Posted September 01, 2013

NFL concussion story becomes personal for FOX Sports’ Pam Oliver

AFC South, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, NFC East, Uncategorized
Pam Oliver has learned the hard way that danger is always a part of football. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Pam Oliver has learned the hard way that danger is always a part of football. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

If you’re a part of the NFL media in any sense, you’ve done some reporting on concussions in the last few years. The league just settled with over 4,000 former players and their families to avoid the furtherance of lawsuits related to the NFL’s alleged cover-up of the severity of concussion symptoms. No matter what you think of the final amount — $765 million, and over $1 billion when legal fees are added — the lawsuits have certainly raised awareness when it comes to head trauma and football.

One member of the media can now speak from personal experience.

During pregame warmups for the Aug. 18 preseason game between the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants, FOX Sports reporter Pam Oliver was hit in the head with a football errantly thrown by Colts backup quarterback Chandler Harnish. The video went fairly viral on social media, and Oliver laughed it off at the time, but the effects were far more imposing. Oliver had suffered a concussion, and as she recently told Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News, a pounding headache led to other symptoms.

“The sensitivity to light started, and some nausea too,” Oliver said. “My whole body was sore … “I slept for hours on end. The minute you wake up you’re reminded. Your head is pounding. I really could not take light — the light from the TV, the accent lighting. The sun was completely my enemy. My blinds were drawn. It was miserable.”

Oliver suffered short-term memory loss right away. After she was hit, she taped a segment with NFL official Ed Hochuli for “60 Minutes” and didn’t seem to remember what had happened before.

“I asked the people around me, ‘What happened?’ They told me I just got hit in the head with a football.”

Oliver told Raissman that she was worried about her memory, but that things started to clear up about five days later. “I felt clear-headed and stronger, but the headaches still come and go.”

Oliver’s reaction to her own concussion mirrors what so many players have done — “You don’t want to be wimpy, you just have to push through it,” she said, and the similarities do not escape her now.

“Players don’t want to be reminded about their concussions. They don’t want to be known as the guy who went down with one. They downplay it. Then it happens to me and I start wondering how these guys go back to being hit, taking all that punishment, a week or two later.”

Oliver is set to return to the sidelines for the Sept. 8 game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, and she’ll certainly be a bit more observant.

“When I’m back on the sidelines, I’ll do what I always do: Stay a bit behind the line of scrimmage. And keep my head on a swivel.”

13 comments
rickkhenning
rickkhenning

It's possible Ms. Oliver took a hit with the point of the ball hitting a sensitive spot on her head - like her temple. The cruelty of many of these comments is sickening. She is a reporter doing her job - why all the hate talk? I'd like to see some of the clowns writing here to stand in front a NFL quarterback and let themselves take shots directly to their heads. Bet they would sing a different song.       

OnebadBadboi
OnebadBadboi

what a stupid w*ore....she a fkn know it all now..  she looks like she knows alot about being  beat with a ugly stick too..close your legs too please...the foul is pretty stench

RayIsBipolar
RayIsBipolar

Concussion from a football to the head? I saw the pass, yes it was solid but come on now. These concussion claims are ridiculous now. Make her wear a helmet each week for even bringing it up.

retsub
retsub

I hope it didn't affect that juicy booty she has!

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

The ONLY thing that can make me change channels faster than ANY female sideline reporter -or a guy one too for that matter- is any teaser for a new 'reality' show or anything named Honey Boo Boo . These people have NOTHING to offer...

dukegfsl
dukegfsl

Setting up for a lwasuit/medical claim... PTSD... What a joke...

dewbert
dewbert

She has a pretty wimpy head. It's just a football.

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

Pam you wanted to know about concussions, well here you go.... BAAMMM !!!!  NO , not  Morris but  "in the face" courtesy of one Andrew Austen Luck and like a trooper Pam shook it off, because that was not the first time Pam has taken a projectile to the face and probably wont be the last time either.  In this case a towel and the erase button wont make you feel better only time and a ice pack will.

richard123
richard123

@dukegfsl dont know about the joke, but a few years down the road when normal human wear- in- tear comes around, she may refer to this incident to get some big change, bread, loot...whatever u want to call it.