HS Football Player Diaries CTE Symptoms for 5 Years; Then Kills Himself

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  1. allothersnsused

    allothersnsused Do it for the culture
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    Maybe not threadworthy, but I read this and found it horrifying. Not really another great thread to post it in.

    The star of our high school football team recently took his own life out of nowhere, leaving behind a wife and a child. Makes me wonder.

    http://www.gq.com/story/the-concussion-diaries-high-school-football-cte

    The Concussion Diaries: One High School Football Player’s Secret Struggle with CTE
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    BY
    REID FORGRAVE
    3 hours ago
    Zac Easter knew what was happening to him. He knew why. And he knew that it was only going to get worse. So he decided to write it all down—to let the world know what football had done to him, what he'd done to his body and his brain for the game he loved. And then he shot himself.

    My Last Wishes
    It's taken me about 5 months to write all of this. Sorry for the bad grammar in a lot of spots.
    I WANT MY BRAIN DONATED TO THE BRAIN BANK!! I WANT MY BRAIN DONATED TO THE SPORTS LEGACY INSTITUE A.K.A THE CONCUSSION FOUNDATION. If you go to the concussion foundation website you can see where there is a spot for donatation. I want my brain donated because I don't know what happened to me and I know the concussions had something to do with it.
    Please please please give me the cheapest burial possible. I don't want anything fancy and I want to be cremated. Once cremated, I want my ashes spread in the timber on the side hill where I shot my 10 point buck. That is where I was happiest and that I where I want to lay. Feel free to spread my ashes around the timber if you'd like, but just remember on the side hill is where I would like most of my remains. I am truly sorry if I put you in a financial burden. I just cant live with this pain any more.
    I don't want anything expensive at my funeral or what ever it is. Please please please I beg you to choose the cheapest route and not even buy me a burial plot at a cemetary.... I also do not want a military funeral. If there are color guardsmen or anyone else at my funerial or whatever you have I will haunt you forever.
    I want levi to keep playing clash of clans on my account. I am close to max have spent a lot of time playing that game. Though you think its stupid, I ask you keep playing it for me when you can and let my fellow clan mates know what happened. My phones passcode is 111111, so that's six 1's....
    Levi gets my car, it will need a oil change and breaks/tires done her shortly. Please take care of old red. It will need cleaned out as well because I am a slob.
    Thank you for being the best family in the world. I will watch over you all and please take my last wishes into consideration. Do not do something I do no want. Just remember, I don't want a military funeral like grandpas. It is my last wishes and last rights.
    I am with the lord now.
    -Look, Im sorry every one for the choice I made. Its wrong and we all know it.

    November 13, 2015
    Zac Easter texted his girlfriend shortly before 10 A.M.

    “Can you call me when you get out of class? I'm in hot water right now and idk what to do”

    He typed as he drove, weaving Old Red, his cherry red 2008 Mazda3, down the wide suburban boulevards of West Des Moines. He'd already been awake for hours, since well before sunrise. At 5:40 A.M., he texted Ali an apology: “Sorry about last night.” Then he started drinking. By now he was shitfaced and driving around the suburbs. She called as soon as she got out of class, and he was slurring his words. Ali was scared. She wanted him off the road. She talked him down and into a gas-station parking lot, and then he hung up.

    “Do not leave,” she texted back at 11:27 A.M.

    Ali Epperson was nearly 700 miles away, at her contract-law class at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland. In football terms, Zac had outkicked his coverage: Ali was an ex-cheerleader but no vacant princess. She had a diamond stud in her left nostril and a knifing wit. They were a pair of scrappers whose jagged edges fit. Zac loved Trump; he kept a copy of Trump: The Art of the Deal in his bedroom. Ali was a budding progressive: a first-year student at a good law school who'd interned at Senator Tom Harkin's D.C. office. They were just friends in high school; she used to cut fourth-period music class to hang with Zac. After they graduated, they became more than friends.

    Sometimes he called her Winslow, her middle name, and only Winslow knew the full extent of Zac's struggles in the five and a half years since high school: the brain tremors that felt like thunderclaps inside his skull, the sudden memory lapses in which he'd forget where he was driving or why he was walking around the hardware store, the doctors who told him his mind might be torn to pieces from all the concussions from football. She knew about the drugs and the drinking he was doing to cope. She knew about the mood swings, huge and pulverizing, the slow leaching of his hope.

    “I'm not leaving,” he texted back.

    “Promise?”

    He pulled into a Jimmy John's and ate something to sober up, sending Ali Snapchats every so often to prove he wasn't driving. Then, a couple of hours later, he texted her again:

    [​IMG]
    Zac Easter went inside his parents' house, past the five mounted deer heads on the living room wall, past the Muhammad Ali poster at the top of the stairs (“Impossible Is Nothing”), and into his room: Green Bay Packers gear, bodybuilding supplements, military books bursting from the shelves, a T-shirt he got from his high school football coach with the words BIG HAMMER.

    His laptop was open to a 39-page document titled “Concussions: My Silent Struggle.” “MY LAST WISHES,” it began. He'd created the document five months ago, and the final revision was made today.

    Zac Easter grabbed some ammunition, packed up the .40-caliber pistol he'd given his dad as a Father's Day gift, and drove a few miles down the road to Lake Ahquabi State Park. It was a place where he'd gone swimming throughout his childhood; he and Ali liked to go there and lie on the beach and look at the clouds. “Ahquabi” is from an ancient Algonquian language. It means “resting place.”

    Around sunset, Zac took a picture of the lake, then he posted a status update on Facebook:

    Dear friends and family,
    If your reading this than God bless the times we've had together. Please forgive me. I'm taking the selfish road out. Only God understands what I've been through. No good times will be forgotten and I will always watch over you. Please if anything remember me by the person I am not by my actions. I will always watch over you! Please, please, don't take the easy way out like me. Fist pumps for Jesus and fist pumps for me. Party on wayne!!;)

    Growing up, his nickname was Hoad. On Saturday mornings, the three Easter boys—Myles Jr. was the eldest, then Zac, then Levi—would crowd around the TV to watch Garfield and Friends. Odie was the mutt—impossibly energetic, tongue wagging, ears flopping. Friends with everyone. That was Zac. “Zac never stopped running. Everything he did was at full charge,” says his mother, Brenda. Over time the name evolved, the way nicknames do—Odie morphing into Hodie, Hodie shrinking to Hoad.

    He was a sweet, curious kid, and seemingly programmed to destroy. He went through four of those unbreakable steel Tonka dump trucks—broke the first three and disassembled the fourth, trying to figure out how it worked. He was 7. One winter, the family couldn't figure out why the lightbulbs on the Christmas tree kept bursting. Faulty wiring? It turned out Zac was taking swings at the bulbs with a baseball bat. As he got older, the blast radius got bigger. He was Tom Sawyer reborn: unleashed, unbound midwestern middle-class American boy. The Easter family's acreage was off a dirt road, surrounded by cornfields, just east of where The Bridges of Madison Countywas filmed, and Zac and his brothers would go on hikes to the creek, bringing along an artillery of Black Cat fireworks to blow up minnows and bullfrogs. As a teenager he graduated to the family's Honda Recon ATV, his first taste of real adrenaline and real recklessness. He'd fly through the woods, build jumps and hurdle over them. “GODDAMMIT!” his dad, Myles Sr., would yell from the porch as he shot by.

    Zac was fearless, certain of his invincibility, confident he could push his limits to the very edge yet always stay in control. He was perfect for the one thing that mattered most in the Easter family: football.

    When Myles Easter Sr. talks about his own football career, there's a joyful worship of the sport's violent side: “I just wanted to knock the fuck out of somebody.” He was a safety at Drake University, a small school in Des Moines. He and Brenda got together in 1982, soon after his football career ended, and they married two years later, which meant she was now married to football, too. Before Zac was born, Myles took a job as defensive coordinator at Simpson College, a Division III school in Indianola, Iowa, a town of 11,000 known for an annual hot-air-balloon festival. He never made his boys play football—it was more like it was just assumed. “I loved football,” he says. “I was getting to the point where I loved it more than the kids did back in high school.” Not that the boys didn't love it, too. They'd come to practice every day and hang off to the side with the kickers. On Saturday afternoons in the fall, they'd sneak up to the overhead track at Simpson College's century-old gym and listen to their dad's halftime pep talks.

    The Easters were a Minnesota Vikings family, but early on Zac defected and chose the Green Bay Packers. Zac loved Brett Favre—he had the same swagger. Zac's elder brother, Myles Jr., was taller, faster, talented enough to earn a college football scholarship and a spot in his high school's sports hall of fame. Zac was shorter and slower, but he was the toughest son of a bitch on the field. “He was out there to fuck people up,” says Myles Jr. “He was there to do some damage.” He had a lot to live up to, and he wasn't born with what he needed, so in high school he secretly began taking prohormones, a steroid-like supplement banned in many sports.

    It worked. “Zac was a thumper,” his father says, standing in the family kitchen. “Of all the boys, he was the one who wouldn't show pain, who'd be fearless.… He'd throw his head into anything. He was the kind of guy I like on defense.”

    Myles Sr. pauses, takes a heavy breath, and shrugs. On the mantel behind him is a picture of Zac sitting in the back of a pickup, cradling the ten-point buck. When he speaks again, his voice is a stew of pride and guilt: “He was my type of guy.”

    From “Concussions: My Silent Struggle”
    I started playing youth football a year early in 3rd grade because my older brother was on the team and my dad was the coach. I started off playing the two positions that I played throughout my career, linebacker and full back. I remember being one of the hardest hitting linebackers ever since I started. You could even go back and ask some of the old players on the 49ers if you don't believe me because I'm sure they only remember me leading with my head. I even remember Austin Shrek's dad offering to buy him a PS2 if Austin would learn to hit as hard as me on game days....
    I learned around this age that if I used my head as a weapon and literally put my head down on every play up until the last play I ever played. I was always shorter than a lot of other players and learned to put my head down so I could have the edge and win every battle. Not only that, but I liked the attention I got from the coaches and other players. I can look back and remember getting headaches during practice. Of course by now, I had gained the reputation from my coaches and classmates about being a tough nosed kid and a hard hitter so I took this social identity with pride and never wanted to tell anyone about the headaches I got from practices and games. In 6th grade, I really became a road grater as a fullback and running back. I was short and chubby, but I would try to run over the linebacker's every time I got the ball. I'm sure my parents still have the game tapes to prove it....
    I won't lie I look back now and always felt like I had something to prove to my dad and trying to fill my older brothers football shoes.... I was tired of teachers and even Principal Monroe comparing me to my brother and asking me why I wasn't as good of a student as my older brother. I guess I got to the point then where I just didn't care and realized the only way to fill adequate to fill the Easter family shoes was to play football.... There was also the “Easter Mentality” stereo type that I had to live up to. This “Easter Mentality” is the name that all the other coaches and kids in sports called us because the Easter family was such a tough nosed football family and the reputation was that football was our lives and we would play through any pain. My dad was an intimidating hard ass football coach and the Easter mentality meant that we were supposed to always be tough as nails, show no weakness, and never get taken out of game for being hurt.... [From another journal around the same time] I've never really felt good enough for him. I know the remarks he will say. Im sure he loves me but he's always had a hard time showing it. I feel like all my concussions were for him in the first place because I just wanted to impress him and feel tough. I regret all that now and wish I never even played sports.

    Zac's football career ended in October of his senior year. The team at Indianola High School was a perfect fit for Zac: They were always smaller, always scrappier, and always played like the chips were stacked against them. Indianola had the lowest enrollment in a conference filled with schools from Des Moines's suburbs, but they took pride in not playing like it. When their head coach, Eric Kluver, had arrived years before, he quickly realized there was a gem in his own backyard: Myles Easter Sr., a veteran college coach who had three sons coming up in the Indianola youth football system and was eager to help. Myles was tough. So were his players. Kluver hired him.

    At first Kluver tried to innovate with a speedy spread offense, but he quickly realized that wouldn't fly here; he simply couldn't get the type of athletes to make it work. So instead he went old-school: a smashmouth I-formation offense. Pound the ball and wear out bigger, faster, stronger—but softer—teams. It was catnip to Iowa country boys like Myles Easter Sr. Soon, things began to change for Indianola. Local fans would come to games just to watch the special teams tee off on opponents during kick returns. Kluver handed out a big hammer T-shirt for the most crushing hit in that week's game; Zac earned one his junior year and another his senior year. The Easter Mentality had become the Indianola football mentality.

    By his senior year, Zac had become an anchor of the team's defense. On this chilly Friday night, the seventh game of the 2009 season, Zac was taking the field for the first time in a month. A concussion had knocked him out in the season's fourth game, but Zac was determined to be back for the game against league rival Ankeny High School. Ankeny was much bigger than Zac's school, one of the largest in the state, more affluent, and most obnoxiously, they were good. “We just thought they were kind of rich pricks,” says Nick Haworth, Zac's best friend since preschool and an offensive lineman on the team.

    Zac was fired up. Indianola's athletic trainer, Sue Wilson, was not. She'd been hired in 2005, and her focus was concussions; this was the same year that Bennet Omalu, a neuropathologist in Pittsburgh who studied the brain of deceased Pittsburgh Steelers star Mike Webster, had published his groundbreaking paper “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in a National Football League Player.” Even now, in 2009, she was a mostly unwelcome presence on the sidelines. Parents yelled at her when she took away their sons' helmets in the middle of a game; they wanted them to play. So did the coaches.

    One psychologist even told Zac that he would—not could,would—end up penniless, homeless, and in a mental institution.

    On this Friday night, Wilson was already focused on Zac. He'd always played through pain. He'd already suffered two concussions in as many months: one in August, before games started, during a tackling drill at a full-contact football camp, and then another during a game in early September—the one that sidelined him for a month. By now, Myles Sr. had grown concerned enough about the repeated head injuries that he'd ordered a special Xenith helmet. The helmet was supposed to reduce the risk of concussion, but it kept falling off Zac's head during games. He was also wearing a cowboy collar to protect his neck. He was armored up, like a soldier heading into battle.

    Prior to the game, Zac had passed Wilson's concussion protocol, but if she'd known what was really going on inside his brain, there's no way she would have let him near the field. After the concussion during the game in September, a teammate told Zac that he was looking at him cross-eyed. Later that night, he would write in his journal, “I saw a doctor and lied about all my concussion symptoms.”

    Of course he lied. It was his senior year. He wanted to play.

    [​IMG]
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    From “Concussions: My Silent Struggle”
    The truth was I had severe headaches every day and constantly felt sick or dizzy, but the tough guy in me told them I was still totally fine. I remember leaving some of my classes because I would be feeling sick and sitting there soaking myself in sweat. Around this time is when I started feeling depressed. I felt ashamed that I was hurt and had to sit out....
    I finally got to play in the next game against Ankeny.... Even my friends noticed that week that I wasn't as willing to hit as hard and I would actually shy away from contact. During the Ankeny game I remember the first play of the game is when I got my bell seriously rung.... I went head to head with the running back at full speed on the first play during a quarter back rollout to try and run him over. I could of ripped through the running back and made a sack, instead I wanted to punish this running back on the first play and get inside his head. Instead he got inside of mine, I never pulled myself out of the game though and Chia told me that during halftime he remembered me trying to take a knee in the locker room and I fell over because I was so disorientated and I couldn't get back up without a friend helping. Ofcourse I told him I was fine and showed no weakness.
    It wasn't long during the 3rd quarter when my helmet came off during a play and I guess I hit a guy without a helmet on, head to head. The next play I shit canned a pulling guard and that's about all I remember. From what I was told I could barely get up and wasn't able to walk off the field on my own.

    It happened away from the ball, so the collision that ended Zac Easter's football career can't be seen on the game tape. But on a third-quarter drive, you can tell that No. 44 is suddenly missing from Indianola's defense. And later in the game, at the bottom of the screen, Zac can be seen on the sidelines, arguing heatedly with someone: Wilson, the trainer. She is clutching his helmet. He wants to go back in. No way, she says.

    What happened in the moments just after Zac's final play remains burned into Wilson's memory: Two teammates pulled a player off the ground and dragged him toward her. She couldn't tell who it was until she saw the jersey number, 44, and her heart dropped into her stomach. Zac's feet were barely under him.

    “Sue, he's not right,” one teammate told her.

    “I looked at him, and he looked at me, and he just didn't say a word,” Wilson says now. “I took his helmet. And he just put his head down. He started crying on the bench. I walked away to give him his space. I came back and asked him if there's anything I could do. He just said, ‘No. I just don't feel good.’ I said, ‘Are you going to get sick?’ He said, ‘I don't know.’ ”

    She kept an eye on him the rest of the game. He could still speak. He could still stick his tongue out. He wasn't vomiting. His head was pounding, but he didn't seem to be in need of urgent medical attention. In the locker room after the game, Haworth says, Zac's blue eyes had drifted into a haze—“a thousand-yard stare.”

    Wilson ordered Zac to rest for the next week. No football, no exercise, nothing. But Zac ignored her. By this point, he'd figured out that exercise was the only way to ease the pounding in his brain, so he'd run on a treadmill—sometimes an hour, sometimes two. He knew his football career was over. No one had told him yet, but he knew it. Still, he needed to stay in shape for wrestling season.

    About a month later, though, he was still exhibiting symptoms. When he saw Wilson to get cleared for wrestling, she wouldn't sign off.

    “I'll never forget the look in Zac's eyes when I told him he wasn't going to wrestle his senior year,” she says now. “I think his exact words were ‘Fuck you.’ ”

    From “Concussions: My Silent Struggle”
    Something changed in me after that last concussion against Ankeny. My depression kicked into full gear and I started having symptoms of anxiety. My emotions have never been the same after the last football concussion either.... I love my family to death, but I felt like I was snapping on them for no reason some days and I could see that somethings I said were hurting them. It just seemed like anything and everything would want to set me off.... [At college] I kept going out on the weekends and drinking my ass off though and using any drug I could find.... I started drinking and getting so shitfaced I often started pissing the bed and started to have my drinking problem come back. Some nights I would tell my friends and roommate I'm busy and sit in my room and drink alone. Before my senior year [of college] started I also got a prescription of Adderall because I thought I had adhd. All I did was start abusing the Adderall right away. When I picked up my first prescription I went home and snorted several lines.... It seemed the only I could get myself to seem smart and outgoing was to be high on amphetamines from the Adderall.
    I feel like I've started to become delusional or I've been kind of hearing and seeing things. A few times I've gone down stairs and have asked the guys what they wanted because I sware I heard someone calling my name. A lot of this freaked me out because I'm not sure if I was going schitzo or not. I've felt like some days I've just been out of it. Over the years I've been starting to forget peoples names and just forget daily things. My roommates even joked about an alzhiemers commercial about an old lady losing her shit because I've felt like I've lost mine slowly.
    My impulse control problems have been killing me a lot lately to. I can't seem to get a grip with my money spending habits. I used to be a tight ass and all about money, but now I just find myself spending all my money and money that I don't even have. I think I've spent about 10k in the past three months and nothing to show for it. I cant seem to stop binge eating unless im on Adderall. I don't know if I have that brain decise that people talk about or if I really am crazy.

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    Zac inherited from his father a willingness to play through pain.

    On the night of his 24th birthday, Zac Easter and his cousin met at the Sports Page Grill in Indianola, ordered Coors Lights, and waited for Zac's parents to arrive. Zac was nervous. His cousin could hear it in his voice. By this point, June 2015, not quite six years since his final football game, he'd become convinced that his five diagnosed concussions (plus countless more that weren't) across a decade of using his head as a weapon had triggered his downward spiral.

    “I've noticed I'm relying on drugs to try and be who I want to be,” he wrote in his journal around this time. “I need to stop, but at the same time I'm like Fuck it. I won't lie, I feel kind of scared and depressed bout my future. I found some info online about CTE and got scared. I'm not looking at that stuff again.”

    Meanwhile, Zac's parents believed their son was on top of the world. He'd just graduated from college with honors. He was a star in the Iowa National Guard—he won a Soldier of the Year award for his unit and was short-listed for Army Ranger school. He turned it down because the war in Afghanistan had become so dangerous. Inspired by The Wolf of Wall Street, he'd made a get-rich-soon pact with his elder brother, Myles Jr. They'd pound their fists on their chests, like Matthew McConaughey in the film. He'd grown closer with Ali, their on-again-off-again relationship inching toward something real and special. A full life awaited him.

    But what his parents saw—the degree, the girlfriend, the job, the stability—was a mirage. Yes, he had just graduated from college, but he'd also just told his first employer, an annuity-and-insurance marketing company, that he needed time away from work. When he was making sales calls, he would forget what he was talking about mid-sentence. It got so bad that he even wrote himself a two-page script to get through a call.

    They knew some things were off. Sometimes on the phone it sounded like Zac was talking with marbles in his mouth. And they'd noticed that his bank account was suddenly hemorrhaging money.

    When his parents arrived for his birthday dinner, Zac took an anxious swig from his Coors Light, gathered himself, then told them he needed to talk. “Something's been going on with my head,” he began.

    From there, he laid it all out: He was quitting his job because he needed to focus on his health. He was often tired and dizzy and nauseated. During college he used to set his alarm for 3:30 A.M. to work out and run for hours; now he would go for a jog, feel sick, and only make it 1.4 miles in 20 minutes. He got headaches all the time. Sometimes while driving, he'd go into these trances; he'd snap out of it when he drove his car into a curb. Panic attacks came without warning. He had started writing down a long list of questions for his doctor; one of them was “Do you think I'm showing signs of CTE or dementia?”

    In fact, he already knew the answer to that one. He had just visited a doctor who specialized in concussions and who told him that, yes, he very well might have CTE. He had started seeing a speech pathologist to help him manage his cognitive struggles and improve his memory, attention span, language-processing abilities, and problem-solving skills.

    His parents were stunned. They knew some things were off. Sometimes on the phone it sounded like Zac was talking with marbles in his mouth. And they'd noticed that his bank account was suddenly hemorrhaging money. But mostly they just assumed their son was a young man grappling with adulthood and independence.

    But now he was telling them that he might have a mysterious brain disease that afflicted NFL players, haunting them for decades after their careers had ended. One psychologist even told Zac that he would—not could, would—end up penniless, homeless, and in a mental institution. Zac had walked out of that guy's office terrified.

    Myles Easter Sr. had seen the news reports of ex-NFL stars whose lives unraveled post-retirement and ended in suicide. Mike Webster, Andre Waters, Dave Duerson, Junior Seau—the Sunday gladiators who once were the apotheosis of all that he worshipped about the game of football. But Myles never really believed the disease existed. To be honest, even the mention of it kind of disgusted him. CTE was an excuse, he had always thought: a bunch of millionaire athletes who had it made, blew through all their money, fell out of the limelight, got depressed, then killed themselves. But now, hearing his own son—still just a kid, no jaded pro, someone who had never played a day of football above the high school level—say that he might have CTE?

    “It just caught me so off guard,” Myles Sr. says. “I was honestly dumbfounded.”

    The dinner table went quiet. Then Brenda, Zac's mom, broke the silence.

    “Well,” she said, “let's fix it.”

    Zac Easter's Journal
    June 2015
    Even with two 30 mg Adderall in me about another 10 mgs I poored out and snorted, I still got lost all around Menards and the dollar store.… IDK what it was but I felt like I kept walking all around the store and passed what I was looking for several times. I straight up felt confused on what I was looking and kept forgetting even right after I looked at my list.… I only went for like 3 things to. I guess [my speech pathologist] is right, I only have about a 3 minute memory after that I'm fucked. I even took three wrong turns on the way home. Shit happens I guess.
    July 2015
    I wish I could put a finger on what is wrong with me. Its either from the concussions or Im just bat shit crazy. Im tired of feeling emotionless or too many emotions. Im trying to find a new hobby but nothing really quite makes me want to do it. Tomorrow I meet w/ Spooner [the concussion specialist] about everything to me, theres just NO way those concussions didn't change me. I think I might just donate my brain and let them figure it out.
    August 2015
    I still havent been working or looking for work. I got put on Zoloft and my new psychiatrist seems to know his meds. I'm still fighting the side effects. Sleep has been dismal and I've still been going to speech therapy and PT. It sounds like they really arent on my side anymore and they want me to be focusing on my mood disorder. I cant really blame them. I have been fucked up with depression the past few weeks. I've been going out more but using more drugs. Smoked pot a few times, rolled on Molly and now I got some coke. All that plus Adderall fuck it! Its the only way I feel normal
    September 2015
    Im scared if I can't get help or feel better I may want to just end it all. As in suicide. Im just so tired of feeling so shitty and anxious. I had a job interview, two of them and its hard for me to not have panic attacks. It seems like I still cant get over my anxiety. IDK lifes just a bitch. Im try to forget about that fact that Im mentally ill and that I might have a traumatic brain disorder. I plan on going home tonight so hopefully I'll be able to talk to my rents a little more. I might even move home next month if I cant get some income coming in.…
    I just got my Adderall script and started snorting it right away! Im going to try and leave it home when I go home so I don't use it all. Physically my heart rate is still always nuts whether I'm Adderall or not. I'm trying to work out but its just getting harder each day.

    Friday, November 13, 2015. 1:34 P.M.
    Text exchange between Zac and Ali.

    Friday, November 13, 2015. 5:30 P.M.
    Zac Easter stood on the dock leading out onto Lake Ahquabi, pistol in hand, ignoring the calls that had started pouring into his cell phone a few minutes after his Facebook post. Instead, he opened Snapchat and posted a photo of the lake: “God bless America,” he typed.

    The third time Ali called, he picked up. She heard terror in his voice. “I can't do this,” he told her. “It's never going to get better.”

    A friend recognized the lake from the Snapchat photo. Deputies from the county sheriff's department rushed to the state park while Ali tried to keep Zac on the phone. “Listen to the sound of my voice,” she told him.

    “I'm losing my mind,” he replied. “This is it for me.”

    Then a pause, a shift in tone: “Ali, did you send these cops here?”

    His phone died. Ali sent him a frantic text at 6:12 P.M.: Baby its my Winslow jist talk to me. I need to know you're okay.

    Out on the dock, Zac pointed the gun at the sky and fired: a warning shot to tell the police to keep away.

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    Zac's girlfriend, Ali, was the only person he trusted with the truth of his struggles.

    Zac's father, alerted by friends, sped his pickup truck into the park, down the hill toward the lake. The first sheriff's deputy he saw recognized him. More squad cars raced into the parking lot. Another deputy—a former all-conference linebacker for Easter Sr. a few years back—pointed an assault rifle at his son. Lasers from police rifles danced on Zac's body. It was past dark and getting cold. Myles Sr. peered inside Zac's car. He saw an empty six-pack of Coors Light, an empty bottle of Captain Morgan, and a pill bottle.

    Floodlights illuminated Zac. The sun had set on the far side of the lake, dropping a black curtain on the water behind him. He stood up from a picnic table and walked wordlessly down the pier toward a wooden fishing hut at its edge. A few more steps and he'd be inside, alone on the water, out of sight.

    “Put your gun down!” the deputies shouted.

    “Nope!” Zac yelled with an anguished laugh. “Not gonna do that!”

    His father realized with a flash: Zac wants the police to shoot him. I can't let this happen. He sprinted down the wooden pier. “Zac!” he shouted.

    If he shoots me, he thought, he shoots me.

    “Dad, stop!”

    “Nope, I'm coming. Put your gun down.”

    Zac laid the gun down, then disappeared inside the hut.

    Seconds later his father reached the door. Inside, he saw a sad, sick look on his son's face. His vibrant boy was gone. Zac looked worn-out. Beaten.

    “Dad, I'm in trouble,” Zac said quietly.

    Myles Easter Sr. spoke gently to his son. “I don't know what's going on, but we'll get this figured out. But we gotta get through this part right now. We're in deep shit. We can't make it any worse.”

    Back on land, the deputies surrounded Zac and eased his wrists into handcuffs. They put him in the back of an ambulance, drove him to Des Moines, and checked him into Iowa Lutheran Hospital.

    Seven hundred miles away in Cleveland, Ali was still in limbo, panicked, convinced Zac had hurt himself. Before he hung up the phone, his voice had gone flat. For 62 minutes, she had no idea if he was dead or alive.

    Finally, a text popped up on her phone. Zac's elder brother: “They got him.”

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    December 5, 2015
    They took all the guns out of the house. They took all the alcohol out of the house. They were constantly on edge. Myles Sr. and Brenda encouraged Zac to go to his therapy appointments, and he would—but then he'd sit in the parking lot and have a panic attack and never leave his car. He went to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but then he'd wake up in the middle of the night after a bad dream and start drinking from a whiskey bottle he'd hidden in his room.

    Something had shifted inside of him. No longer did he worry that he might be going crazy; now he was certain of it. Fatalism swept over him. He told his mother he'd made a bucket list: Things to Do Before CTE Takes Away My Mind. Travel overseas. Camp in the timber in winter. Hike across the country, or at least through Colorado. Go rattlesnake hunting on the family's land.

    On the sixth anniversary of the day Zac bagged his ten-point buck, Myles Sr. decided to take his son hunting. Perhaps they could recapture some of the tranquillity of those days. They got up before sunrise, ate bacon and eggs, and got in the truck.

    It's a 40-minute drive from their house to the family's timber, a good time to talk. They sipped coffee. Myles told his son that he was proud of him, that Zac was smart and talented and successful. He said they would fight through this as a family. “I'm sorry about the concussions from football,” he told his son. “I didn't understand it earlier.” Zac didn't want his dad feeling guilty. He told him that he loved football. He told him he even missed football.

    They got out of the truck. Zac watched his dad pull the shotguns out from behind the seat, where he'd stashed them away. Myles Jr. met them and they hiked into the woods. From the tree stand Myles Sr. was heartened by the sight of his boys together, walking down the hill, laughing. Today, at least, Zac seemed like his old self. “I thought maybe we were getting better,” Myles Sr. says.

    They hunted till after sunset. On the ride back home, Myles Sr. picked up a six-pack of Coors Light tallboys for them to split. Zac's mom wouldn't have liked this—alcohol, she knew, only made his problems worse—but hell, Myles just wanted things to go back to the way they used to be with his son. As they rumbled home on the gravel country roads, Zac turned to his father. “This was one of the best days I've had,” he said.

    They fell asleep next to each other in the living room, watching Iowa play Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game. It was a tough, ugly defensive battle, the exact kind of football game they loved.

    [​IMG]
    Zac's ten-point buck.

    December 7, 2015
    Brenda Easter came home to find Zac's car gone from the driveway. She called Ali, catching her in the middle of an exam, and Ali texted Zac.

    [​IMG]
    He told her he'd been feeling cooped up at his parents' house, thinking about losing his mind, and he needed to get away. So a few hours earlier he'd gotten in the car and just started driving. He was headed for Oklahoma, then turned around and started making his way back; after a wrong turn he wound up in Kansas City and got a hotel room for the night. He joked to Ali that he was going to hit a strip club, but all he did was sit in his hotel room and order pizza. The next morning, he made the three-hour drive back home.

    Something had shifted inside of him. Fatalism swept over him. He told his mother he'd made a bucket list: Things to Do Before CTE Takes Away My Mind.

    Friday, December 18, 2015. 8 P.M.
    Myles Sr. was in the upstairs bathroom, covered in blood. He'd taken their two dogs hunting in the woods behind the house, and Tito, the fat white rat terrier, had killed a possum. Tito was squirming in the tub when Zac walked in. He'd just gotten a haircut for family pictures the next day.

    “Boy, you sure look good,” his dad said, grinning.

    “You're in deep shit if Mom sees that,” Zac said, looking at the blood-soaked dog. Myles asked him for a hand, so Zac held the dog in place while he finished washing off the blood. Then Zac disappeared into his bedroom. Ali was home for winter break and she'd invited him out with friends that night, but Zac declined. He was feeling down and didn't want to be around people. Myles turned the dog loose, then went downstairs and fell asleep on the couch.

    Five weeks had passed since Zac's suicide attempt. Next week—the day after Christmas—Zac was heading to California for a facility that treated both alcohol addiction and mental illness. But Zac wasn't sure he wanted to go. He didn't see the point.

    Saturday, December 19, 2015. 12:24 A.M.
    Ali was still out with her friends at a bar in downtown Des Moines when a text arrived from Zac.

    “Thank you for everything,” he wrote. “You've helped me through so much and never ever blame yourself for anything. I love you and will always be over your shoulder looking after you no matter what. Always keep having fun. Always remember me. Always keep striving for greatness or shall I say first female president. Never quit fighting for what you believe for ;) I love you Winslow”

    Ali wrote back immediately: “I love you, too babe but that sounds so past tense and is making me worried. I don't want you to talk that way.… Are you okay. Please be honest. I can call you”

    No reply. She called him, but he didn't answer. Called again. No answer.

    “Seriously zac,” she texted. “I'm worried now. I know you're having an off day but it will be okay—I know you have the fight in you, Please talk to me”

    No reply.

    “Zac. Please talk to me”

    Back at the house, Myles Sr.'s ringing phone woke him up. It was his eldest son, asking if Zac was upstairs. Myles Sr. went up to Zac's room, but it was empty. He noticed a frayed piece of notebook paper on Zac's bed and went back downstairs to get his glasses.

    Ali texted Zac again: “Baby. It's winslow. Please think of me please talk to me. I believe in you. I know you're upset but please talk to me”

    No reply.

    “I need you to text me back”

    Myles Easter put on his glasses and read what his son had scrawled on the sheet of paper.

    “Please!” it began. “Look on my computer and print off my story and last wishes to everyone. PLEASE FULLFILL MY last wishes! My comp pass zacman (all lowercase)”

    The 20-gauge shotgun that Myles had given Zac for his 12th birthday was missing from the backseat of his truck. One hollow-point 20-gauge Winchester slug was missing from Myles's ammunition cache in the basement. Brenda's keys weren't in the kitchen, and her car wasn't in the driveway.

    By the time Myles got to Lake Ahquabi, a patrol car was already there. “I'm sorry,” the deputy told him. His son's body was in the parking lot, the 20-gauge slug torn through his chest.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Football was—and still is, even now—a cornerstone of the Easters' family identity.

    Four Days Later
    Eric Kluver stood over his former player's casket at the cavernous Catholic church in Indianola. Kluver loved all his players, but this wasn't just one of his players. This was Zac Easter. His top assistant's son. Every summer, Kluver picks hardworking students in need of extra cash to help him with his landscaping business. Two summers in a row, Kluver picked Zac. It wasn't even that long ago. Now Zac was in a casket.

    Is this my fault? Kluver kept wondering. He and his staff had always taught Zac proper tackling technique, of course…but they never discouraged his aggression. If anything, they'd encouraged it. Zac was the model—the type of hard-nosed player every football coach dreams of. And yet Kluver knew that football had played a role in Zac's destruction. Football, and football culture.

    When Kluver played high school football, one of his best friends suffered a brain injury after a big hit. He wound up in a wheelchair and later died. During a practice in 2008, when Kluver was already well into his career at Indianola, a sophomore linebacker named Joey Goodale absorbed what seemed like a normal hit on a kick return and smacked the back of his head on the turf. A few minutes later, he collapsed. He was unconscious, his body rigid. Zac Easter was there on the field that day, watching his childhood pal get loaded into an ambulance. Goodale was in a coma for three weeks. He spent months in a rehab facility. He never really recovered. He's 23 now, lives with his parents, works at UPS and unloads trucks at a local grocery store, and has struggled with addiction.

    Kluver could always set those two memories aside and keep going. Those were accidents. But with Zac, this was no accident. This was football. “To see him lying in that casket,” he says now, “you would think that would be enough to make you say that enough is enough.”

    And yet. Months later, Kluver would lead his team onto the field for their first game of the 2016 season. After the game, he would retreat to his windowless office in the bowels of Indianola High School, the redbrick walls covered with posters of all the teams he's coached, the three Easter boys and their father pictured in nearly all of them. In the hallways of the school, he'll still see an occasional big hammer T-shirt. He stopped giving them out a few years ago, when it started to feel wrong.

    Kluver still believes in football. He believes there is more good that comes from the sport than bad. He believes life is full of risks, and that we should not pad our children with bubble wrap. But his faith is rattled. When he hears of what Zac wrote in his journal—that he wished he'd never played football—Kluver squeezes his eyes shut and puts a hand to his forehead.

    “I've seen both ends of the spectrum,” he says. “All the great times and the big wins, but I've also been attending funerals. There's definitely been times where I've said, ‘Is this worth it?’”

    Two Weeks Later
    In the kitchen, Brenda Easter's aunts sit at the table writing thank-you letters to people who attended Zac's funeral. In the living room, under Zac's mounted ten-point buck, his father, his mother, his elder brother, and Ali sit in a semicircle. There aren't many tears now; they are trying to move from mourning into doing something. Start a foundation in his honor, speak to football players about the risk of concussions, push the NFL to take the risks more seriously.

    But in the living room, the television is on mute, tuned to Vikings-Packers. January football. Huge game. Hated rivals, the NFC North title on the line. The men in the house, including this reporter, peek at their phones checking fantasy-football scores.

    Brenda and Myles Sr. and Myles Jr. are talking about how Zac's suicide must not be in vain, about how they must use his name to push for awareness and research into concussions and CTE. They plan to send Zac's brain tissue to Omalu, the pioneering neurologist and inspiration for the Will Smith movie Concussion (which itself was based on an article in GQ). They've found the diaries, and they've read as much as they could bear. They're going to do what Zac asked. He left instructions.

    [​IMG]
    Four Months Later
    “Here's what I do, and this is terrible,” Myles Easter Sr. says, standing in his kitchen, his voice low so his wife in the next room can't hear. “I'll drink like 18 beers maybe on a Tuesday night. I make sure I don't drive. I'll drink a fifth of vodka or something.”

    It's a breezy spring afternoon. Myles is wearing a chain around his neck with a metal pendant—a reproduction of Zac's thumbprint. Zac's ashes are in an urn on the mantel. In a few weeks, the Easters will get the medical report back from Omalu's lab, confirming what Zac already knew: CTE. The official diagnosis brings with it a peculiar kind of relief.

    But now what?

    Zac left instructions: Print his story off his laptop, post it to Facebook, use the pain of his life and too-early death to warn the world about CTE. Get people like us—football fans, football players, football lifers—to face the truth about people like him.

    And now we have. Those were his instructions, so that's what his family did. So now what?

    We could ban football. (But we love football.) We could allow people to play football only once they turn 18, which is what Omalu has proposed. (And what happens when 18-year-old athletic phenoms—freight trains who have never learned to tackle properly—are suddenly turned loose on one another? Is that better?) We could take away tackling. (Sorry, no one's watching the National Flag Football League.) We could build a safer helmet. (Which will only encourage players to use their heads as weapons.) We could have a consistent concussion protocol through all levels of football. (We already do in the NFL. Ask Cam Newton how well it's working.)

    Every solution ends up not solving enough of the problem.

    And for most of us, this is perfectly okay. The paradox of CTE's discovery is that it's given most of us a sneaky ethical out, hasn't it? No professional football player can claim now to be unaware of the risks. It's a free country. We're all adults here.

    Unless we're not adults. Unless we're kids, like Zac was. Can we really let kids keep doing this? If so, how? Now what?

    After Zac's suicide, Brenda wanted the entire family to get counseling, but Myles Sr. declined. “Fuck, I don't need no counseling,” he said. He doesn't cry for his son. He wants to do something for his son, so he can be able to say, “Zac died for this.” But in the meantime, he drinks a few beers. He takes the dogs on walks. And then after his wife goes to sleep, he stands alone in the kitchen, and he drinks some more.

    “That's how I deal with it.”
     
  2. devine

    devine hi, i am user devine
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    Don't ever apologize for making a thread like this

    It's sad that people feel the need to do so. Let's try and make tmb great again one new thread at a time
     
  3. bertwing

    bertwing check out the nametag grandma
    Staff Donor
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  4. houtex716

    houtex716 let's have a beach party
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    god damnit
     
    Cornfed Buffalo likes this.
  5. Bo Pelinis

    Bo Pelinis HUSK MUSK
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    The scary thing is everybody that plays football knows one of these kids. Or it's you.
     
  6. jaygabriel

    jaygabriel You're chillin' wit a titty feelin' villian
    Donor
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    Or remembers that what this kid was is what we all strived to be when we played.
     
  7. allothersnsused

    allothersnsused Do it for the culture
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    I think the most disturbing parts of the article to me are:

    1. That CTE can affect a kid who never played after the high school level. I thought of it as something that affected pro players after years of abuse.
    2. The helplessness of brain damage. This kid knew where his symptoms were coming from and still felt completely hopeless to get better. Seems like as of now we can only treat symptoms, we can't "fix" the damaged brain. This kid was basically fucked for life in his senior year in high school and did nothing but work his absolute hardest.
     
  8. Don Brodka

    Don Brodka Thats right, Don Brodka.
    Florida State SeminolesTampa Bay BuccaneersSwanseaHartford WhalersSeattle SupersonicsGeorgetown Hoyas

    Now that my month is ruined. CTE scares the fuck out of me as I get older and consider the number of the concussions I've had.
     
    pearl, Cornelius Suttree and Lyrtch like this.
  9. JPWahoo

    JPWahoo Some Flies are too Awesome for the Wall
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    we're going to see the end of football in our lifetimes, imo
     
  10. HOOSINSC

    HOOSINSC You're with me leather
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    i'm almost sure i'm fucked. knocked unconscious a half dozen before puberty
     
  11. Moxin24

    Moxin24 Show me that smile
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    Its only going to survive if people admit what should have known all along. Playing sports, especially contact sports, will likely damage your body in some way. For the vast majority of people it means sore knees and a bad back, for some others it will be brain damage.
     
    BellottiBold likes this.
  12. Bo Pelinis

    Bo Pelinis HUSK MUSK
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    Nebraska Cornhuskers

    The thing is people didn't really know about lifelong brain damage. Not that I would have changed anything but in high school we laughed at concussions like dudes were drunk idiots. Nobody knew that they could be fucked up in their 20s or 30s from it. As an old person, maybe, but like this kid? Nah.
     
  13. Moxin24

    Moxin24 Show me that smile
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    Michigan WolverinesDetroit TigersDetroit Lions

    We did the same thing with concussions. I played an entire half of football that I don't remember after getting my "bell rung". I'm glad we know more about it and I'm glad we take it more seriously. My point was some people will get CTE after four years of taking hits but only one or two diagnosed concussions. Maybe there will be a diagnostic test they can give people before they play sports that measures their susceptibility to CTE. That's my hope anyway.
     
  14. Moxin24

    Moxin24 Show me that smile
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    I've already made the decision that my boys won't play tackle football until the 8th grade. I don't want them racking up concussions in Pop Warner that would prevent them from playing in high school.
     
    BigRedEazy likes this.
  15. RonBurgundy

    RonBurgundy care for a hard candy, young hogmolly?
    Nebraska CornhuskersGreen Bay Packers

    The tricky part is while he clearly had CTE, he definitely had unrelated substance abuse and addiction issues which are almost 100% a sign of anxiety and depression issues completely unrelated to CTE.

    So, obviously he has CTE, but the overlapping cognitive changes you can see with crippling substance abuse and uncontrolled anxiety and depression make it really hard to piece out how much you can actually blame his downward spiral and suicide directly on CTE.

    Doesn't make it any less sad. Or scary.
     
  16. allothersnsused

    allothersnsused Do it for the culture
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    Depression and anxiety are symptoms of CTE. Not sure you can call them unrelated. It seemed obvious to me that the substance abuse stemmed from that.
     
  17. devine

    devine hi, i am user devine
    Donor
    North Carolina TarheelsWest Virginia MountaineersPittsburgh PiratesNew England PatriotsPittsburgh Penguins

    So your concern is just them being able to play high school
     
  18. devine

    devine hi, i am user devine
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    One time I got knocked out playing pick up and when I finally woke up I remember someone yelling get off the field pussy

    When I was on my way home I didn't even remember what I ate for lunch that day
     
    ashy larry likes this.
  19. Moxin24

    Moxin24 Show me that smile
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    It would be pretty sad if they couldn't play in high school because I felt they had too many head injuries by the time they were 12.

    Also, what good are they if they can't help dad get that state title?
     
  20. allothersnsused

    allothersnsused Do it for the culture
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    We went through a phase in high school where played a whole lot of backyard, padless tackle football (stupidly). I remember one time two of my buddies (who were on the same team) collided on intersecting routes. Looking back, one kid had an obvious concussion but it was our first experience with one without an adult around. He asked us multiple times through the rest of the game "Did I get hit?" We thought he was joking.

    We let him drive home and his parents found him laying fully clothed in the empty bathtub. Terrifying to think about now.
     
    BellottiBold and devine like this.
  21. DUCKMOUTH

    DUCKMOUTH Master of tribal-lunar speak
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    Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

    Hopefully my boys are more interested in tennis and golf as they get older. Those sports will last them a lifetime and benefit them more as adults.
     
    blind dog likes this.
  22. Don Brodka

    Don Brodka Thats right, Don Brodka.
    Florida State SeminolesTampa Bay BuccaneersSwanseaHartford WhalersSeattle SupersonicsGeorgetown Hoyas

    One has to start wondering when high schools are going to start getting sued for CTE related events the way the NCAA and NFL have been.
     
    i am a bammer and watson like this.
  23. Moxin24

    Moxin24 Show me that smile
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    Soon, I'm sure.
     
  24. allothersnsused

    allothersnsused Do it for the culture
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    As Virginia fans, we can hope.
     
  25. Lyrtch

    Lyrtch Nude Member
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    Clemson Tigers

    football is a dying sport because theres really no way to fix CTE issues unless you make it two hand touch. all the research says it not just concussions, its the little hits that add up.

    wont let my hypothetical kids play football, plenty of other sports out there and dont want them doing what I do and misplacing something while in the back of my mind worrying that its CTE issues because I played football for so long.
     
  26. DUCKMOUTH

    DUCKMOUTH Master of tribal-lunar speak
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    Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

    Nah money is too big. The talent pool may thin down with parents shifting to other sports, but it ain't going anywhere. Doubt it shifts much either.

    Go watch Friday Night Tykes on Netflix and see how many parents are pushing kids to play and play hard and that's just San Antonio.

    I mean 20 something first graders get killed and nothing changes with guns. Big Tabbaco lies and covers up for years, but they just get taxed more and now push cigs to kids in 3rd world countries.
     
  27. Moxin24

    Moxin24 Show me that smile
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    Everyone focuses on football, but concussions are an issue for soccer, hockey and lacrosse. We're not going to much left once we go down this road.
     
    BellottiBold likes this.
  28. Bo Pelinis

    Bo Pelinis HUSK MUSK
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    And martial arts/boxing.
     
  29. oldberg

    oldberg However, there are chill
    Donor
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    multiple concussions in high school definitely has me worried about later life as well
     
    jaygabriel likes this.
  30. JPWahoo

    JPWahoo Some Flies are too Awesome for the Wall
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    I dont think people will stop playing/watching, I think the courts or legislation are going to get involved
     
    BellottiBold likes this.
  31. Moxin24

    Moxin24 Show me that smile
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    This goes to a point I've been making for a few years. You cannot play contact sports and avoid things like concussions. Its just impossible. You can improve helmet technology (which they're doing) and you can attempt bullshit changes with the rules (which won't work), but its something you have to accept if your kid is going to play anything other than golf or tennis.
     
  32. DUCKMOUTH

    DUCKMOUTH Master of tribal-lunar speak
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    Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

    Doubtful, but possible. Could outlaw tackle football until 16 or 18 and call it a health risk for minors. Certainly not out of the realm of possibility
     
    JPWahoo likes this.
  33. Petito

    Petito coys
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    Most high schools don't have restrictions on how many full contact practices they can have per week. This is a huge factor in young kids developing CTE...The NFL is limited to 1 full contact practice per week.
     
    BellottiBold likes this.
  34. Don Brodka

    Don Brodka Thats right, Don Brodka.
    Florida State SeminolesTampa Bay BuccaneersSwanseaHartford WhalersSeattle SupersonicsGeorgetown Hoyas

    I had several concussions from lacrosse, my worst though came from playing baseball as a kid and getting drilled in the helmet.
     
  35. Bo Pelinis

    Bo Pelinis HUSK MUSK
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    Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Football might go the way of boxing where anyone with enough money and sense completely avoid it but poor folks still flock to the sport (even more than now).
     
  36. Moxin24

    Moxin24 Show me that smile
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    I've coached at six different high schools, every single one has followed the same schedule. Monday is install day, no individual period and at worst its "thud" during team. Tuesday and Wednesday are full contact practices. Thursdays are walk throughs. Usually just helmets or uppers. No real contact that day either.
     
    Whiskers McKitty and Lyrtch like this.
  37. Lyrtch

    Lyrtch Nude Member
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    Clemson Tigers

    agree that all have issues, veteran soccer players have mentioned heading the ball may go away in the future

    but again, its repeated sub concussive hits that are most closely correlated with CTE. that's why football and boxing seem to have the highest portion and notoriety for it.
     
    BellottiBold likes this.
  38. Don Brodka

    Don Brodka Thats right, Don Brodka.
    Florida State SeminolesTampa Bay BuccaneersSwanseaHartford WhalersSeattle SupersonicsGeorgetown Hoyas

    So basically there will always be a stockpile of kids from South Florida and most of the Southeast to play.

    I also think it will take a couple of generations to change how Texas views football.
     
    Artoo likes this.
  39. allothersnsused

    allothersnsused Do it for the culture
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    Yeah, unfortunately I think this is what we're going to see happen.
     
  40. Phil Connors

    Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson Tide

  41. Bo Pelinis

    Bo Pelinis HUSK MUSK
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    Goodbye field general lunch pail coaches on the field
     
    pearl, i am a bammer, oldberg and 3 others like this.
  42. Lyrtch

    Lyrtch Nude Member
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    Clemson Tigers

    this is what will happen because I dont anticipate the courts going crazy banning shit

    talent level will drop considerably across the board. more kids will go into baseball/soccer/basketball, especially since you get paid drastically more in basketball/baseball without nearly the same long term risk.
     
    Bo Pelinis likes this.
  43. Don Brodka

    Don Brodka Thats right, Don Brodka.
    Florida State SeminolesTampa Bay BuccaneersSwanseaHartford WhalersSeattle SupersonicsGeorgetown Hoyas

    Once High Schools get hit with a wave of litigation regarding football, you'll start to see the laws change.
     
    watson likes this.
  44. Buff_Ruffnek

    Buff_Ruffnek POPE of RAPEZY
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    Concussions suck...moreso later down the road...
     
  45. NineteenNine

    NineteenNine Divers are, in fact, wankers. It's science.
    Texas Tech Red RaidersColorado RockiesDallas MavericksDallas CowboysDallas StarsArsenal

    Jesus.
     
  46. Boo MFer!

    Boo MFer! Creator of the 'Official Dads of TMB' thread.
    Donor
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    Hopefully this means we see the end of soccer in our lifetime.
     
    pearl, Nemesis, lehmanspeed and 4 others like this.
  47. Houndster

    Houndster Ball don't lie
    Staff Donor

    Glad I was a pussy and quit after FR year.
     
    Boo MFer! likes this.
  48. Shadow

    Shadow You are fake news.
    Pittsburgh PiratesNew York IslandersManchester UnitedReal MadridNew York Red BullsEngland Cunts

    Stories like this make me thankful that I was a late bloomer and too small to play football until after it was too late.

    God bless this guy's family. Unbelievably sad.
     
  49. GordoBombay

    GordoBombay Well-Known Member
    Nebraska CornhuskersNew York YankeesNew York GiantsEverton

    I have a friend who is very mentally ill. In and out of mental hospitals. Over the past year and half he slowly started to go off the deep end. Me and a friend have a theory that it is due to his past head injuries. He was knocked out twice in Jr High football and when he was 7 years old he wrecked his bicycle into a tree which left him bleeding out of his ears and in the hospital for a few weeks.
     
    BellottiBold likes this.
  50. A Black person

    A Black person Well-Known Member