Players in today's National Football League are bigger and faster than ever. And that means devastating collisions on the gridiron.
Even President Obama has weighed in on the subject, saying he'd have to think hard before allowing a son to play football.
The health issues confronting these grid iron gladiators - from concussions to blown-out knees, and the medical care provided them after they retire from the game - is explored in
Big Hits, Lasting Hurts on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
A panel of experts: former Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson, former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, and three-time Pro Bowl offensive guard Conrad Dobler -- look at the complicated issue of player health from both personal and institutional points of view.
Sportscaster Roger Twibell moderates the discussion, which covers the safety of the game, what can be done to enhance it, and where the sport may be headed.
Carl Peterson served as president, general manager, and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Chiefs from 1989 to 2008. Since 2009 he has been chairman of USA Football, an NFL-endowed organization that draws its membership from youth football players, coaches, commissioners, and game officials and emphasizes safety and training.
Trent Green is a veteran of 15 years in the NFL. He played for the San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, and, of course, the Kansas City Chiefs. During the first game of the 2006 Chiefs season he suffered a serious concussion. The game was delayed for 15 minutes while the unconscious Green received medical attention. He was sidelined for more than two months by the injury. He is now a TV color commentator/analyst for NFL on Fox and NFL Total Access.
Conrad Dobler -- who between 1972 and 1981 played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the New Orleans Saints, and the Buffalo Bills -- was once dubbed by Sports Illustrated "pro football's dirtiest player." He has undergone 30 knee operations to correct injuries from his playing years and repeatedly sought assistance from -- and been rejected by -- the NFL retirement board in dealing with his football-related disabilities. He has become an advocate for league coverage of the health costs of its former players.
Roger Twibell's college football and baseball careers ended after a knee injury. He has been a sportscaster since 1972, covering football, basketball, hockey, and track and field at both the collegiate and professional levels. He has worked for ABC, ESPN, and the Big Ten Network; currently he is with the CBS Sports Network. Among his assignments is coverage of the Chiefs' preseason games.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org  or call 816.701.3407.