I’m going to tell you something that the NFL would very much like to keep a secret: getting hit in the head very hard and repeatedly does not do wonders for your physical or mental health. And depending on who you ask, it puts you at risk for everything from dementia to becoming a pedophile.
Needless to say, this isn’t a 100% certainty that strapping on the pads will turn you into a crazed sex offender. If it did we’d see a lot more football players getting a slap on the wrist for sex crimes as opposed to the usual crimes they commit. Instead it seems to be an issue of just what brain damage does to you.
Essentially, it’s increasingly becoming clear that professional football players have an unusually high incidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. If you were wondering what that was, it’s the brain literally rotting away because it’s taken excessive amounts of abuse.
The symptoms take all sorts of forms; it all depends on what gets destroyed first. In other words, you may be a normal, sane person when you start playing, but as you progressively destroy your brain, and once your body gets in on the act and goes to town, who the hell knows what’s actually going to happen?
The good news is that it takes years of this abuse to trigger CTE, which means Jerry Sandusky can’t weasel his way out by claiming brain damage. It’s really limited to former professional players, guys who spent five to ten years getting their marbles rattled.
Either way, now you have something to hang over the head of that annoying ex-jock on Facebook.
image courtesy Vectorportal.com