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Aikman opens up about why he doesn’t talk about concussions

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As Hall of Fame quarterback and FOX analyst Troy Aikman prepares to call Sunday’s wild-card game between the Packers and Eagles, he talked to Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel regarding an issue that Aikman doesn’t talk much about on the air.

Concussions.

He says he’s reluctant to become associated with concussions.  “I shouldn’t be the poster boy for head injury,” Aikman said.  “I have really tried to distance myself from that.  I’m 44 years old.  I’m completely healthy.  I have an active lifestyle.  I don’t want to be looked at as one who is experiencing some of these things that other players talk about.  Because I’m not.  I have been asked to go talk to Congress.  I declined.  I have not done interviews on it.”

Aikman also said that he avoids the topic because every player experiences concussions differently.  “[T]o try to talk about my experience and how it relates to someone who is dealing with it in today’s game, Aaron Rodgers for instance, I don’t think I’m really on top of what that guy is feeling,” Aikman said.

Still, Aikman shared some details regarding his own concussions, two of which sound alarming.

“I had one my rookie year,” Aikman said.  “I was knocked out cold for 10 minutes.  I had blood coming from my ear.  The second was I got knocked out in the ’93 season NFC championship game against San Francisco.  I got knocked out in the third quarter.  I spent the night in the hospital.  They asked me questions.  I didn’t know what planet I was on.  I still to this day have no recollection of ever having played in that game.  So whenever I see footage of that game, it’s like somebody else is out there doing it.”

The fact that Aikman has no lingering problems shows that not every player who has sustained multiple head injuries while playing football or other sports will have long-term health problems.  But Aikman possibly has decided to refrain from talking about it as a way to avoid tempting fate.

That said, plenty of NFL players never develop health issues from concussions.  It’s important to keep that in mind as the league contemplates strategies for reducing the total number of concussions that players suffer.

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21 Responses to “Aikman opens up about why he doesn’t talk about concussions”
  1. gdt372753 says: Jan 9, 2011 9:57 AM

    Aikman is very fortunate to not have lingering results from his concussions. People tend to forget that his last concussion ultimately caused him to walk away from the game at an early age. I applaud his ability to refrain from adding his thoughts and experiences on this topic. Sometimes less is more.

  2. randolph32 says: Jan 9, 2011 10:03 AM

    Don’t blame the guy…as soon as he starts talking he’s getting Declined for Health or Life Insurance, Privacy Laws are there for a reason…

  3. thetooloftools says: Jan 9, 2011 10:11 AM

    Stay healthy Troy !

  4. gmenmunny says: Jan 9, 2011 10:12 AM

    I’m glad that Troy Head Ache-man doesn’t think that he should be interviewed or talk about concussions, especially since he has had so many, he can’t even recount all of them, let alone what planet he was on. I’m glad your doing well in your mid 40’s Troy. I just hope it’ll continue into your 50s,60s, etc…

    Even with all the head trauma, your damn gun slingin arm and sick-nasty rb killed my gmen in the 90s….

  5. 4sacroc says: Jan 9, 2011 10:20 AM

    Troy’s a stud.

  6. bucforever says: Jan 9, 2011 10:22 AM

    Guess Aikman just has a thicker skull than most guys. A healthy lifestyle might be a contributing factor too.

  7. jwil444 says: Jan 9, 2011 10:43 AM

    I always cut him slack when he’s announcing games due to his past concussions. Why else can the guy only describe something impressive on the field with his favorite one word adjective? Heckuva………….

    Play the Aikman “heckuva” drinking game, you’ll be hammered by the half and by games end feel like you have a concussion of your own.

  8. cstruhar says: Jan 9, 2011 10:47 AM

    Aikman is only 44. I wish him well, but it’s too early to say that the concussions didn’t cause any long term problems.

  9. edgy says: Jan 9, 2011 11:07 AM

    Mike Golic was always a critic of the guy when it came to his HOF credentials but it was those concussions that shortened his career and frankly, he sacrificed his stats for the good of winning. If you ever actually watched him play and didn’t go off what you saw on the stats sheet, you’d know that he had one of the best arms in the league and great touch and unlike the guy who supposedly had the best arm, Jeff George, he was willing to throw the ball away and play with a second and ten instead of a second and twenty. People call him a caretaker QB but I guarantee you that if you put George in his place, they wouldn’t have won a single Super Bowl because he cared more about his stats than he did wins.

    He may not remember his concussions but I do. He took some pretty wicked shots and I wasn’t surprised when he retired so young and I wasn’t one of the guys who thought he should have kept playing because he could have ended up as a vegetable, if he had kept taking all those shots (It’s an irony that Dallas’ two best QBs retired prematurely because of injuries).

  10. bigbear12 says: Jan 9, 2011 11:16 AM

    After listening to him try and broadcast games it is obvious he is dealing with after effects of the concussions.
    Guy sounds like he has a mouth half full of cotton when he talks.

  11. heavythumb says: Jan 9, 2011 11:39 AM

    Then why does he sleep through most of his broadcasts? I have heard Joe Buck flat out ask him, “Are you okay?” twice this season.

    Wake up, Troy! You are on the air!

  12. riverhorsey says: Jan 9, 2011 11:50 AM

    yes troy we certainly wouldn’t want people thinking you were a tard because you testified about concussions.

    how vain is that?

  13. silkyjohnson937 says: Jan 9, 2011 12:14 PM

    Great aikman and buck together for another nfc east teams game. Buck has a crush on aikman im telling you guys just pay attention to this: when they show aikman and buck aikman will be looking at the field and buck will be staring into aikmans eyes just straight hypnotized. Mark my words

  14. gorilladunk says: Jan 9, 2011 12:22 PM

    @riverhorsey…trolls like you make me think mandatory birth control should have been in effect the year you were conceived.

  15. steelers6pack says: Jan 9, 2011 12:32 PM

    Hey Faikman, it was Lavar Arrington who ended your career! If nto for your offensive limeman never get called for holding your career would have ended sooner!

  16. Slackmo says: Jan 9, 2011 12:55 PM

    Kudos to Aikman for his restraint and not being a media whore. The way he handles this is the way a man should handle this.

  17. tdk24 says: Jan 9, 2011 1:26 PM

    You can’t talk about what you do not remember

  18. theytukrjobs says: Jan 9, 2011 1:29 PM

    Hopefully he doesn’t become a poster child as he ages.

  19. dboom says: Jan 9, 2011 1:38 PM

    Who’s saying he doesn’t have lingering problems?

  20. roadking074533 says: Jan 9, 2011 3:37 PM

    First Troy is lucky about where he is at today, he was a great QB and more than that a great leader for his team, however with that being said it only takes a person to watch Realsports on HBO to understand he really needs to become involved in head injuries to athletes and take a bigger look at what he can do to help inform about what can happen to athletes after they are done competing.

  21. steelerdynasty2010 says: Jan 13, 2011 8:02 AM

    FINALLY! someone who doesnt think his particular experience makes him an expert on a topic. He realizes that he’s extremely lucky to not have these lingering issues (Troy says he doesnt have them @dboom), yet doesnt feel compelled to pretend he’s an expert on concussions. I would love Troy even more if he wasnt such a homer for the Star. We know you’re still loyal to your old team, but DAMN!

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