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Head games: Remember the final’s first half? Christoph Kramer doesn’t

Jul 14, 2014, 1:17 PM EDT

Brazil Soccer WCup Germany Argentina AP

Those who actively watched some of the World Cup final’s first half likely remember more than a man who was on the field for a half-hour of it.

Christoph Kramer was facing the thrill of the lifetime when he was called on to replace Sami Khedira in the starting lineup of Germany’s tournament title tilt against Argentina.

But a 14th minute elbow from Ezequiel Garay sent Kramer to the turf, and to the sidelines. He walked in two different directions on the way off the field before reentering. And after the 32nd minute, Kramer was off for good.

So what were his feelings when he was taken off the field in such a massive game?

Beats him.

From The Independent:

“I can’t really remember much of the game,” he told German newspaper Die Welt after seeing his team-mates beat Argentina 1-0.

“I don’t know anything at all about the first half. I thought later that I left the game immediately after the tackle. I have no idea how I got to the changing rooms. I don’t know anything else. In my head, the game starts from the second half.”

The fact that Kramer was allowed back onto the pitch is frightening and incredibly dangerous. Treatment and diagnosis of head injuries may be an always-developing thing, but anyone with two eyes and TV screen could see that Kramer was not right following the collision.

Surely his instincts took over and laid out his desires to come back into the game. Judging by his memory, we have no business trusting the minds of a men or women whose brains have bounced against their skulls (Put that way, it makes sense, no?).

Let’s just be glad Kramer came off before we saw something absolutely horrific; Athletes who have played on after suffering a concussion have experienced many awful repercussions, including the ultimate one: death. Read up on the work done by the Sports Legacy Institute and you’ll understand a bit more.

It’s suggested that the human brain needs at least two weeks to recover from a concussion… not two minutes.

  1. pioniere - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    I’ve saw some pretty substandard injury diagnosis on the field during the World Cup. Neymar had a back injury, but was never put on a backboard or had any other precautions taken when he was hauled off. Kramer had an obvious concussion, yet was allowed to return to play after a short period of time. Other sports like American football and hockey have concussion protocols that have to be followed, including being cleared by a doctor, before being allowed to resume play.

  2. Greg - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    there was quite a few nasty head injuries in this world cup, and it’s time FIFA, UEFA, CONCACAF, anyone and everyone sat up and took action. Even if it’s a certain period of time on the sidelines, maybe even a pseudo Rugby style temporary substitution that goes permanent if the player is unable to continue? Something needs to be done, or I’m afraid that it’ll take something dire for them to notice and take action

  3. buckyball77 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Not knowing, I wonder if the area of sports concussion protocols is one where we Americans are way ahead of the rest of the sporting world at this point in time? How else to explain the blithe attitude where at the WC the officials accept the player’s natural desire to go back on the pitch if the team’s doctor (feeling the pressure from the manager) says, well ok, nothing outrageously wrong.

  4. sw19womble - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    IIRC the Uruguayan player earlier in the tournament who was quite clearly KO’d was quite insistent about being let back on.

    At least Kramer/the German team had the good sense to take him off, eventually….

    NB it was a blatant and aggressive shoulder into the head, rather than an elbow. FWIW. Same result tho.

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