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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