Joe Linta played football at Yale before making a living as an NFL agent and football coach at Hamden Hall. Yet he wonders if it is worth it for his son to play.
A recent study by Boston University on 202 former football players found much evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The study stopped short of proving the condition, a progressive degenerative disease of the brain, is prevalent in all football players. Yet it once again raised concern.
“My son T.J. [a quarterback at Brown] is in a game against Columbia last year and he got whacked hard after someone missed a block,” Linta said. “He fell hard and his head whiplashed back into the turf. He wasn’t throwing up or anything, but he clearly had a moment of memory loss and dizziness for maybe 45 minutes to an hour. It took him nearly a day to recover.
“As a parent, I would look at that and say [football’s] not really worth it and, God forbid, if he has one more [blow] of any significance, I’m going to have the conversation with him about whether it is really worth it.
“He’s an example of a kid who is going to go out in the world and have opportunities for jobs. Is it really worth it? But it’s something he wants more than anything and I am supportive of him – to an extent.”
The study confirmed that the high percentage of brains donated by families of players with multiple concussions or troubling symptoms before they died had CTE.
Football is a collision sport and vicious hits have been glorified. There have been famous, defining hits, such as Chuck Bednarik on Frank Gifford in 1960, or many on Oakland QB Kenny…
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