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11.07.2018 13:00
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The 28km from Spotless Stadium to Sydney Airport last Saturday night could prove the most important bus ride in the Western Bulldogs AFL history.Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says that trip was when his players switched from joyous preliminary final winners to grand final men on a mission.The wild scenes in the Bulldogs rooms after their win over the Giants have prompted speculation about their emotions ahead of the grand final against Sydney.No-one doubts the Swans will be ready, especially after their grand final drubbing two years ago from Hawthorn.But there is plenty of speculation about whether the Bulldogs will have the right head space on Saturday at the MCG.If Matthew Suckling is not a late inclusion, they will be the first team since St Kilda in 1997 to go into the big game without any AFL grand final experience.But Beveridge is adamant his team will be ready.We gave them time to quickly celebrate the victory, he told Channel Nines Footy Show.There was so much emotion in the rooms.But we were on the bus pretty quickly and I think as soon as we were on the journey out to the airport, you realise youre coming back home to another task at hand and the biggest game of our lives, really.So it hasnt been too hard, theyve kept themselves pretty grounded.This will be the Bulldogs first grand final since 1961 and their only premiership was in 1954.On Friday, club history will be made when they take part in the grand final parade.Apart from the Giants the Gold Coast, the Bulldogs were the only team yet to feature in the parade - a grand final week fixture since 1977.Beveridge is disappointed that Roarke Smith and Lukas Webb, who dropped out of their team emergencies for the grand final, cannot take part.Its a shame we cant cram a few more players into the cars, Beveridge said.Its another poignant moment in whats happening currently at the football club. 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BOSTON -- Doctors who decide whether an NFL player is healthy enough to go into the game shouldnt be paid by the teams that have a stake in winning and losing -- an undeniable conflict of interest.Thats what a report released on Thursday by Harvard University experts in medicine, law and ethics says.The study by the NFL Players Association-funded Football Players Health Study also recommends a short-term injured reserve for athletes recovering from a concussion, much like the system that baseball adopted five years ago.The 500-page report includes 76 recommendations addressed to 20 NFL stakeholders -- everyone from players and teams to equipment manufacturers and government regulators. The biggest message: Player safety will never be the top priority as long as those involved have competing calls on their loyalty.So long as the club doctor is chosen, paid and reviewed by the club to both care for players and advise the club, the doctor will have, at a minimum, tacit pressures or subconscious desires to please the club by doing what is in the clubs best interests, the report said.This is not a moral judgment about them as competent professionals or devoted individuals, but rather a simple fact of the current organizational structure of their position in which they simultaneously perform at least two roles that are not necessarily compatible.Its a conclusion that was similar to that reached in an Associated Press survey of 100 players across the league last season. Asked if they thought the leagues clubs, coaches and team doctors have the athletes best interests at heart when it comes to health and safety, only 47 said yes.To resolve the conflict of interest, the report recommends that the league and the union contribute to a fund used to pay doctors assigned to teams.It should be common sense to avoid a conflict of interest between Teams and Doctors, former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Anthony Davis, who retired -- for the second time -- at the age of 26 after repeated concussions, said on Twitter on Thursday.Although the study called the arrangement an undeniable conflict of interest, the league did in fact deny it.In a 33-page response , the NFL said it was disappointed that the report appeared to start with the premise that the health care system in the NFL suffers from an `inherent conflict of interest.The report ultimately promotes the untenable and impractical recommendation that NFL players receive care from `two distinct groups of medical professionals, the league wrote, saying that would have unintended but extremely detrimental effects on NFL players care.ddddddddddddThe NFL said the report fails to note any examples where a doctor put a teams interest ahead of the players, or establish any link between a doctors job security and player or team performance. The league said the collective bargaining agreement establishes that team doctors responsibility is to the player only, and that they are bound by the AMA and other professional codes of ethics.Players also have the right to seek a second opinion from a doctor of their own choosing, the league said.Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty said he has hasnt had a problem with the current system, but he liked the reports suggestions. As an eight-year veteran, he said, he is comfortable taking charge of his medical care, but a rookie might be intimidated.As players and grown men, as anyone (who) goes to a doctor, a doctor reports directly to you, he said. And I dont think it should be any different within a team.The NFL has already added layers of independent physicians to its concussion protocol, including unaffiliated athletic trainers and neurotrauma consultants on game day whose role is to spot players with possible concussions and, if necessary, stop play. The league says the role of these consultants is to support the team medical staffs in the diagnosis of in-game concussions.I dont really know how it works right now. I assume that third-party guy has enough pull to where if he thinks somebody is bad, hes out, said Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro, who went through the process against Dallas last week after he was slow to get up following a hit to the neck.After talking to the team doctor and the independent consultant, he was cleared to return and only missed one play.Obviously theres a conflict of interest (concern) with the team, and obviously getting rid of that is one thing. But for the most part I thought it was pretty fair and well done, DeCastro said. It was really good the way it kind of worked out.---AP Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker and Sports Writers Eddie Pells, Janie McCauley and Will Graves contributed to this story.---For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Cheap NFL Jerseys Throwback Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Hoodies Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Discount Jerseys ' ' '

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