FanShot

Mike Webster / Junior Seau

This is 2009 GQ article about brain damage in NFL. After reading this article, I understand better why Junior Seau took his own life and I truly hope that Paul Taglibue will never be inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame. That man played a huge role in HOW Mike Webster died. bq. It took Fitzsimmons a year and a half to hunt down all of Webster’s medical records, scattered in doctors’ offices throughout western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He sent Webster for four separate medical evaluations, and all four doctors confirmed Fitzsimmons’s suspicion: closed-head injury as a result of multiple concussions. Fitzsimmons filed the disability claim with the NFL. There are several levels of disability with the NFL, and Mike Webster was awarded the lowest one: partial, about $3,000 a month. Fitzsimmons said, "Oh, please." He said if ever there was a guy who qualified for the highest, it was Mike Webster. The highest level was "total disability, football-related," reserved for those who were disabled as a result of playing the game. It would yield Webster as much as $12,000 a month. Fitzsimmons said to the NFL, "Four doctors—all with the same diagnosis!" The NFL said no. Four doctors were not enough. They wanted Webster seen by their own doctor. So their own doctor examined Webster…and concurred with the other four: closed-head injury. Football-related. The NFL pension board voted unanimously for partial disability anyway. Fitzsimmons said, "You have got to be kidding me." He filed an appeal with the U.S. District Court in Baltimore, where the pension board is headquartered. The judge reversed the decision of the NFL pension board—the first time in history any such action had been taken against the NFL. And yet still the NFL fought. They took the case to federal court. They said Mike Webster—who had endured probably 25,000 violent collisions during his career and now was living on Pringles and Little Debbie pecan rolls, who was occasionally catatonic, in a fetal position for days—they said Mike Webster didn’t qualify for full disability.*

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