If we’ve learned anything the last couple of years, it’s that the game of football is—ultimately—deadly. No, it doesn’t often kill its players on the field. But it exacts a toll from its players: Every collision rattles the brain, grinds down bones, shocks the body in ways it wasn’t meant to be shocked, and this happens dozens of times during the course of a single contest, finally doing its dirty work years or decades later.
It killed Junior Seau. It killed Andre Waters. It killed Dave Duerson. It might be killing your favorite players right now—heck, it’s certainly taking its toll on one of the most beloved Eagles of recent vintage, Brian Westbrook, who is 33 and suffers from short-term memory loss.
“Hopefully they won’t continue to progress,” he says of his brain-injury symptoms.