Watch Sydney Seau's Tribute To Her Father At His Hall Of Fame Induction

Junior Seau told his daughter Sydney before his death that he wanted her to speak on his behalf if he ever made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Hall wasn’t having any of that, though they eventually relented and gave the 21-year-old a few minutes to talk about her dad. She notably doesn’t mention his… »8/08/15 10:14pm8/08/15 10:14pm

Retiring From NFL To Juggle Grenades Is A Bad Idea, Says Mike Florio

Bright and promising 24-year-old 49ers linebacker Chris Borland announced his retirement yesterday, after just one season in the NFL. He wants to preserve his neurological and cognitive functioning, and figures a decade of smashing his head into things isn't the best way to do it. Seems reasonable! Might I… »3/17/15 11:57am3/17/15 11:57am

Promising NFL Rookie Retires Because Of Concerns Over Head Trauma

Despite being a rookie drafted in the third round, linebacker Chris Borland was an important part of the 49ers defense last season, even starting eight games. With Patrick Willis retiring and Justin Smith reportedly considering the same, the 49ers will rely on Borland even more heavily this season. Or, were going… »3/16/15 10:43pm3/16/15 10:43pm

What Happens To Enforcers When Hockey Uses Them Up?

More winter Friday nights than not through my first few years of high school, I was in my usual seat at the local arena, three or four rows up behind the home team's bench. On the ice, the Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa 67's, a group of—boys, really, aged 16 to 20. A handful of them would go on to be drafted by NHL… »3/16/15 3:00pm3/16/15 3:00pm

Tony Dorsett On CTE: I Didn't Know "The End Was Going To Be Like This"

In 2013, NFL hall of famer Tony Dorsett was among the first few living football players to be diagnosed with signs of the chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease that manifests as dementia and depression. It's gotten worse—by definition, it'll get worse until he dies—and in a radio interview, the… »2/09/15 3:50pm2/09/15 3:50pm

Football Player Who Was Convinced He Had CTE Found To Have CTE

The really heartbreaking thing about today's Associated Press profile of former college linebacker Michael Keck, who died last year at age 25 from unrelated causes, is just how damned banal it is. Normal kid plays football. Normal kid suffers head injuries. Normal kid turns violent and depressed and forgetful, dies… »8/26/14 9:08am8/26/14 9:08am

Chart: How Does Weight Affect The Lifespans Of Pro Football Players?

Over on the Reddit sub r/dataisbeautiful, users have been playing around with an interesting dataset (pulled from Pro Football Reference) that looks at the lifespan of pro players from the late 19th-century to present. The chart above, by user "zipcitytrucker" breaks down the age of death by playing weight, finding… »11/26/13 12:28pm11/26/13 12:28pm

Is The New CTE Test For Football Players A Good One?

November 6th was a landmark day in the NFL's ongoing head trauma debacle. We learned that Tony Dorsett, the 59-year-old Hall of Fame running back who'd recently been battling depression and memory problems, had been diagnosed with early signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Not long after the story… »11/14/13 3:40pm11/14/13 3:40pm

Tony Dorsett Is One Of The First Living Players To Show Signs Of CTE

We diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the neurological disease thought to be ravaging former NFL players, at autopsy. But now, for the first time, we're beginning to find ways to discover it in players before they're dead. Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett is one of the first to be tested and found to have the… »11/07/13 12:22pm11/07/13 12:22pm

The Hidden Victims Of The NFL's Concussion Crisis

Late last fall, as the NFL playoff picture began to take shape, I was summoned to the psychiatric ward of my hospital. As an HIV specialist, I routinely encounter patients with mental health issues who have trouble taking their medications, but when I read the page requesting my consultation, I noticed something… »10/10/13 1:32pm10/10/13 1:32pm

Brain Damage May Have Played Role In Death Of Former Quarterback

In May, former Division II football star and Ravens quarterback Cullen Finnerty was found dead in the Michigan woods near his family's fishing cottage. At the time, Finnerty's cause of death was not apparent, but an autopsy has revealed that Finnerty died of pneumonia, and that chronic brain damage known as Chronic… »8/08/13 1:45pm8/08/13 1:45pm

Report: David Chao Steered Junior Seau's Brain To NFL's Chosen Brain Bank

The competition to study the brains of former NFL players is ugly; almost as ugly as the league's decades of denying that concussions lead to long-term health issues. But the fight over the late Junior Seau took it to a whole new level—and a key player was controversial Chargers doctor David Chao, who stepped in to… »4/29/13 2:35pm4/29/13 2:35pm

New Study Reveals That CTE May Be Detectable In Living Patients

A new study, published by researchers at UCLA in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, shows evidence that Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) can be detected in living patients via positron emission tomography (PET) scans. CTE is a particular type of brain damage that causes depression, memory loss, and… »1/22/13 3:20pm1/22/13 3:20pm