Dave Duerson – Rest in Peace

The recent death of former Chicago Bears (Giants & Cardinals) safety Dave Duerson is tragic and certainly shocking for his family, Bears teammates and friends. Dave apparently took his own life but before he did he instructed his family to donate his brain to science to study the effects of concussions he sustained as a football player.

Dave was a friend, a peer, a teammate on several Pro Bowl teams, was only 50 years old but apparently suffered in silence from the effects of traumatic brain injuries. Dave was not a disgruntled former player who had an ax to grind with nothing to live for; instead he was a smart and astute businessman who had much to look forward to in life. Dave’s suicide as well as the NFL finally acknowledging the correlation between concussions and ailments like dementia later in life should open the eyes of players on every level of football as well as the parents of young players and spouses of professional football players. We all better start asking the very personal question, is the neurological risks of playing the game worth it?

I am saddened with the death of a friend but I must admit that I am not overly surprised. There have been other former players who have committed suicides and unfortunately I suspect there will be others who will see that as a way to alleviate their internal pain. I was diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome in 1990. I’ve spoken very publicly about my own issues with concussions since about 1995. In doing so many individuals (players and non-players) have reached out to me as a resource fully understanding that I can relate to the issues of Traumatic Brain Injuries and not judge or ignore.

Football players especially professional football players are very proud individuals and are not always open to sharing their issues and pain to just anyone. I just wish Dave had reached out to someone for help, if he had perhaps he might still be here.

Investor’s Business Daily article

Did an interview with Investor’s Business Daily a couple of months ago and it was just published. Thought one or two of you loyal Harry Carson “faithful” fans might want to see what it was all about.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/559160/201101071751/Harry-Carsons-Giant-Tackles.aspx

Harry Visits Youth Treatment Center

Harry Carson, former NFL linebacker and Giants captain, brought his special brand of motivation and inspiration to the young people of the Trinitas Residential Treatment Center during a visit in December. Carson and his wife, Maribel, toured the facility before joining the young people for lunch.

Carson emphasized that no matter how much fame he had achieved during his 21-year career on the gridiron, it pales by comparison to the work he now does with numerous charitable organizations and foundations.

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In the same breath….!

When I was coming out of college I originally did not want to be drafted by a New York football team.  But after I got over being selected by the Football Giants I decided to make the most of the opportunity. I was scouted by Giants Hall of Famers Emlen Tunnell and Rosie Brown while still at South Carolina State University. With names like that still involved with the team it didn’t take long for me to realize that the New York Football Giants were an organization rich in history and tradition. Some of you may have heard me say this before but I will share it one more time. My one goal as a player was, at the end of my career, to be “mentioned in the same breath” as other Giants greats like those I became familiar with.

On October 3rd at halftime of the Giants/Bears game my goal was formally realized as I was inducted into the Giants “Ring of Honor”. That evening my name was formally mentioned with New York Giants greats like: Tunnell and Brown along with Frank Gifford, Charley Conerly, YA Tittle, Sam Huff, Andy Robustelli, Dick Lynch, Joe Morrison and Pete Gogolak. Those were the Giant players who preceded me on the football field.  Other players who also gained the same recognition but were my peers or followed my career were George Martin, Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Strahan Jessie Armstead, Tiki Barber and Amani Toomer.

I congratulate them all and acknowledge that the honor is all mine to be recognized with them as all our names are mentioned in the same breath being a part of New York Giants history!