Head-on collision

A new book reveals the moment the NFL could no longer ignore concussion science

Originally Published: October 2, 2013
By Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru | ESPN The Magazine

BEHOLD THE MIGHTY WOODPECKER. On average, it weighs about 2 ounces and can generate up to 1,000 g-forces while pecking at tree limbs 12,000 times a day. Yet the woodpecker's brain remains pristine and unscathed, a fact that has intrigued researchers for decades. Nature essentially has turned the woodpecker into a shock absorber from beak to foot. The bird's uneven bill deflects much of the impact of its incessant head banging. A third interior eyelid prevents its eyeballs ...

Read full story


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.