Three years ago today, I sat in the office of Massachusetts neuropathologist Ann McKee, who studies the brains of deceased former football players to discover the effects of repetitive brain trauma. She showed me slides of cross-sections of brains of former NFL players with evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This was five days after Rutgers player Eric LeGrand was paralyzed after a big hit in a college game, and four days after frightening blows by pro players James Harrison, Brandon Meriweather and Dunta Robinson. “I wonder,” McKee said that day. “Can we make it more of an Indy 500 and less of a demolition derby?”
The race is on to see if football can change–and so far, after three years, the effort is there on all levels. With the emphasis on the head trauma issue evident all over football and society, The MMQB will spend this week publishing a series of stories taking the temperature of people across America–high school coaches and players, parents of players, medical experts and current and former pro players–about the game.
What you’ll read on our site this week: