NFL

Dr. Anne Mckee Forces NFL Players to Consider Perils of Football

Credit Rick Osentoski / Associated Press

Most of you were not shocked by the departure of Rob Ninkovich and John Urschel from the NFL. You were probably a little disturbed when Ben Roethlisberger also began actively discussing the possibility of retirement but you were not shocked. Many sites that offers NFL betting this season are probably not getting much attention these days.

Doctor Ann McKee’s CTE Study left a lot of people shaken. The director of Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center analyzed the brains of 111 former athletes who were deceased. The athletes had displayed disturbing symptoms beforehand so it came as no surprise when she discovered brain disease amongst them.

The shocking aspect was that an astounding 99 percent of these brains were all determined to have a brain disease. McKee will be the first person to tell you that her findings are not conclusive. If they were taken at face value, then the doctor’s CTE study proves that 99 percent of all NFL players will get CTE at some point in their lives, and that is a truly frightening.

Doctor Mckee would have to do a far more comprehensive study involving random samples of former players’ brains in order to come up with a more definitive conclusion. After all, there are many former players that have never shown signs of a brain disease.

Right now, though, such concerns are not really an issue. If anything, Doctor McKee’s findings further cement the connection between CTE and the frequent hits football players keep taking to the head.

Rob Roethlisberger has good reason to take pause and to consider the repercussions of his career. There is no way to determine how many repetitive hits to the head it takes to elicit CTE and it is difficult to figure out how long it takes for the ailment to manifest.

Former football players that have read Doctor McKee’s study are probably on edge right now, trying to figure out whether they should prepare for a future laden with mental health complications.

Can you imagine what it will take for Rob to put his helmet on and go bumping skulls with other players? If he didn’t know before, Rob now knows that every hit he takes increases his chances of suffering from brain disease down the line.

Most football players will tell you that the rush of the game is such that, even with the health hazards involved, they would be hard-pressed to give up the game they love for the sake of a brighter future.

But then again, CTE Studies like the one carried out by Doctor McKee have a way of putting things into perspective. Rob might choose to play another season in the NFL, but one wonders whether he will have the mental faculties to perform like he used to.

Succeeding in the NFL requires one to manifest a certain amount of recklessness. You must be willing to throw yourself into the game with unbridled ferocity because that is what every opponent on the field is doing.

CTE studies like this one force athletes to pause and to contemplate their lives. It is easy to put one’s body in peril for the sake of a paycheck when you are young and at your physical peak. It isn’t until you begin to age and the health consequences of the game of football begin to set in that you question whether it was actually worth it.

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