As the Minnesota Vikings train at Minnesota State University, Mankato, for the last time this summer, team officials and fans alike are awash in sentimental thoughts. Teddy Bridgewater Jerseys Memories surface from the meals they ate at institutions such as Jake's Pizza, with its framed photographs of players and coaches dating back six decades. Adrian Peterson Jerseys They range from the bizarre -- Remember Dimitrius Underwood, a first-round draft choice who reported to camp in military fatigues and went missing the next day? -- to the tragic.
For those who were here on Aug. 1, 2001, it is impossible to experience Mankato without staggering at the memory of Stringer's death. Even 16 years to the day later, we see the physical and emotional triggers, and it is no less shocking that a healthy 27-year-old star died because he got overheated during a humid football practice.
I hope that Stringer's memory, and the frightening lessons of his demise, will not fade when the Vikings shift their camp to their new year-round facility next summer. Anthony Barr Jerseys His death spurred overdue changes in the way professional sports teams train in summer heat, and efforts that culminated in the creation of the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) have improved conditions for members of the military and outdoor laborers as well.
But on the anniversary of Stringer's death and during the Vikings' final trip to Mankato, it's important to understand how much work remains. Brett Favre Jerseys Tragically, the number of documented cases of heat stroke deaths at the high school and college football levels has risen since 2001, as the accompanying chart shows. KSI has developed a heat acclimation plan targeted at state-level high school sports associations, but fewer than half of the states have adopted it.
"The big thing is that we know death from heat stroke is 100 percent preventable," said Douglas Casa, the CEO of KSI and a professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. Harrison Smith Jerseys "Globally, we've made a lot of progress in saving people's lives. There has not been a single death in cases of heat stroke where our guidelines were followed. But there are still these hard-core situations, mostly at the high school level in July when kids are working out without supervision, where they're not doing the things they could, and it sometimes ends in tragedy."
Founded in 2010 at UConn with contributions from the NFL, Gatorade and other corporations, KSI has worked to set a medically based standard for exertion in heat. Its recommendations include a number of protocols that could have saved Stringer's life.