Your brain is sponge cake floating in a bone bucket, to borrow a line from Stephen Colbert. Chris Nowinski has another way of putting it. After years of headaches, depression, and other symptoms of brain damage, the WWE wrestler and one-time college football hero finally retired, realizing, “I’d been gladly exposing myself to repetitive brain trauma and concussion for 19 years.”
It shouldn’t be “all just part of the game.” Head Games is another important vehicle for extending the important message about brain trauma in sports to all sports stakeholders.
If you watch “Head Games” on Friday, it may affect how you watch NFL football on Sunday. It’s a challenging look at a problem affecting a wide range of pro sports from director Steve James, the man behind “Hoop Dreams.”
There may not be a more important documentary released this year for the general health of especially sports-playing American kids than ”Head Games,” director Steve James’ impactful look at the trauma inflicted by repeated concussions.
Head Games, the latest documentary from Hoop Dreams director Steve James, offers a polished, convincing argument that head injuries and traumatic concussions are a major problem in the sports world — one that the professional leagues are not doing enough to combat.
Head Games is an important film regardless of whether or not you are a fan of, or even play contact sports, because chances are someone you love does, and will perhaps be affected. Educate yourself.
By making this documentary, he is becoming a part of that solution, because "Head Games" has a lot of excellent information. Any parent who watches it with his or her children will be getting a big dose of that education. This documentary won't put a dent in the macho sports culture that encourages shaking off injuries. It may not change the way all coaches expect their players to continue taking the field when they are injured, but it may change the way the general public sees concussions, which is a good start.
Inspired by the 2006 book of the same name—written by former Harvard defensive lineman and WWE wrestler Chris Nowinski—the film chronicles the rise of concussion awareness in recent years. While much of the information is not new, director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) makes it compelling by attaching faces to the issue, which he approaches from multiple angles. He begins with Nowinski's own story and weaves in those of former NFL players Atkins and Tim Tyrrell, a 51-year-old ex-running back who, at one point in the film, forgets an anecdote in the midst of relating it.
Chris Nowinski’s story and that of others is what makes Head Games such an interesting, informative documentary, and a must-see for anyone who has ever played sports or whose children are currently playing sports.
If you have children involved in contact sports, you must see “Head Games.”
This excellent, eye-opening documentary puts faces, including some who passed through Steelers Nation only to meet tragic and premature ends, to a subject that shows no signs of disappearing any time soon. It's as scary as any horror movie ever could be.