Blog Entry

Ditka calls Duerson suicide 'a tragedy'

Posted on: February 20, 2011 4:17 pm
Duerson Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In the middle of the NFL Alumni news conference during Super Bowl week in Dallas, former coach Mike Ditka appeared on a video screen and urged the NFL to increase the pension and make long-term health care last longer than five years postretirement.

I won’t say Ditka was begging, but he was certainly making a hard plea for his case.

Ditka – and some of the former players who also were in attendance at that presser – know former colleagues who are suffering from early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s, most likely due to the repeated head blows they took when they were playing.

So, it has to be excruciating for Ditka to hear about his former player, Bears S Dave Duerson who committed suicide last week at the age of 50.

"I knew he had some problems, I knew he lost the business, I knew all that," Ditka told the Associated Press. "It's just a tragedy. It really is.

"A lot of these guys have gone through a lot of suffering. You played the game, you had a concussion, and you went back in. That's how it was. If they showed you three fingers, and you saw two, it was good enough. You played the game."

One has to wonder if Duerson might have known what was to befall him the longer he lived. It’s awfully telling, I think, that he wanted his brain donated for research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and it’ll be awfully interesting to see the results after researchers at the Boston University school of medicine examine it.

The AP also reported his company had been forced into receivership several years ago and that he had lost his home to foreclosure, and that might have played a role in his downfall.
In case you haven’t heard of CTE (though chances are you’ll continue to hear much more about it in the months and years ahead), here’s an explanation from the AP:

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is associated with cognitive and behavioral problems later in life and eventually causes dementia. Also known as punch drunk syndrome, it has been most common in boxers. In recent years, CTE has been shown to exist in other athletes, including professional and college football players and a pro hockey player.

CSTE is a collaboration between BU Medical School and the Sports Legacy Institute that's addressing what it calls the "concussion crisis" in sports. The group has been at the forefront of research into head trauma in sports and received a $1 million gift from the NFL, which it has pushed for better treatment of concussions.

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Category: NFL

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 12:51 am

Ditka calls Duerson suicide 'a tragedy'

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 9:49 pm

Ditka calls Duerson suicide 'a tragedy'

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 12:09 am

Ditka calls Duerson suicide 'a tragedy'

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:32 am
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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 10:08 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2011 11:16 am

Ditka calls Duerson suicide 'a tragedy'

Captain Pheonix is merely trying to display that too many concussions causes never ending sentences!

Since: Jul 8, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 7:47 am

Ditka calls Duerson suicide 'a tragedy'

Re: stevephoneix"....You`re proof of why first cousins shouldn`t marry.Atually,to be as stupid as YOU sound here,your mother`s probably your sister

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 2:49 am

Ditka calls Duerson suicide 'a tragedy'

how the f*** do you even post comments?
i don't understand how you can even f***ing read the original article!
your reputation is 'superstar'? are you f***ing kidding me?
i guess it goes to show you don't need to comprehend anything to have an opinion!

Since: Feb 5, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:00 am

Ditka calls Duerson suicide 'a tragedy'

Obviously you have no clue about the effects of repeated head trauma suffered by football players, boxers, etc. I think we will be seeing a lot more of this in hockey players as well go forward. You should really read up on te topic and not be so myopic. His death has everything to do with CTE and even Mr. Duerson could see that in the state he was in. Duerson was your prototypical hard hitting DB and most likely played thruough numerous concussions during his career. It is an incredibly sad thing that "a game" can destroy people's lives and teir quality of life.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:58 pm

Ditka calls Duerson suicide 'a tragedy'

The good thing is we have Steve Phoenix on here telling us the effects of concussions on the brain. Since Steve Phoenix is a brain surgeon who studies brain injuries, and post concussion symptoms we are definitely lucky we have been able to view his knowledgable post. Since Steve Phoenix has found through his extensive research that concussions do not cause dementia, nor suicidial tendencies, that can all be ruled out. Actually the research done at Boston University and Harvard Medical center can all be thrown out the window as well, because Steve Phoenix says no way!!!

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