The Price of Playing: Issues and Ales examines football and brain trauma
On December 1, 2012, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his fiancée Kassandra Perkins then committed suicide in the Arrowhead practice facility parking lot. In September 2014, Staten Island neuropathologist Dr. Piotr Kozlowski discovered “neurofibrillary tangles of tau protein, which is identified with chronic traumatic encephalopathy [CTE],” indicating that Belcher was suffering from brain damage at the time of the tragedy, according to ESPN.
Thursday, July 23, WBHM/90.3 FM continues its Issues and Ales educational series with a panel discussion with players, coaches, parents and scientists about the risks of playing the sport of the South.
The panel will explore the link between football and brain trauma: What should change to protect players’ health? How are health concerns changing who plays football? How does it change the culture around football, and what will it mean for the future of the sport?
As Belcher’s story continues to unfold before an international audience on bated breath, lawyers representing Belcher’s and Perkins’ daughter have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL team, and Belcher’s mother has filed a similar suit accusing the Chiefs of ignoring Belcher’s complaints of concussion-like symptoms during games against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009 and against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012 — both cases potentially totaling $4 million in settlements.
According ESPN, the lawsuits allege that Belcher “suffered what should have been recognized as an acute concussion,” but was never removed from the game and that Belcher exhibited signs of CTE: changes in his mood and behavior.
The trial’s outcome could impact the rules surrounding football injuries in the NFL, change the fate of the game, as NCAA and high school players also begin to step forward as survivors of brain trauma, and serve as a platform for researching effective prevention methods.
This free event will be held at Workplay, 500 23rd Street South, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from Greg’s Hotdogs and Workplay. For more information, visit wbhm.org.
THURSDAY, JULY 16
Ten Percent Thursday — Rojo. 2921 Highland Ave. This week, Rojo’s Ten Percent Thursday will donate ten percent of sales to the Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham Southern College. Rojo’s fine chefs and bartenders will be serving fig appetizers and rosemary-infused cocktails with ingredients fresh from the SEC’s garden. 5–10 p.m. For more information, visit rojobirmingham.com.
Better Burger Project — Galley and Garden. 2220 Highland Ave. S. As a participant in national contest James Beard Foundation’s Better Burger Project™, Galley and Garden’s chef James Boyce presents his version of a healthier, more sustainable burger: a grass-fed beef, shiitake and oyster mushroom burger topped with crispy onion and barbeque aioli. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Through July 31. $12. For more information, visit galleyandgarden.com.
SATURDAY, JULY 18
Chef Demonstration — Pepper Place Market. 2829 Second Ave. S. Nationally recognized Birmingham chef, Chris Hastings, will share a dish that reflects the award-winning flavors of Hot and Hot Fish Club. 9 a.m. Free. For more information, visit pepperplacemarket.com.
The Great Alabama Tomato Recipe Contest — Pepper Place Market. 2829 Second Ave. S. The finalists of Pepper Place’s Great Tomato Recipe Contest go head-to-head before the judges in the final round of competition. Morgan Murphy will emcee the competition, and Tom Wagner of Wagner Seeds will be a special guest. 10:15 a.m. Free. For more information, visit pepperplacemarket.com.
Lulu’s Drag Brunch Exclusive — Continental Bakery Downtown. 1820 Fourth Ave. N. Brunch gets a pop of pizzazz during Lulu’s Drag Brunch Exclusive double feature. The typically sold-out shows feature some of the Southeast’s best performers. Mimosas and other cocktails will be served along with Continental Bakery’s brunch menu. 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. and 12:30–2:30 p.m. Free. To make reservations, call (205) 323-4110.
Alabama Tomato Festival and Dinner — Stone Hollow Farmstead. 2006 Dead Hollow Rd. N. Harpersville. Stone Hollow Farmstead will be hosting their first Alabama Tomato Festival. Vendors, chefs and farmers from across the state will offer education, samples and farm tours. Chef David Bancroft from Acre in Auburn will prepare a dinner with a cocktail hour and live entertainment after the festival. Festival: 1–5 p.m. $20. Dinner: 6–10 p.m. $110. For more information, visit alabamatomatofestival.com.
Shelby County BBQ Cook-Off — Shelby County Arts Council Gallery. 104 Mildred St., Columbiana. Teams of barbecue chefs will compete to win Best Ribs, Best Sauce, Chef’s Choice and People’s Choice awards during the Shelby County Shindig BBQ Cook-Off. Ticketholders can sample barbecue from each competing team. Beer, cocktails and wine will be available for purchase. 1–7 p.m. Free to attend, $10 to taste. For more information, visit shelbycountyartscouncil.com.
Summer Art Show Ice Cream Reception — Naked Art Gallery. Naked Art Gallery. 3831 Clairmont Ave. S. 1–3 p.m. Free. For more information, visit nakedartusa.com.
MONDAY, JULY 20
Thinking Man’s Trivia – Rogue Tavern. 2312 2nd Ave. N. Josh Rutsky hosts Birmingham’s hardest trivia game each Monday night at Rogue, featuring challenging questions, friendly service and a great on-tap beer selection, plus inappropriate team names sure to earn their creators a spot in the fiery pits of Hell. (Note: thinking women also welcome.) 8:30 p.m. Free. For more information, visit Thinking Man’s Trivia on Facebook.
TUESDAY, JULY 21
Art Break — Birmingham Museum of Art. 2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Every Tuesday, the Birmingham Museum of Art invites the public to spend its lunch break with a tour and arts discussion. This week Goodrich intern and Friends of American Art Curatorial Research fellow James Denison will lead the discussion Industrious Devotion: John Taylor Arms’ Gothic Vision. Following the tour, guests will receive a free dessert with their purchase of a lunch from Oscar’s Café. 12–12:30 p.m. Free. For more information, visit artsbma.org.
Science Café — John’s City Diner. 112 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. John’s City Diner and McWane Science Center give the floor to scientific professionals during this monthly dinner, trivia and lecture event. Dr. Dana Ehret from the Alabama Museum of Natural History will examine the paleontology behind the summer blockbuster Jurassic World. 6–8 p.m. For more information, visit mcwane.org.
Ten Percent Tuesday — Rojo. 2921 Highland Ave. This week, Rojo’s Ten Percent Tuesday will donate ten percent of dinner and drink sales to the Alabama Rivers Alliance. Rojo’s diverse menu includes classic American staples and new twists on Mexican fare. 5–10 p.m. For more information, visit rojobirmingham.com.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 22
Lunch and Learn — Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 2612 Lane Park Rd. On Wednesdays the Gardens invite the public to spend its lunch break discovering new approaches to gardening. This week participants may bring their own meal and learn about planting in shade. 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Free. For more information, visit bbgardens.org.