OJ Simpson and CTE?

I still remember some of the conversations about OJ Simpson I had years back as we first started to discuss concussions and CTE at our FootballVets Conferences. Many of his old friends and teammates would describe a perfect role model during his playing days with the Bills and how he would end up being the last guy to leave the stadium after a game because he wanted to make sure he signed autographs for all his young fans. A totally nice guy in his playing days who completely changed post-career. “We had no idea what happened to him!”

Of course, his original murder case was back in 1994 when he allegedly murdered his wife, Nicole, and her friend Ronald Goldman. The car chase that was broadcast on live television and the subsequent trial and verdict of Not Guilty continue to generate media buzz even after his conviction for a different crime in Las Vegas – robbery and kidnapping – from 2007.

OJ is actually coming up for his first parole hearing this summer as he turns 70. If he gets turned down, he’ll have to wait another 5 years in 2022.

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Former Titans Tight End Frank Wycheck Believes He Has CTE

After 11 years of playing in the NFL followed by years of depression and cognitive issues, Frank Wycheck (Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans 1993 – 2003) publicly acknowledged that his post-career problems are the direct result of CTE from all the concussions he received as a tight end.

Wycheck also pointed out the fact that players like him with CTE will likely not be receiving anything from the NFL concussion settlement that was recently finalized.

Next Steps for NFL Concussion Settlement

Earlier this morning, Judge Anita Brody from US District Court in Philadelphia opened a status conference for retired players to update everyone on the next steps to apply and qualify for their potential settlements. In a first, the conference was actually held at a conference center and livestreamed with video and slides to detail the steps and timeline that retired players will need to follow in order to ensure that you’re registered for the entire process.

Each player will initially be given baseline tests to establish their current conditions and instructions will be provided once you’re registered. And keep in mind that the deadline for registration is set for August 7, 2017.
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Don Brady: Symptoms of TBI

EDITOR’S NOTE:

As a response to Brian Nemeth’s comment on an earlier post last month (NFL vs NHL: Comparing Concussions & Coverups), our friend Dr. Don Brady wrote a long and detailed comment about the symptoms of concussions.

We felt it that would probably serve our audience better as a separate post. Hope this helps provide some useful information for our readers out there. This is not intended as medical advice; if you suspect that you or someone you know may have suffered a brain injury, please seek medical attention immediately.

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Why the Old Players Deserve More Respect

Sometimes one story leads to another. Over the weekend, I sent out a post from parody site The Onion about Roger Goodell’s annual homage to the NFL Cemetery as part of their annual respect for all that the older players have contributed to the game (yeah right – like that’s ever gonna happen!). But sometimes The Onion’s posts are so well-written, they’re often mistaken as true!

So here we are on Super Bowl Sunday waiting for the game and an e-mail comes in from one of our friends who played back in the late 50’s and early 60’s – John Houser (LA Rams: 1957 – ’59, Right Guard, Dallas Cowboys: 1960 – ’62, Center & Guard, St. Louis Football Cardinals: 1963, Guard & Center). Continue reading

Save Your Brain Sport Families Launch “Faces of CTE” Awareness Campaign

Save Your Brain Sport Families Launch “Faces of CTE” Awareness Campaign

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First Annual CTE Awareness Day 2017

CTE Awareness Day 2017

Official Faces of CTE Press Conference Launches Mon., Jan. 30th

Cyndy Feasel is preparing for a press conference scheduled this Monday, January 30th in Houston to announce a new organization called Faces of CTE. She will be joined by several other members who share similar experiences from the aftereffects of brain injuries and CTE; their goal is to raise awareness and expand the focus from the NFL and professional football as fans head for Super Bowl next weekend.

Cyndy’s family was torn apart in the years before the death of her ex-husband, Grant Feasel, who played most of his NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks. The official cause of his death was liver failure but a subsequent autopsy of his brain revealed advanced stages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Cyndy had finally gotten divorced from Grant following years of erratic behavior that only made sense following the post-mortem diagnosis of CTE. The years of self-medication with alcohol along with loss of self-control probably sound familiar to many other NFL families who have also endured similar experiences.

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Concussions, Brain Damage and Tau

A good summary on what we know so far about tau. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) can only be diagnosed post-mortem today but hopefully, new tests are currently undergoing trials that will confirm the presence of CTE (high tau) in the living.

NFL vs NHL: Comparing Concussions & Coverups

Retired NFL player Shawn Stuckey (New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) has been practicing law for many years since he left his football career. Shawn had been involved with the earlier NFL concussion lawsuits and has also been representing players from the NHL recently. Here’s a short interview earlier today on ESPN’s OTL talking about his client, NHL enforcer Mike Peluso (Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames) and the NHL’s blatant coverup.

Sound familiar?

The REAL NFL: As Only a Widow Can Tell It

Grant Feasel – Seattle Seahawks

Another all-too-familiar story on the long-term impact of concussions. Over the years, we’ve chronicled so many stories of the damage not only to the players but on their families during and after their careers in football. And – as always – the general lack of empathy and support from the League and its owners. Once you’re gone, you’re history.

Most of you know that football has never really been high on my list of priorities. But as I got more involved with the retired players and the fight for their earned benefits over the years, I was in absolute disbelief as an outsider at the complete disregard for the survival of those older players who need help the most. As a non-fan, I heard so many sad stories from senior players of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s era who were actually paid very little to help build this sport into the $13 billion industry it is today (and still growing). And even today, the majority of fans still have no idea that this continues for most of these older players (one more reason the NFL never wanted the concussion lawsuit to go to trial).

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve seen the endless stories and documentation of how most of these men have been given absolutely no benefits for their sacrifices to the sport they loved. And at one of our Conferences, we even had a panel of wives (and ex-wives) who talked about the never-ending battles against a greedy employer who has done everything to fight and deny legitimate applications for their disability and pension benefits (from back in 2013 – click HERE to read and watch). And it wasn’t just the League; even their union, the NFLPA – especially in the Upshaw years – helped to make sure that nearly 95% of retired players were historically denied those earned benefits. Denials may have dropped to 90% under current PA Executive Director deMaurice Smith but the majority of retired players are still left on their own, from years of working in what is probably one of the most physically-demanding jobs in America. If it was any other job – construction, mining, firefighting – you know their union would have stood up for them.

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Matt Chaney: ‘Safe’ Football Failed in 1880s, Talking Points Lived On

Our friend, Matt Chaney, continues to document the long history of football (and concussions) with this detailed piece on how the coverup on injuries has been going on since the 1800’s! Some serious reading for the holidays!

‘Safe’ Football Failed in 1880s, Talking Points Lived On



Copyright ©2016 for historical arrangement

American football ‘experts’ developed timeless promises for preventing injuries 130 years ago but failed, repeatedly, to solve anything

Brutality of American football was under control and diminishing, game leaders declared by the late 1880s. Problems of injury and “slugging” were basically resolved, winnowed down to isolated incidents through a decade of reform efforts, they said.

Football advocates agreed. “The game is as safe as any outdoor game can well be… in the larger colleges,” wrote Alexander Johnston, Princeton professor and football booster. Johnston’s how-to football article for Century Illustrated Magazine in 1887 was complemented with artist renderings of Foul Tackle and Fair Tackle for instructive contrast. “With good physical condition in the players, the requisite training, and suitable grounds, the game is not only one of the best of outdoor sports, but one of the safest,” Prof. Johnston assured readers.

College football leadership amounted to a few young men, some playing yet. They said problems were resolved after multiple “reform” efforts. Rule-makers for the Intercollegiate Football Association now exercised “almost sole control over the general conduct of the players upon the field,” promised Walter Camp, the IFA committee leader, referee, Yale co-coach and football writer. “We shall see a much more quiet [scrimmage] line and a much steadier style of playing, characterized by clever running but sharper tackling. Captains will train their men to keep their tempers.” Continue reading

What You NEED to Know about the NFL Concussion Settlement

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Our guest post today is from attorney Dan Chamberlain with the law firm Cohen & Malad LLP from Indianapolis IN. Dan has also been Chairman of the Brain Injury Association of America since 2011.

With the final lawsuit appeals being set aside last week, it appears that the NFL’s concussion lawsuit settlement will be moving forward in the new year. Many of you have been reaching out to find out more about what your next steps should be. While we are not offering legal advice ourselves, Dan’s piece is a solid overview on some of the most critical deadlines and points each of you will have to know.

Contact your attorney for advice.

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Supreme Court Rules Against Challenges to NFL Concussion Settlement

As hopeful as some might have been for a ruling that would have allowed a challenge to the terms of the NFL’s final settlement offer in the ongoing concussion lawsuit, the US Supreme Court came down against any further challenges that have been made so far. This looks to open the way for the settlement approved in 2015 by Judge Anita Brody to proceed. No discovery. No preliminary hearings and challenges. No trial. Imagine if the Big Tobacco trials had gone this way.

Here’s the coverage from NPR earlier today:

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First CTE Lawsuit Finally Filed!

Well, as we wait for things to settle down following the NFL concussion lawsuit and appeal drama, the question that kept coming up has been, What about CTE?!

From CTE Awareness Foundation

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