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The Injury Report

The Injury ReportDr. Rick Herman has combined his passion for medicine and football, bringing a different perspective to the world of sports radio. Easton, Mass.

Boston [02.24.04] For the past nine years, Dr. Rick Herman, the chief of emergency services at Brockton Hospital, has lent his medical expertise to the most unlikely of audiences: New England Patriots fans. A graduate of Tufts School of Medicine, Herman hosts a weekly segment on the WBCN-FM Patriots' pregame radio show, lending medical commentary to the football discussion.

"I do tend to watch the team physician and training staff and their sideline evaluations," Herman told Brockton's local newspaper The Enterprise. "My take on the game isn't to study the offensive and defensive strategy, but to look for who gets hurt, how and why. I look at the weather and the extremes of climate and how they affect the injury scene. I look at things with a different eye."

It was this "different eye" that got Herman noticed in 1996 by Patriots head coach Bill Parcells. After posing a medical question every week at Parcells' late-morning press conferences, Herman attracted the outspoken coach's attention.

"He lost it and yelled, ‘What's wrong with you? Every week you ask me a medical question; are you doing some sort of expose? What are you, a doctor or something?'" Herman told The Boston Globe. "And I said, ‘Well, yes, I am a doctor,' and he immediately started apologizing. The sports reporters tease me that I'm the only guy who can shut up Bill Parcells."

Parcells certainly hasn't been the only member of the football community to notice Herman's unique viewpoint on the game.

"It's funny watching a game with Rick and watching what he watches," Herman's co-host Bill Abbate told the Globe. "Usually, it's not something the rest of us would watch; his eyes are tuned in to players as they come off the field. [Last season] during a rash of Patriots injuries, he noticed immediately that [linebacker Mike] Vrabel had broken his arm, so we knew before we were even officially notified."

From high-profile injuries to the designer steroid THG, Herman's reports have covered a broad array of topics. "[We've covered] just about every element of sports medicine over the years," the Tufts graduate told the Globe.

Patriots fans and radio listeners appear to want more.

"There's a huge appetite for and curiosity about injuries in football because they are such a huge part of the game now," Herman told the Globe. "As a physician reporting, I have an added sense of credibility and with that comes an added responsibility. By virtue of having MD after your name, it does give you more believability."

Herman's radio career began in the mid-80's, when he did an on-air spot on WBCN's "Boston Sunday Review." He joined the Patriots' pregame show in 1994, recording his segment in the studio for the first two seasons and then on site for home games for the past seven.

"I'm in my ninth season," Herman told the newspaper, "and I'm looking forward to doing another nine."

Juggling his hectic hospital schedule with his Sunday afternoon radio spot can be difficult at times, however Herman loves what he does.

"As with any health-care job, mine's stressful," said Herman. "It's important that every person has some kind of hobby or distraction in their life."

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