Terry Bradshaw, Treated for Brain Injury in OC, Wants NFL to Better Protect Players' Heads
A Newport Beach physician says he's treating the NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and Fox Sports football analyst for a brain injury. So much for patient confidentiality, you might be yelling at your computer screen. Actually, Bradshaw is also spreading the word about his treatments at Dr. Daniel G. Amen's Amen Clinic.
The quarterback who led his Pittsburgh Steelers to win four Super Bowls suffered many concussions on the playing field in the 1970s and early '80s. Bradshaw now suffers from incurable brain damage that effects his short-term memory and hand-eye coordination.
"Toward the end of last season on the Fox pregame show, maybe the last six weeks, I really started forgetting things," Bradshaw posted on the Fox Sports site April 14. "That's why I quit reciting statistics, because I couldn't remember them exactly, and I stayed away from mentioning some players by name because I really wasn't sure and I didn't want to make a mistake."
He added, "I know I have depression and it's a horrible disease. This memory loss has just made my depression worse."
The best Bradshaw can hope for is to slow down the progression of the disorder. He recently spent a weekend getting treatments at Amen Clinic. At home, he has been doing brain puzzles downloaded from the Internet and playing table tennis to keep his hand-eye coordination as sharp as possible.
"I know what I have to do to maintain . . . without worrying all the time, making myself feel worse," Bradshaw wrote in his post. "It's not the end of the world, but it's something I have to stay on top of."
Despite his meal ticket from the NFL via broadcasting partner Fox Sports, Bradshaw has joined Amen in taking aim at the league for not doing enough to protect active players' noggins. The medical community is just now understanding the dramatic impact concussions and other head injuries have later in life, says Amen, a leader in the treatment field.
The physician claims there is no current helmet or method to protect players from on-field concussions that permanently damage the brain. Fines for "head-to-head hits" are ineffective deterrents because millionaire players can easily afford to pay them, he adds.
But some observers have also identified another villain: NFL fans. By showering the league with billions every year, they prove they don't want the game changed too drastically. Perhaps they are the ones who really ought to have their heads examined.