Memory loss prompted Rypien to sue for concussions

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The most recent concussion lawsuit filed against the NFL includes the MVP of Super Bowl XXVI, former Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien.

Rypien, who was a full-time starter for fewer than three of his 12 NFL seasons, says that memory loss prompted him to take action.

“It got to a point where it made me concerned and now I’m thinking, ‘Gosh, what do the next 10 years look like?’” Rypien told Nathan Fenno of the Washington Times.  “Then you become a little bit scared.”

Rypien said that he suffered four or five concussions in the NFL, along with 15 to 20 other times he was “not in my right state” after being hit.

“We need to take care of our people,” Rypien said, “not look after how much money we’re going to make based on putting people out there in very precarious, scary positions and really engaging them in a life-threatening practice.”

That’s what the NFL is now doing, to the chagrin of many fans who want to see large men crash violently and repeatedly into each other.  The challenge in the litigation will be to determine when the NFL knew or should have known about the long-term health risks of concussions, whether the NFL concealed that information, and whether the NFL thereafter took steps aimed at making the game safer.  There’s possibly a window of time in which the NFL knew there was a problem but opted to deny its existence for fear of fundamentally altering the game.

But this entire case will play out against the background of the reality that it should have been obvious that banging bodies together could cause all sorts of short-term and long-term health effects.  Whether that makes any difference in the litigation will depend largely on the composition and mindset of the jury selected to hear the case, if it ever gets that far.

It likely won’t.  Like most lawsuits, the lawyers will grind out the billable hours for a couple of years (it’s called “not leaving money in the file”) and then find a way to settle it.

Moving forward, there will always be more than enough young men, even now with the risks fully known, who will choose to believe that, in 20 or more years, they will be one of the former players who functions perfectly fine — assuming that anyone in his early 20s is even capable of caring about their condition 20 or more years from now.

24 responses to “Memory loss prompted Rypien to sue for concussions

  1. The NFL shouldn’t HAVE to take care of former players. They knew it was a violent game and they played it violently. These guys were monsters on the gridiron. However, I do believe they should set up a system to medically take care of these former greats because it’s the right thing to do. They just shouldn’t be forced to do it.

  2. If you think that the bounties weren’t a big deal and that the NFL was too harsh you have to look no further than right here. This is why it was so serious after being warned the first time. These players want to talk like they are making the game soft then turnaround and sue for injuries they sustained. Can’t have your pie and eat it too.

  3. Not the NFL’s fault. Concussions have been here since the dawn of man. Everyone knows it. Car racing causes accidents. Smoking causes lung cancer. Boxing, football, martial arts, all hard on the noggin. Too many squats causes back pain in later years. Pitching can wear out shoulders. As will tennis. Common sense.

    Sorry, you signed up, and you took the money. Maybe you should have taken your degree and been an accountant.

    Too many people in this country looking for free money for doing nothing. Just say no. Tort reform baby! Needed in USA.

  4. I cant wait till Im 60 and file suit against the donut makers for causing me future health problems. I think they know there’s a higher risk of getting fat and having heart problems, but they dont explicitly say it on their packaging and they coninue to sell them to me anyways…

    Im gonna be rich!

  5. The only reason the NFL is being serious about the bounties is because of the lawsuits otherwise it stays hush hush since they knew about it since 2009.

  6. Rypien thinks he remembers being great his entire career. Not just 1 or 2 seasons. Hence he doesn’t remember anything other than those 2 years.

  7. I’m going to resist the “easy” reponse to Mark Rypien saying he “was not in his right state” ……

    By the way, this is the guy that started what, a dozen or so games, and played behind an O line called the “Hogs”, with an offense consisting of handing off 3 straight times to John Riggens, right?

    THAT Mark Rypien????

  8. Fail. You were paid handsomely to take the risks you chose to take. If you didn’t think the NFL was violent and dangerous then you were stupid to begin with, not just now. The NFL should sue you for bad press.

  9. I’m getting tired of these former athletes citing “memory loss” as a direct symptom of many concussions. If it were more tangible like tremors, then I would say something needs to be done, but when you cite something that 99% of the population has it seems contrived. Sue the NCAA you didn’t even get payed for those concussions.

  10. @pftcensorsuck

    Get your facts straight before making a comment. The “hogs”were not the same when Rypien was there. John Riggins was retired for 5 years before Rypien was there. He was a one hit wonder but he was passing a lot and threw for a lot of yards.

  11. Maybe the fact that he’s 50 has something to do with it?

    Can you imagine that lots of older people have memory loss and never even played football?

  12. Come on, this is ridiculous, either tell us what the guidelines are for deletion or don’t delete things!

  13. Bills fans wish they had memory loss, so they could forget how this scrub looked like Sammy Baugh against them in Superbowl XXVI.

  14. pftcensorssuck u need to get your @#%@ together before u post. u said rypien’s game consisted of playing behind the hogs and handing off to riggins 3 straight times. in 91 rypien led the league in td passes and had the best scoring offense of all time to that point. riggins retired 5 years before rypien was on the redskins. i by no way will ever say rypien was a great QB but he did have a great season in 91, he will always be respected among the redskins faithful. if anything needs to be censored on pft it’s you!

  15. This is pretty questionable, but I bet there would be a lot less lawsuits if the owners had ponied up and given medical benefits to retired players.

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