Survey: Vast Majority Of Former NFLers Would Still Play Today Despite Impact Of Concussions
A survey about the impact of concussions among pro football players found that 96 of 125 former NFLers responded "yes, many of them enthusiastically," when asked if, "knowing what they know now, they would do their NFL careers over again," according to Matt Crossman of SPORTING NEWS. However, Pro Football HOFer Joe DeLamielleure "was one of nine players -- and two Hall of Famers -- who said no." A tenth player said, “I don’t think so,” and a third HOFer said, "Don’t know." Fifteen responded "yes with caveats -- they would retire sooner, they would not hit with their heads so much, they would not try to be so tough, and they would listen to doctors more." The results of the survey are featured in the third part of Sporting News' week-long feature on NFL concussions. DeLamielleure estimates that he "suffered hundreds, if not more than a thousand, concussions in his football career." He was "one of the first" former NFLers to sign up to donate his brain to Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. DeLamielleure said, “If I could see a picture of this when I was 28, and somebody said, ‘Here’s you sitting with a reporter at 61 with a card donating your brain to science because all the guys are messed up, would you still play?’ No.” Pro Football HOFer Harry Carson said, "Guys get up and talk about their love for the game, and how they’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. I fell into that routine as a former player. Then I started thinking to myself, ‘What? Knowing what you know now? You’d do it over again?’ ... Oh, hell no" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/22).