Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Mike Webster has a five-part series ("A Steeler's Melting Point) on the tragic life of Mike Webster, and even if you don't know his name (he was one of the finest centers in the history of professional football), the series is both compelling and sad. Webster went from being an All-Pro and Hall of Famer to being homeless and later died at age fifty.
Here's a link:

In a related story (also linked from that page under "a game of mortals"), there was this bit of information about a University of North Carolina study:
Nearly 2,500 retired NFL players, with an average of more than six seasons in the league, were polled. The numbers:

--Sixteen percent said they suffered from arthritis so severe it "often" limited their activities.
--Eighty-seven percent of the players said they still suffered from depression.
--Eleven percent said they had been clinically diagnosed with depression.
--Forty-six percent said they were taking anti-depressant medication.

According to the Center's study, there is a link between repeated brain trauma and depression. Players who sustained more than five concussions, it found, were three times as likely to suffer from depression than those who didn't.

The numbers on depression are absolutely shocking.

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