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NFL News & Notes: Dementia study serious stuff

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Here are a few stories of interest around the National Football League today.

A study commissioned by the National Football League reports that Alzheimer’s disease or similar memory-related diseases appear to have been diagnosed in the league’s former players vastly more often than in the national population — including a rate of 19 times the normal rate for men ages 30 through 49.

"This is a game-changer — the whole debate, the ball’s now in the N.F.L.’s court," said Dr. Julian Bailes, the chairman of the department of neurosurgery at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, and a former team physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers whose research found similar links four years ago. "They always say, ‘We’re going to do our own studies.’ And now they have."

I recently tweeted this:

"Another one of those fan maybe-overstatement-maybe-not thoughts: Eric Mangini was the worst NFL head coach hire in 25 years."

Now, I'll admit -- that's pure fanbole. I cannot stand what Eric Mangini has done to the Browns, the team of my childhood. I cannot stand the lack of respect he has shown for the team's history, the Mickey Mouse game he plays with quarterbacks, the amazing knack he has for getting his players to not play hard for him or the stupid fines he hands out like he's Principal Vernon from "The Breakfast Club." Don't mess with the bull, young man, you'll get the horns.

But here's the thing: Based on the Twitter responses I've seen ... I'm actually starting to believe that I'm right. I'm actually starting to believe that Mangini really was the worst head coach hire in 25 years. The responses have mostly been to list other coaches who were worse hires than Mangini. But you know what? I don't think any of those hires WERE worse than Mangini.