TheBigLead- Frank Wycheck, famous for throwing the pass in the Music City Miracle, is certain that he has CTE and is donating his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation after his death. He spoke with ESPN about his condition.
Wycheck suffers from migraines and anxiety and depression, and has missed time working as a Titans’ radio analyst because of symptoms that have caused him not to travel with team. He also expressed concerns about what may happen in the future.
“I worry about, I’m scared about the time if I actually get to that point where these guys [who have committed suicide] have snapped,” he said. “What has made them snap? And that is what I am scared of, that there is something that is going to come over me that is going to make me snap.
“I don’t think I am going to do it, but those guys you would never think in a million years would. And that’s the scary part about it. There is no one that can tell you really anything. It’s just, the damage is done.”
Wycheck, who says he wouldn’t change being a football player despite the symptoms, started playing tackle football when he was 5 years old and estimates that he has been part of 297,000 collisions and had 25 concussions.
The players. They have become....::audible gasp::...SELF-AWARE!
I'm not even trying to be funny, because no one should have to go to bed fearful that they could randomly wake up in the morning as some unrecognizable, suicidal version of themselves. However, doesn't Frank Wycheck's level of consciousness regarding instances in which he was left sub-conscious feel eerily similar to the turning point of 'Westworld'. A seemingly indestructible, superhuman representation of a person whose well being was either overlooked or ignored because of the entertainment they provided others? Obviously he was compensated better than a robotic host in a science fiction show, but he still unknowingly and unnecessarily endured completely unnatural levels of trauma without knowing the ramifications of it. I don't think Frank Wycheck is the first former player to understand what's happening to his brain and why, but he's the first I can remember being this vocal about it so early on in the process.
Of course - considering Wycheck would admittedly do it all over - there will always people who will voluntarily put their health at risk to play a professional sport for millions of dollars so I certainly don't think football is going anywhere. That said, the more the recipients of head injuries understand about them the worse if gets for the league that brushed them aside for so long. Surely blatant negligence wasn't responsible for all of Frank Wycheck's concussions, but it was responsible for them not being treated properly and his willingness to speak up about the toll they have taken on him isn't a precedent that the NFL wants set considering they somehow still struggle to enforce their own damn protocol.