FanDuel - WFBC

August 29, 2007

Third footballer dies from heart problems in 10 days.: What the ... ?!! ... Chaswe Nsofwa, a former Zambia international, collapsed and died of heart failure during a training session with his Israeli club side, Hapoel Beersheba. The tragedy came less than 24 hours after Clive Clarke, the Leicester City player on loan from Sunderland, suffered a heart attack during Tuesday's League Cup tie at Nottingham Forest. Clarke was recovering in hospital yesterday. On Tuesday afternoon ... Sevilla ... left-back, Antonio Puerta, had died after suffering "five cardio-respiratory stoppages". Little more than a week earlier Walsall's 16-year-old youth-team player Anton Reid inexplicably collapsed on the training ground and died.

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 11:15 PM - 19 comments

What is going on? Just a coincidence?

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:16 PM on August 29

What is going on? Just a coincidence? Yes. Like shark attacks, road rage incidents and deadly lightning strikes, the grouping of these occurrences is strictly random. If these were spread out over an entire year, no one would be trying to make a connection (and most people wouldn't notice). However, when two or three happen in "clumps", people think that there is some factor behind it. That is, unless you believe someone with electrical powers is stalking football players and shocking their hearts, or a mad poisoner is spiking their drinks with some secret medication that inhibits regular heartbeats.

posted by grum@work at 12:51 AM on August 30

As grum says, independent events. Although a spike in European football related deaths could occur at the beginning of each season, as the training regimes get stepped up and matches start. Which is about now. Similarly, I imagine that shark deaths are not entirely random over a year, and in Australia would peak in early summer when there is a combination of cold currents (bringing the great whites to the coast) and large numbers of people in the water. However these are guesses and in no way represent proven causality. We need a medico and a icthyologist to do the research, provided the sample of football deaths and shark attacks is large enough.

posted by owlhouse at 02:00 AM on August 30

Sudden Cardiac Arrest in sports-people as been a big story here in Ireland for a few years now. Mainly due to the death of Cormac McAnallen (Gaelic footballer) and John McCall (rugby player) in 2004. Since then the GAA has undertaken to install defibrillators at all its clubs. I wonder do many football grounds have them? And people trained in their use.

posted by Fence at 03:19 AM on August 30

Fence: Reports were that Sevilla had a defibrillator, and that they used it on Puerta when he had a second attack in the locker room. My guess is all the bigger clubs would have them as well. What would be interesting to know is the rate of such early onset cardiac issues in the general population, versus in the football (and sporting) world. Seems like clubs are bringing younger and younger kids into their academies. Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky started with Sparta Prague at EIGHT years old! Anyone else think that's sort of like enlisting your third grader in the Army?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 06:43 AM on August 30

Anyone else think that's sort of like enlisting your third grader in the Army? No, it's like your third grader playing soccer with grownups. Worst. Analogy. Ever.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:09 AM on August 30

No, it's like your third grader playing soccer with grownups. Someone correct me if I misunderstand, but I think it would actually be like having your 8 year old play with other very talented kids around his age and skill level. Second. Worst. Analogy. Ever. The upsetting thing in the Puerta case (all my info is coming from a couple of Guardian podcast episodes) is that this was an ongoing issue and that he was seen to mutter something to the effect of "more damn dizzy spells" when he was walked off the pitch last week. Then again, at 22 I'd never have bothered a doctor with something as silly as dizzy spells either.

posted by yerfatma at 07:51 AM on August 30

Not sure I understand you, yerfatma; I am under the impression that Sparta Prague is an adult football club. Therefore, a third grader playing soccer for Sparta Prague would be a third grader playing soccer with grownups. Either way, it's got nothing to do with enlisting a third grader in the Army, so I stand by my original snarky comment.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:06 AM on August 30

Not sure I understand you, yerfatma; I am under the impression that Sparta Prague is an adult football club. true, but like many (if not most) adult clubs they have youth squads. i would assume that young Tomas started with one of those.

posted by goddam at 09:02 AM on August 30

surely he played for the youth squad, but the point is that having an eight year old sign a contract with a professional football club and placing him into a training, diet, social regiment etc. has the ring, okay, not of enlisting in the army (since when is hyperbole criminal?), but at least of demanding much more of a lad of that age, stature, maturity, development, than seems reasonable. longest.run-on.sentence.ever.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 09:13 AM on August 30

Not sure I understand you, yerfatma; I am under the impression that Sparta Prague is an adult football club. LEARN TO READ! </DavidCross>

posted by yerfatma at 10:23 AM on August 30

I love that this has become a thread about youth academies. Do you think if Tomas Rosicky trained as a shark attack defense specialist in the U.S. army as a 3rd grader that he would have pulled the battlefield equivalent of this shit when he faced off against the U.S. army at a later date after he had signed as a free agent mercenary with the Finnish air force? Tomas Rosicky is quite obviously profoundly unpatriotic. On that there can be no argument.

posted by holden at 10:40 AM on August 30

the grouping of these occurrences is strictly random. If these were spread out over an entire year, no one would be trying to make a connection (and most people wouldn't notice). Grum, I disagree about the notion that these type of occurences would go unoticed. The sudden death of athletes, whether cardiac related or not, always draw a great deal of attention due to the perception that athletes are in peak or near-peak physical condition. The assumption would be that they are less susceptible to such health events. Good info from the American Heart Association for those who are interested: "Although SCD occurs rarely in athletes, when it does happen, it often affects us with shock and disbelief. Cause: Most cases of SCD are related to undetected cardiovascular disease. In the younger population, it is often due to congenital heart defects, while in older athletes (35 years and older), the cause is more often related to coronary artery disease. Prevalence: SCD in athletes occurs rarely; however media coverage often makes it seem like it happens more often. In the younger population, most cases of SCD occur while playing team sports; in about one in 100,000 to one in 300,000 athletes, and more often in males. In older athletes, SCD occurs more often during running or jogging and in approximately one in 15,000 joggers and one in 50,000 marathon runners. Screening: The American Heart Association recommends cardiovascular screening for high school and collegiate athletes."

posted by gradys_kitchen at 01:30 PM on August 30

Awareness of the need for defibrillators is something I can get behind.

posted by garfield at 01:42 PM on August 30

Do defibrillators make a real difference? It feels like a piece of security theater in a way, though I suppose at major sporting events there's definitely at least one person close at hand with an idea of how to operate the thing. And I'm done playing Devil's Advocate for the day.

posted by yerfatma at 02:42 PM on August 30

Do defibrillators make a real difference? It feels like a piece of security theater in a way, though I suppose at major sporting events there's definitely at least one person close at hand with an idea of how to operate the thing. If they save one life (and they certainly have), then they have saved more lives than TSA confiscation of water bottles, nail clippers and the like (speaking of security theater). I suppose the question is whether the aggregate cost of stocking places such as schools, sports stadiums, airports, etc. with defibrillators is greater than the cost of the lives of people who would otherwise die without them.

posted by holden at 03:07 PM on August 30

Jiri Fischer

posted by gradys_kitchen at 03:37 PM on August 30

I may have to give up Devil's Advocacy for good. It's that or watch the Keanu/ Pacino flick for tips.

posted by yerfatma at 03:58 PM on August 30

My Dr.'s son collapsed during a high school football game a year ago and was saved by a portable defib. When government can be a good thing.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 07:15 PM on September 03

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