25
Sep
08

BRAAAAAAIIIIINNNNS!


Former Patriots middle linebacker and noted romance novel enthusiast Ted Johnson was forced into early retirement from the multiple concussions he suffered during his playing career. Since his retirement Johnson has suffered debilitating depressions and memory issues, as well as a domestic dispute where he and his wife were both arrested for hitting one another.

Yesterday he announced that he was going to be donating his brain when he dies to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, a joint program between the Boston University School of Medicine and Sports Legacy Institute. The center, which is trying to become one of the foremost experts in concussions has already received agreements from 16 athletes from such varied sports as soccer, football, hockey and swimming to examine their brains after their deaths.

The study hopes to find conclusive evidence that will help them understand the effects and prevention of concussions. After his retirement, Johnson accused coach Bill Belichick of sending him back on the field when he wasn’t fully healed but insists that he’s “not being vindictive. I’m not trying to reach up from the grave and get the NFL. But any doctor who doesn’t connect concussions with long-term effects should be ashamed of themselves.” Of course, he’s referring to the NFL doctors who have at times ruled that concussions do not necessarily have long-term effects.

Isaiah Kacyvenski, a former Seattle Seahawk and St. Louis Ram, as well as a former Harvard athlete who is also donating his brain agrees, saying that “There might be a connotation that this is a witch hunt, point the finger at the NFL. It’s just not like that. Our goal is for people to start taking concussions seriously. That means getting off the field when they receive them and finding ways to prevent them.”


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