Mike Webster Essay

Submitted By wilsonite93
Words: 943
Pages: 4

Today, I will do my short talk on a retired N.F.L hall of famer, who played 245 games and won 4 superbowls in a row in his 17 year carreer. His name was Mike Webster and he was considered by some, the best Center in NFL history. Mike died of heart attack in 2002 at the young age of 50. Due to many concussions and endless sub-concussions throughout his career, Mike developped a neurodegenerative disease called CTE which is more formally known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It was often seen in retired boxers but Mike brought it to the spotlight in the Football world. There are 49 confirmed cases of retired NFL players with CTE and theres 7 deceased players who were suspected of having it.This disease only appears years after trauma has been dealt to the brain and people with CTE are known to have dementia. They usually suffer from depression, memory loss, anxiety, amnesia and sometimes enter a state of indifference called Apathy, where they just dont care. It also alters behaviour and can make a person agressive and makes them have a very short temper, This was the case for Mike Webster. CTE lead to his divorce, a major decrease in his mental health, a decline in physical health, and a long lasting legal battle with the NFL and this truly was Mike's downfall.

Just to clear things up about Mike's Football position. He was the center on the Offensive line. Which means that he was the one who snaps the football back to the quarterback in between his legs and then protects the QB at all costs. When protecting the QB, the center Rams into the opposite player who is trying to sack the quarterback. The power that these men have is astonashing and the velocity of their impacts are mind blowing. Mike was 6 foot 2 and 255 pounds and every play he would snap the football back and ram his oppponent, head first as hard as possible. The head collisions taking place occur in only 15 miliseconds and can result in forces of up to 100 g's which is 10 times higher than what fighter jet pilots have to deal with. Also, the average velocity of both heads colliding occurs at 32 km/h. This is the equivalent of getting smashed in the head by a sledge hammer. It is also equivalent of driving a car at 50 km/h and crashing directly in a brick wall stopping the car dead in its tracks. This is what Mike's brain had endured for 245 games in his career. It is no suprise that these retired football players come out of their careers with severe brain trauma.
Due to playing football , Mikes physical body was in awful shape as well. He 3 lumbar vertabrae and 2 cervical vertabrae that tormented his back because of herniated discs. His left heel was chronically damaged and caused him to limp. His right shoulder was always sore because of a torn rotator cuff. His elbow was stiff due to it being dislocated several times and his knees no longer had any cartilage in them. His physical health was much healthier than his mental health. After, retirement, He had already shown symptoms of CTE at this point but it only got worse. Mike was depressed,anxious, demotivated, and had fits of rage. He was on numerous amounts of prescribed drugs. Such as Paxil to lower his anxiety levels, he was on dexadrine to keep him calm, on Prozac to ease off his depression, on Vicodin to stop headaches and he was on Elderpryl. Due to all of these meds and awful investments, Mike became broke and very mentally instable. This led to his divorce which made him even more depressed. He then filed a lawsuit against the NFL