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Ex-NFL TE Ben Utecht suffering memory loss at 30

Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:58 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 3:13 pm
 
By Will Brinson

Ben Utecht's career in the NFL ended early -- after suffering his fifth concussion (that he knows of) during training camp in 2009, Utecht retired and is already, at the young age of 30, dealing with bouts of memory loss that are likely attributed to the brain damage he suffered while in the NFL.

Utecht, a talented singer, told USA Today's Erik Brady that what he's doing now, touring as a musician, is a "dream come true," but that he's growing concerned about the health of his brain.

"Will I experience early-onset dementia in my 50s? Will I experience more issues with amnesia or headaches or behavioral changes? All of these things are consequences of brain injury," Utecht said. "I think now that I'm aware of them — especially now that I'm the father of three beautiful little girls — it's definitely in my heart and on my mind. I'd be lying to you if I said it wasn't."

Utecht's wife, Karen, recalled a day when the former tight end wondered to some close friends why he didn't attend their wedding a few years back. But Utecht was wrong. He had been at the wedding -- in the wedding, in fact -- but couldn't remember it.

The couple also note a number of other instances during daily life where Utetch simply couldn't remember basic events about his daily life.

And remember, Utecht is only 30. It's a terrifying story, but absolutely worth a read, and a reminder of exactly how debilitating the brain damage football players suffer really can be.

Via MDS at PFT

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Comments

Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: December 22, 2011 9:35 am
 

Ex-NFL TE Ben Utecht suffering memory loss at 30

Just sad.



Since: Nov 19, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2011 1:54 am
 

Ex-NFL TE Ben Utecht suffering memory loss at 30

Let's see what Goodell does for him. Oh wait, Goodell only wants you to THINK he cares about player safety.




Since: Mar 26, 2007
Posted on: December 22, 2011 1:05 am
 

Ex-NFL TE Ben Utecht suffering memory loss at 30

Hopefully it doesn't get any worse and Ben can enjoy his life as a musician and father. I've had two concussions myself, and it used to be an injury that was completely disregarded, but we know better now, and the NFL and other sports will be under increased pressure to protect their athletes from the potentially horrible damage. I don't know what the ultimate answer will be for contact sports, but I definitely do not want to see my kids ever experience any head injuries as they play sports, and I'm sure Ben would fear the same thing, especially considering what he is dealing with at such a young age. Good luck Ben.



Since: Sep 4, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 10:39 pm
 

Ex-NFL TE Ben Utecht suffering memory loss at 30

This has to be a scary story for guys in the NFL. The NFL needs to do more in the area of equipment. There are atleast four helmets that test better for concussion prevention than the Rydell helmets the NFL uses. Maybe it's time to take a little more responsablity in the front office. Stop deflecting the blame on guys like Harrison and other defensive players that are only doing what they've been taught since pee-wee leagues. I for one would like to hear more about what the NFL is doing to incorporate better technology in their equipment. Hopfully Goodel will also see that reaching out to little leagues and high schools teams about teaching better technique like just simply wrapping guys up instead of blowing them up. At the speed of the collisions out there I don't see concussions going away.



Since: Sep 21, 2010
Posted on: December 21, 2011 10:37 pm
 

Ex-NFL TE Ben Utecht suffering memory loss at 30

It's obvious the concussions are the biggest factor to his condition. However, unlike other players like Al Toon, there's no mention of his having seizures. Thank God!  That's something you really don't want happening.

I'd say at this point in time they should test to see if this is a real case of early on-set of alzheimers. Even though it usually happens much later in life, he may be carrying that gene within him and the concussions are accelerating the disease?  Just wondering.

God bless Ben and his family. One can only imagine how tough it's got to be on them seeing this happen at such a young age.




Since: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: December 21, 2011 5:24 pm
 

Ex-NFL TE Ben Utecht suffering memory loss at 30

Best wishes to his family. Maybe with detection now, there is something the medical field can do to possibly help or slow down the effects?



Since: Oct 10, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 3:48 pm
 

Ex-NFL TE Ben Utecht suffering memory loss at 30

It's just such things as this that are behind the anti-headhunting rules in the NFL.  For those of you who think that football is becoming too wimpy, perhaps this story can serve as a reminder as to why we as fans should not expect players to suffer potentially irrepairable brain damage just for our collective entertainment.  Good luck young man.


hootyeek
Since: Dec 21, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 9:44 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:54 am
 

Ex-NFL TE Ben Utetch suffering memory loss at 30

How can his name be mispelled multiple times in one article? The source article is actually correct, but this one is still wrong in each instance



Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:28 am
 

Ex-NFL TE Ben Utetch suffering memory loss at 30

This is a terrible circumstance especially at his age. Pray for his healing and treatment. God bless you Ben.


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