Own Injuries?

Last August, tragedy struck the Indiana State Fair when the lighting system at the front of a stage came unhinged after a gust of wind. Equipment came crashing down on fans in the front row, killing seven and injuring dozens more. Sugarland, a multiplatinum selling American country duo, was the headliner that night. And at the time, authorities called it a tragic accident caused when an unusually powerful burst of wind quite literally ripped the lighting system from its brace, wreaking havoc on the audience. If anyone was to blame, fans might have argued that it was the crew of Sugarland, who didn’t stabilize the equipment. But fans were gracious. Unfortunately, Sugarland attorneys came out this week saying that fans are to blame. That’s right… the fans.

An attorney was quoted as saying that the fans “failed to exercise due care for their own safety” before giving a strange and unexpected opinion that almost of their injuries “resulted from their own fault.” Fans were not amused. One man, who had previously gone to see Sugarland in concert almost ten times, was in the front row on that day, receiving a concussion and weeks of headaches to follow. His reaction to the Sugarland attorney was bordering on rage. “Through this whole process, I don’t feel like the band cares that much about fans.”

Sugarland released a statement declaring their allegiance to nine years of fans, but they are likely to face some serious backlash among concert-goers who quickly learn about the accident and its aftermath. One document in the courts has suggested that Sugarland was warned about impending danger, but chose to go on with the concert schedule, resisting delay. That hesitance, fans now say, may prove to be their undoing. After all, it’s the fans who make up the concerts and Sugarland may be at risking of seeing fewer seats filled when they move on to their next few shows.

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Earnhardt Legacy Now Saving Lives

Since 2001, each February has passed with a solemn respect to a great legend of NASCAR. On February 18, 2001, during the final lap of the Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt was caught up in a multi-car crash that almost instantly took his life. In the aftermath of the Earnhardt tragedy, graphic descriptions were given to explain the kind of injuries that were sustained, particularly in the head. At the time, Bill Simpson, the man who had manufactured seat belts for NASCAR vehicles, resigned from his position after receiving death threats and bullets in his house. The controversy over the track, the car, and the drivers has now, eleven years later, taken a turn for the positive.

Every year, NASCAR officials look for new ways to implement safety precautions for the high risk of head injuries. Of course, if a driver is traveling more than 180 miles an hour, there’s never a guarantee of safety, but no one wants to be the recipient of hatred if their products or their cars fail to do their jobs. That goes for crash analysis as well.

Right now, each and every race car is embedded with a crash data recorder, where analysts can research the causes of each accident and continue working to improve the way these vehicles respond to an impact. Perhaps most encouraging is that researchers and analysts are focusing most of their interest on ways to protect the head first. Even drivers who have a minor accident are now required to visit a NASCAR clinic to check for signs of a concussion. If the Earnhardt tragedy taught us anything, it’s that even in the most dangerous sport on the planet, there are always ways to minimize the potential of injuries.

NASCAR returns on Sunday, February 26, with the 54th Annual Daytona 500.

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Davis Cleared for Soccer Practice

Major League Soccer reached a peak of popularity last year when David Beckham, the world’s most attractive athlete, took center stage on a field hosting his Los Angeles Galaxy against the Houston Dynamo. Beckham achieved international fame when he moved from a league in England to an American stage in California. His rise to the MLS Cup was inevitable and nothing was going to get in his way. But things could have gone much differently in the title game if Houston’s Brad Davis had been healthy.

After competing in 34 regular season games and 3 playoff games, Davis was being talked about as the Most Valuable Player in professional soccer. But in the last game before his team went to meet Los Angeles, Davis got his leg tangled in a lunge for the ball. Initially, he thought it was a strain, but trainers announced quickly that he had a Grade 2-Plus tear of his rectus femoris, one of the four quadriceps muscles in the front of the thigh. Never known for having a bad attitude, Davis took the sideline as a motivational speaker for his team in the final match. Unfortunately, motivational speeches weren’t enough to overcome the leg of David Beckham’s Galaxy.

For the better part of four months, Davis has been walking around in recovery mode, often wearing upper thigh braces like the DonJoy NeoPrene Thigh Support. But finally, last week, he was cleared to begin practice again. Could soccer fans see a rematch between Dynamo and the Galaxy in 2012? Davis certainly wants his chance to take back the title from the hero of Los Angeles. As always, only time will tell.

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Bauerfeind GenuTrain, worn by NY Knicks’ Jeremy Lin

February 17, 2012

Bauerfeind GenuTrain, worn by NY Knicks’ Jeremy Lin, is on the front page of today’s edition of the USA Today, dated Weekend February 17 – 19, 2012.

The NBA’s first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent drove the lane and dished so effectively — in 26 minutes he had two fewer assists than all the Kings — that the Knicks (15-15) rolled to their seventh consecutive victory and returned to .500 for the first time since early January.

So, what makes the Bauerfeind Genutrain so special that top players such as Lin are wearing it? The Genutrain is an active support for relief and stabilization of the knee. The edges of the brace are comfortable to wear for active sports along with the soft material along the back of the knee making it comfortable for squatting actions. The spiral stays are great for those who play sports because it prevents the brace from wrinkling behind the knee and from rolling down.

The Omega pad in front of the knee increases helps with neuromuscular joint stabilization around the knee which helps to reduce pain and releive strains. So, where do you get it?

Click here to get yours today!

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2012 is Off to the Races with Daytona 500

Every year during the Super Bowl, fans get a glimpse of life after football. And those commercials say it all. The background is a collection of blue, yellow, green and white cars with a bold font that reads: DAYTONA 500. This year, they’re calling February 26 a “day like any other that will last 24 hours, but unlike most days, this one will last forever.” Well, maybe.

Daytona 500 is, most definitely, a time for finding those rare legends of the road. In the past, names like Mario Andretti, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. have hoisted the Harley J. Earl Trophy, earning iconic status as winners of the Great American Race. In 2011, another driver made history. Trevor Bayne became the youngest man to win the race, having just barely turned 20.

In 2012, 43 of the world’s best race car drivers will once again pull their cars onto the pavement of Daytona International Speedway. Daytona Beach, FL has become a haven for winter sports enthusiasts who hate the cold and like to pretend the snow never came. Fast cars, smoking engines, pretty girls and more than a few thousand hot dogs will all be found en masse on February 26. If you’re not there in person, you’ll be able to smell the grills from home.

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Life After Rugby

Across the western hemisphere of the globe, the most popular sports include football, soccer and basketball. But across the eastern hemisphere, they take all of those sports and roll ’em into one. It’s a game they like to call rugby. And for Daniel Vickerman, age 32, this game has taken up more than half his life. That is, until he became known as a serious injury risk to his team, the New South Wales Waratahs. Most recently, a stress fracture in his leg has Vickerman thinking about retirement.

Fortunately for his young athlete, sports isn’t his only endeavor. Vickerman went back to the University of Cambridge to earn a degree in Land Economy. Clearly, the man was exploring his options. The Waratahs had already listed his status as questionable because of a shoulder injury he sustained in the previous year. Professionals are expecting a decision to be made by Vickerman within the next several days and if he does, officially, retire, then this will mean a detrimental blow to the Welsh province.

Professional rugby, for those interested, can be viewed on ESPN Scrum, an online resource for all news and schedules.

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Super Bowl XLVI: Giants Crush Patriots… Again!

Sunday night’s Super Bowl rematch between the New York Giants and New England Patriots ended like the script of a classic movie. Just four years ago, a scrappy quarterback named Eli Manning (often called the lesser brother of Peyton the Great) went up against an undefeated and three time Super Bowl winner in Tom Brady. That story ended with Manning on top, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in the midst of falling confetti; Giants win Super Bowl XLII, 17-14. Fast forward to November 6, 2011 when that once scrappy quarterback does it all over again; Giants win 24-20 during the regular season. Fast forward to February 5, 2012 in a spectacular matchup that pitted Manning against Brady, for a third time in five years; Giants win Super Bowl XLVI, 21-17.

At the beginning of the season, Eli Manning was still being questioned as one of the elite quarterbacks of the NFL. When asked about it, he was honest: “Yes I am.” Then the season began and his team was struggling to stay afloat. At one point, the Giants were 7-7 and playing for just a slight chance at the postseason. After topping the first and second seed Packers and Niners, Manning carved his way onto the biggest stage of professional sports, where he is now in line for the Hall of Fame ahead of his brother, Peyton, having mastered and consistently beaten the last decade’s most successful franchise in New England.

During the course of the game, four Giants players went down: Travis Beckham with a torn ACL, Hakeem Nicks with a shoulder injury, Jake Ballard with a left knee sprain, and Antrel Rolle with an injury that went undiscussed by the commentators. In other words, not only did Manning find a way to win for the third time in five years against Tom Brady and the Patriots, but he did it while his best receivers kept reaching for medical attention. We here at the Brace Shop call that more than amazing. We call that elite. And the NFL agreed, giving Eli Manning a second Super Bowl MVP award.

Congratulations to the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.

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