Discussing Concussions and Other Brain Injuries with NFL Players

Discussing Concussions and Other Brain Injuries with NFL Players

The Game before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL introduced me to dozens of former NFL players. Many interviewed for the book, and I became acquainted with several others. Knowing that, people often ask me about concussions and the potential consequences of playing in the NFL. As stated in the book’s Afterword, the seriousness of some situations is quite real. Much of the book covers players’ golden moments, so I’m not claiming to be an expert. I have no medical experience, and I’m in no position to make claims or suggest solutions. My objective here is to discuss what I’ve personally seen and heard, and to inform readers about a couple of websites retired players frequent for information. This post isn’t meant to induce controversy. I discussed head injuries with several players. Buddy Lex, the man who set the NCAA single-season touchdown pass record in 1949, spoke about his college teammate Lou Creekmur in The Game before […]

Legendary Insights — Eric Hipple: Depression affects many after NFL career ends

My father-in-law and I recently heard former Detroit Lions quarterback Eric Hipple speak. Hipple, who quarterbacked the Lions to the 1983 NFC Central Division title, reviewed his career and shared about his current work at the University of Michigan Depression Center. He noted that 50% of NFL players battle depression after retirement. ALMOST DIDN’T SURVIVE ACCIDENT BEFORE COLLEGE Hipple accepted a scholarship to play at Utah State. A serious dune buggy accident nearly ended everything for him about six weeks before leaving for Logan. His vehicle flipped, and Eric suffered a fractured skull and separated shoulder. His doctor told him he’d never play football again. Eric’s father promptly fired that doctor, and Hipple began recovering under another doctor’s supervision. Hipple recovered well enough that he led the Aggies to conference championships his junior and senior years. He placed sixth in the NCAA for passing his senior year. The Detroit Lions drafted him as the first pick of the fourth round […]

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