Aikman's Agent Recounts QB's Concussions to Illustrate "Undiagnosed Health Epidemic"

Categories: Sports
TroySICover.jpg
USA Today directs our attention to agent Leigh Steinberg's kick-off column for the Los Angeles Times's small-paper spin-off The Daily Pilot, which ran last week. In it Steinberg tackles the subject of concussions, which, he writes, have become an "undiagnosed health epidemic ... sweeping athletic fields across the country ... posing a threat to athletes in every age group." Which is just what I tell the 7-year-old who lives in my house who wants to play tackle football.

Steinberg, of course, was Troy Aikman's agent during his days as Cowboys QB, when Aikman suffered no fewer than 10 significant concussions. And though Aikman got some grief from some media members earlier this year for refusing to comment on the subject during post-season broadcasts, just last October he said no way, no how would he let his kid suit up: "If I had a 10-year-old boy, I don't think I'd be encouraging him to go out and play football. And so I wonder where football is going to be 20 years from now, in light of some of our youth that may not get involved with the sport because of head injury."

Which brings us back to Steinberg's piece. In it, the agent tells a story about going to see Aikman at Baylor Hospital following the NFC Championship win over San Francisco. (He writes it was in '95, but surely he means that brutal hit that knocked Troy out of the '94 title game.)
The city was awash with celebration, horns honking, fireworks in the sky. Troy greeted me with a confused look on his face.

"Where am I?" he asked. "Did I play today? How well did I play? Did we win? Are we going to the Super Bowl?"

I answered the questions and his face brightened. Five minutes later, he looked at me in confusion and asked the same questions again and I answered before he smiled.

But five minutes later he asked the same questions once again as if we had never talked. I became terrified at the toll a concussion took on the tender thread separating sentient consciousness from dementia.

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6 comments
pak152
pak152

would be interesting to see how many rugby players suffer from concussions or soccer players. Although for the latter there have been some high profile players who have quit the game due ot concussions, but the concussions were not a result of heading the ball but rather due to an elbow or head to head collisions

KentonS
KentonS

I LOVE the game of football. But it is well passed time we make some serious changes to the game to protect the players and nothing should be off the table.

DollarBill
DollarBill

And the NFL wants an 18 game season? How about Lions vs. Christians at halftime? Then Jerrah could get his 20% gratuity charge on concessions for sure (none of the 20% going to the actual server, google news 'Legends Hospitality').

just sayin'
just sayin'

I'm guessing that the mutliple concussions led to his decision to marry.

TimCov
TimCov

All you need to do, to find out about the toll of repeated concussions, is talk with some retired football players or boxers who had long careers. If I had a kid, he would not be allowed to play football. The sad part is, I' remember seeing the degradation of mental capabilities in some football players when I was in high school.

I think sports can play an important part of a child's development. But, I do not know how wise it is to let them play a sport that can so easily result in head injuries.

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