We have a couple of notable stories on former Chiefs and life and health after football for you to check out today. Talking about this stuff certainly isn't exciting -- I'd rather stick to actual football talk -- but it's a reality in today's world, especially lately as more and more lawsuits against the NFL start to pile up.
Kent Babb of the KC Star wrote a really good story on Art Still, former Chiefs player, who suffers from some of the same issues many former players do, which is becoming too familiar to us -- memory loss, depression and mood swings. A snippet:
Still, who was the No. 2 overall draft pick in 1978, estimates that he suffered more than 20 concussions throughout his football career, but really, he has no idea. And despite the jokes, the lasting aftereffects are real. Memory loss, mood swings and occasional poor balance are among them. Liz says depression is, too. It's unnatural for him to complain, so instead he laughs about it, blaming all those concussions for things like misplacing his wallet when it's time to pay the check, warning that he might be late for or no-show a meeting, or pretending to forget his name.
Check out the whole thing here. Sometimes these stories don't get as much traction as they should because, if you're like me, it's confusing and frustrating to talk about a topic like this with no obvious solution. I'm not really sure what I can add to the conversation but it hits a little closer to home when it's former Chiefs players we're talking about. I did a double-take when I noticed that Still is just 56 years old. Younger than Old Man Thorman, which is strange for me to think about considering my Dad doesn't have any of those issues.
The good thing is that I think we're starting to see a culture change and people now notice, for other reasons, stories like this.
Another former Chiefs defensive tackle, Bill Maas, talked with BJ Kissel on the Chop Talk Podcast on Sunday night and had this to say:
To hear everyone (former players) talking about the same issues that I live with is really a lot more comforting to me, as someone who has to deal with the things that this entails. But it's just comforting to know that I'm not alone....all these guys coming out and saying the same thing, they can't sleep at night, the ringing in their ears, their headaches, the forgetfulness, to know that you're not alone in all of this is more important than a law suit to me. Just to know that I'm not crazy, that I've got other guys that are all going through the same stuff.
Bill Maas, 50 years old.