Football is a dangerous sport. There is no doubt about it. Players are risking their livelihood playing the sport they love. Former Pro Bowl Chicago Bears linebacker found that out the hard way.
It turns out the former hard-hitting linebacker Lance Briggs is battling symptoms of CTE. He revealed that and a lot more in a recent video, in which he had this to say,
“I enjoyed every minute of football. I didn’t feel like I was in the game until I got a good pop. Either I got popped or I popped somebody. You’re not supposed to be doing the things we’re doing to our bodies. CTE affects guys in a different way, and you start seeing it even in the practice of football. You get worried. I get concerned for myself. And even though I’ve never had any suicidal thoughts, or anything like that, for it to happen to some great men, and great football players, I know that I can’t separate myself from that crowd.”
Briggs, a third-round pick in the 2003 NFL draft, played his entire 12-year career with the Bears. He made seven Pro Bowls, two NFC title games, and one Super Bowl. He was named a First-team All-Pro in 2005 and twice second-team All-Pro in 2006 and 2009.
Briggs now works for Comcast Sports Net Chicago as a football analyst. He admits his diagnosis is scary:
Junior Seau was another notable former player to be diagnosed with the disease known as CTE. However, the full diagnosis cannot be made until the person has passed away, which makes dealing with this terrible disease even more difficult.
Briggs is just 36-years-old. The fact that he’s already experiencing symptoms at such a young age is alarming. When he played, Briggs was one of the hardest hitting linebackers in all of the NFL. He left it all out on the field.
For now, Briggs is trying to keep himself busy. He’s even gone back to school to get his bachelor’s degree.
Again, players put a lot at risk playing the game of football and Briggs understands that better than anyone.
“Football comes down to a choice: You understand the dangers and the harm,” he said. “If that young man … wants to play football, there will be football. Health issues are something that go hand in hand with a sport like this.
“For a lot of these guys who have played football for so long, the head injuries will continue to mount. We’re all going to need that medical care. We’re all going to need to make sure we’re cared for throughout the rest of our lives.
It’s great that Briggs is getting out in front of this and spreading awareness at the same time. Hopefully, other football players around the country can benefit from what Briggs is trying to accomplish.
One thing is certain, this story isn’t getting as much media attention as it should. Everyone should have an opportunity to hear what’s happening with Briggs. So, feel free to share this post, so maybe another football player suffering from CTE symptoms can get they help they need.