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New book contends Mike Webster considered killing NFL officials

WEBSTER AP

The tour has commenced for the book that will accompany the documentary titled League of Denial, the comprehensive attack on the NFL’s failure to acknowledge the concussion crisis on a more timely basis.

As explained by to ESPN.com, the book by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru contains a troubling anecdote from the son of the late Mike Webster.

According to Webster’s son, “Webster frantically accumulated an arsenal of weapons and had seriously considered turning them on NFL officials, whom he blamed for his deteriorating mental condition.”

It’s unclear how close Webster came to creating that kind of mayhem, but it’s an alarming claim.  At a time when more and more suicides from football players are being tied to chronic brain injury, it’s hard not to wonder when/if a player who has emerged from decades of playing football with brain damage will try to kill someone other than himself.

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47 Responses to “New book contends Mike Webster considered killing NFL officials”
  1. barneyrumble says: Oct 2, 2013 2:09 PM

    Isn’t Alex Hernandez already charged with killing somebody else, and charges on possibly more killings to come?

  2. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 2, 2013 2:10 PM

    The steelers are a classy organization.

    It was so nice of them to let Mike Webster live under a highway overpass.

  3. doe22us says: Oct 2, 2013 2:13 PM

    With the mental state of most people nowadays that may not be too far fetched..

  4. ttommytom says: Oct 2, 2013 2:14 PM

    How is this alarming?

    Anyone with a TBI or PTSD or just messed up has a good chance at being violent because many are in a permo fight or flight mode. And the flight is rarely considered.

    I know firsthand as do many other readers here.

    Only getting worse in this country. Be aware or whatever one needs to do…

  5. cajunaise says: Oct 2, 2013 2:18 PM

    I’m sure some fans’ desire to turn away from the issue of CTE in favor of the “It’s football; people get hit” mantra will deter someone who’s suffering with the disease from a future episode of violence.

    They’d better hope so.

  6. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Oct 2, 2013 2:19 PM

    Bill Romanowski contends he was concussed over 500 times in his career.

    However the question is…What role has HGH played in the concussion dilma? Bigger, faster, stronger bodies produce more violent collisions.

    Cause/effect.

    I guess the ultimate question is however, can the NFL exist without HGH? What happens to the speed and power of the game without it? How much different would the game look without HGH?

  7. zoellner25 says: Oct 2, 2013 2:29 PM

    Now we know why the NFL settled so fast. They were about to get thrown under the bus.

  8. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 2, 2013 2:29 PM

    Anyone with simple physics knowledge knows what a heavier object does to a lighter object.

    The hgh/steroid abuse/brain injuries in the NFL (and the Browning of America) will relegate the NFL to 2nd or 3rd most popular sport in the U.S. by 2027.

  9. barneyrumble says: Oct 2, 2013 2:31 PM

    The last line warns that a player could kill someone because of brain injury. I should have done a better job with my initial post. What I meant by referencing Hernandez is, could his actions be from head trauma from hits in high school, college, and the pros. Understand all the thumbs down and don’t blame you, but has anyone even considered that this is what happened to Aaron Hernandez?

  10. princeopus says: Oct 2, 2013 2:32 PM

    glad I have my conceal carry

  11. painsyndicate says: Oct 2, 2013 2:36 PM

    Waaaah, we wrote a paperback book now we want to extort money from the NFL.

    Go away.

  12. EJ says: Oct 2, 2013 2:37 PM

    Repeatedly getting hit in the head is not the main cause of all of these suicides. Otherwise, Boxers would be the leading statistic.

  13. 23rdusernameused says: Oct 2, 2013 2:47 PM

    barneyrumble says: Alex Hernandez

    Fail Barney, FAIL!

    AARON

  14. realitycheckbaby says: Oct 2, 2013 2:47 PM

    It’s interesting that so many stories come out about Pittsburgh players during that era:

    By far most young deaths of ex-players; 1 in 5

    Admittance of steroid use

    Rampant heart issues

    Guess what else can cause this kind of behavior OTHER than blows to the head?

    STEROID ABUSE

    Maybe there’s a reason it keeps coming back to the least classy organization in football.

  15. realitycheckbaby says: Oct 2, 2013 2:48 PM

    EJ says: Oct 2, 2013 2:37 PM

    Repeatedly getting hit in the head is not the main cause of all of these suicides. Otherwise, Boxers would be the leading statistic.
    ==============================

    Pssssttttttttt

    It’s Pittsburgh rampant use of roids.

  16. gibbsandflair says: Oct 2, 2013 2:55 PM

    What do you call a convertable in Pittsburg? Mike Websters summer home

  17. mn2long says: Oct 2, 2013 3:04 PM

    @barneyrumble:

    The reason you are getting the thumbs down is that the name you were searching for is Aaron Hernandez…

  18. floratiotime says: Oct 2, 2013 3:07 PM

    He was a major roid head. Wait till you see what the current Seahawks players get up to in 20 years.

  19. koenig61 says: Oct 2, 2013 3:09 PM

    Sometimes this site sickens me. Here’s a story about a man who had repeated head trauma, and suffered greatly for it. The steelers organization tried to help mike, but his trauma was so severe he trusted no one, not even his own family. And here come the trolls of this website to make disparaging remarks about the steeler organization. I suppose I should have known this story would bring out the idiots, in the same way people posted negative comments on the story about the death of LC Greenwood. For the uninitiated, yes the there were steeler players who took steroids in the 70′s, but so did players from all teams across the league as at the time, it wasn’t illegal, and the harmful side effects weren’t known. Is it ever possible for people to post without just spewing hatred ? I may dislike the ravens, but you can believe when art modell passed away, I didn’t make fun of the ravens or the passing of a great owner.

  20. tundratommy says: Oct 2, 2013 3:16 PM

    Who hasn’t?

  21. earpaniac says: Oct 2, 2013 3:21 PM

    If 1/2 of the stuff I’ve heard and read about what Webster was like and went through after he retired are true, I don’t doubt this at all.

  22. FinFan68 says: Oct 2, 2013 3:23 PM

    Not trying to diminish CTE effects but some of these guys were mental before football.

  23. truthfactory says: Oct 2, 2013 3:23 PM

    “…the comprehensive attack on the NFL’s failure to acknowledge the concussion crisis on a more timely basis.”

    The fact that these guys take no responsibility for themselves and their choices gets me frustrated. They act as if had they known more, they would have stopped playing or retired earlier… Blah blah blah

    Todays players know all the risks, yet none of them retire (by choice) because of the risk. And even after they get a concussion, most players try manipulating the situation so that they can go back in!! Its complete horse crap to suggest that they were exploited vitims in this whole thing. They willingly took risks with their bodies in exchange for glory and paychecks. For some the risk played out and they had long term damage. For others it didnt and they are fine. Dont take it out on your old employer because you willingly chose to put you health on the line in exchange for a payday.

  24. 11thstreetmafia says: Oct 2, 2013 3:24 PM

    Wouldn’t it be great if these players got paid a lot of money to perform their jobs? Oh, wait a minute…

  25. lovethelions says: Oct 2, 2013 4:09 PM

    floratiotime says: Oct 2, 2013 3:07 PM

    He was a major roid head. Wait till you see what the current Seahawks players get up to in 20 years.

    ___________________________________

    To compare the current Seahawks players to what happened to these players years ago…is just ridiculous.

    Accept the fact that Pittsburgh sucks, they’ve always sucked and they’ll continue to suck, as long as they have an organization that takes advantage of their players…and keeps a player, who takes advantage of young women.

  26. schmitty2 says: Oct 2, 2013 4:09 PM

    barneyrumble says:Oct 2, 2013 2:31 PM

    The last line warns that a player could kill someone because of brain injury. I should have done a better job with my initial post. What I meant by referencing Hernandez is, could his actions be from head trauma from hits in high school, college, and the pros. Understand all the thumbs down and don’t blame you, but has anyone even considered that this is what happened to Aaron Hernandez?

    It was never was nor will that ever being considered. Hernandez was an arrogant gangster wannabe.

  27. elvoid says: Oct 2, 2013 4:10 PM

    Geez – any real fan has considered killing an official at least once, so what’s the big deal?

  28. realitycheckbaby says: Oct 2, 2013 4:23 PM

    koenig61 says: Oct 2, 2013 3:09 PM

    Sometimes this site sickens me. Here’s a story about a man who had repeated head trauma, and suffered greatly for it. The steelers organization tried to help mike, but his trauma was so severe he trusted no one, not even his own family. And here come the trolls of this website to make disparaging remarks about the steeler organization. I suppose I should have known this story would bring out the idiots, in the same way people posted negative comments on the story about the death of LC Greenwood. For the uninitiated, yes the there were steeler players who took steroids in the 70′s, but so did players from all teams across the league as at the time, it wasn’t illegal, and the harmful side effects weren’t known. Is it ever possible for people to post without just spewing hatred ? I may dislike the ravens, but you can believe when art modell passed away, I didn’t make fun of the ravens or the passing of a great owner.
    =============================

    Boiler plate Pittsburgh cop out…

    “Everyone was doing it.”

    But, of course, that wasn’t so – certainly not on the scale of Pittsburgh.

    If all teams were taking them on the scale Pittsburgh was, then we would see similar stories about all organizations.

    Yet, we don’t.

    We see 1 in 5 “young deaths” amongst that era of player being Steelers.

    1 out of 5 in a league with 27 teams.

    Wouldn’t we expect 1 in 27 if everyone was doing it?

    Certainly 2 in 27 may be an anomaly, but not damning.

    But almost 5.5 out of 27?

    No.

    Waaaayyyyy out of the range of random.

    No one is “making fun” of these poor men or their families.

    But as Pittsburgh and their fans like to harp ENDLESSLY about their athletic and moral superiority, we have hard evidence, they have neither.

  29. realitycheckbaby says: Oct 2, 2013 4:32 PM

    Steelers are Lance Armstrong…

    They are Jose Canseco…

    They are Ben Johnson…

    They are Marion Jones…

    They are Alex Rodriguez…

    They are Lyle Alzado…

    They are Manny Ramirez…

    They are Rafael Palmeiro…

    They are Shawne Merriman…

    They are Floyd Landis…

    They are Barry Bonds…

    They are Jason Giambi…

    They are Ryan Braun…

    Of course, at least some of these had their mea culpa where the Steelers and their fans keep denying what the rest of the league and anyone with their heads not buried in the sand knows.

    For decades they’ve been cheating and throwing their players under the bus to do so.

  30. Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 2, 2013 4:40 PM

    Reality check you can bend stats to prove so many points and then you can lie which you have a marked propensity to favor.

  31. Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 2, 2013 4:59 PM

    realitycheckbaby | Oct 2, 2013, 4:32 PM EDT
    Steelers are Lance Armstrong…

    They are Jose Canseco…

    They are Ben Johnson…

    They are Marion Jones…

    They are Alex Rodriguez…

    They are Lyle Alzado…

    They are Manny Ramirez…

    They are Rafael Palmeiro…

    They are Shawne Merriman…

    They are Floyd Landis…

    They are Barry Bonds…

    They are Jason Giambi…

    They are Ryan Braun…

    Of course, at least some of these had their mea culpa where the Steelers and their fans keep denying what the rest of the league and anyone with their heads not buried in the sand knows.

    For decades they’ve been cheating and throwing their players under the bus to do so.

    You forgot two Ravens deer antler Ray and the wife beater Suggs…..now the list is complete. Be careful on that soap box I hear it’s very easy to fall off and get hurt.

  32. Deb says: Oct 2, 2013 7:42 PM

    This anecdote about Mike Webster has nothing to do with whether an employer is responsible for housing employees years after they’ve left an organization, steroid use in the 1970s, or any other nonsense being posted by anti-Steeler trolls. This is about the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of mental illness in our society, and the effects of traumatic brain injury on football players.

    As ttommytom said, incidents like these happen every day where a family member is struggling with mental illness. The challenge for our society is to help people get the treatment they need.

    RIP, Mike.

  33. bobzilla1001 says: Oct 2, 2013 9:06 PM

    Just as I didn’t understand the relevance of steroid use on the LC Greenwood thread, I’m not understanding the relevance of steroid use on this thread…
    And when was the NFL ever a 27-yeam league?

  34. pacopicopiedra says: Oct 2, 2013 10:18 PM

    Someday a player will kill a person besides himself? Someday? Did you sleep through the OJ Simpson trial?

  35. lynx79 says: Oct 2, 2013 10:37 PM

    Mike Webster repeatedly approached Steelers’ ownership and front office during the 90s for help. Penny-pinching Steeler cartel always told Mike there was nothing wrong with him. Refused him help.

    After his arm healed from a 1983 injury, Terry Bradshaw stated at the time he would have comeback if any other team than the Steelers had claim to him.

  36. bobzilla1001 says: Oct 3, 2013 1:16 PM

    Mike Webster’s final employers were the Kansas City Chiefs. It was KC that decided to squeeze the very last drop from Iron Mike’s Hall of Fame career. How much help did the Chiefs give him during his final days on Earth?
    Professional football is not intended to be played for 20 years. There needs to be a time limit established, to protect players from themselves. Ten years is more than enough time for someone to take the abuse of pro football.

  37. Deb says: Oct 3, 2013 2:07 PM

    @lynx79 …

    Terry Bradshaw has admitted lying to the Steelers about the extent of his injury, which is why they didn’t draft hometown star Dan Marino with the 21st pick (he went to Miami at 27) and wound up enduring a decade of mediocrity without a quarterback. Instead, the Steelers drafted Texas Tech defensive tackle Gabe Rivera, who was paralyzed in a drunk-driving accident during his rookie year. Although the Steelers were under no obligation to take care of him, they paid Rivera’s medical bills and expenses and kept him on the payroll until he could provide for himself.

    In the 1990s, Mike Webster had ceased to be a Steelers employee for two decades. DOZENS of former players have suffered from traumatic brain injuries, have committed suicide, have been diagnosed with early onset dementia and other illnesses. NONE of their former teams have taken them back on the payroll. Why you think the Steelers were obligated to pay the expenses of a guy who hadn’t played for him for TWO DECADES is mind-boggling. But I guess we shouldn’t expect hatred of a rival team to be rational.

  38. bobzilla1001 says: Oct 3, 2013 3:38 PM

    I can assure you that had the Steelers drafted Marino, Marino would not have the numbers he has. Not with Weegie Thompson, not with Calvin Sweeney, not Warren Williams, not Frank Pollard, and not with Chuck Noll…
    More than just a quarterback ailed the Steelers in the 1980s and into the ’90s. What kept the Steelers mediocre throughout the 1980s was a lack of talent and creative coaching…
    Marino, as great as he was, didn’t exactly ring up the rings in Miami. He did exactly what David Woodley had done: he was involved in a Super Bowl loss.

  39. Deb says: Oct 3, 2013 4:19 PM

    Oh, bobzilla …

    Please don’t mention David Woodley to me. Until LaMarr came along, I couldn’t bear to hear that name. The one time we pick up another team’s leavings and it has to be him.

    And it doesn’t matter whether Marino would have helped us. The troll was saying poor Terry was wronged by the Steelers when it was the other way around. Let’s try to stay on point here.

  40. bobzilla1001 says: Oct 3, 2013 6:10 PM

    Sorry, Deb…
    But I couldn’t let your insinuation that Marino would’ve saved the Steelers go by without putting in my 2 cents.
    I understand your point about Bradshaw; however, Noll had already used a first-round pick on a quarterback in 1980. I’m not so sure he would’ve been in any hurry to use another first-round pick on a QB only three years later. At the time, Mark Malone hadn’t yet become “The Much-Maligned Mark Malone,” and Marino’s draft-day stock had dropped dramatically.

  41. FinFan68 says: Oct 3, 2013 6:35 PM

    @bobzilla,
    I think you are dead wrong about the Marino thing. Duper and Clayton would have been mediocre #2s if not for Marino. Don Shula was a “run the ball and play good defense” kind of coach. He changed his entire philosophy after just a few weeks of watching Marino in training camp/practice. Knoll would have done the same thing. The knock on Marino/Shula era was the complete disregard for assembling a decent team. Even Dolphins fans would be hard-pressed to name some of the running backs during the Marino era. The Steelers publicly stated they wanted Marino but took Rivera instead because they thought they could squeeze two more years out of Bradshaw.

  42. bobzilla1001 says: Oct 3, 2013 8:26 PM

    finfan:
    Perhaps you’re right. Maybe I am “dead wrong.” But please give me credit for knowing how the spell the name of the only coach in NFL history to win four Super Bowl titles…
    Secondly, I’m thinking the Steelers used their first-round pick in the 1980 draft on Malone for a reason. Malone actually played reasonably well in 1984, when the Steelers lost to Marino in the AFC Championship Game.
    Malone didn’t become “much-maligned” until the team around him fell apart, starting 1985. Marino would not have fared much better, and he should be thankful he was drafted by a coach who had the presence of mind to provide him with weapons.
    BTW: The pre-draft report on Marino in 1983 was that he was a street drug user, which is pretty much the reason 26 teams passed on him on draft day.

  43. Deb says: Oct 3, 2013 8:54 PM

    @bob …

    Wasn’t trying to insinuate that Marino would have saved us. Was just responding to the troll :)

    Drafting QBs is the biggest gamble in the game. It’s impossible to know what might have been if things had gone another way. Would Elway have been Elway if he’d gone to Baltimore? Would the Chargers have two Super Bowl wins if they’d gotten Eli? Winning a championship is a combination of skill, luck, chemistry, momentum, and serendipity. That’s why dynasties are so much rarer than losing streaks.

  44. bobzilla1001 says: Oct 3, 2013 10:18 PM

    Deb:
    Drafting a quality QB isn’t the “gamble” it used to be. Every season, new QBs come into the league are instant success stories.
    How long did it take the Colts to replace Peyton Manning? How long did it take the Packers to replace Favre? The Seahawks found a pretty good QB in the third round, and from what I’ve seen, the Redskins found not one but two pretty QBs in the same draft.
    Ever notice that the better the team is that drafts a QB, the better the QB performs? Had Roethlisberger been drafted by, say, the Lions, I doubt he’d have one ring, let alone two of them.
    Instead of the Steelers being thankful they drafted Roethlisberger, Roethlisberger ought to be thankful he was drafted by the Steelers…
    And, no, Eli would not have two rings had he went to San Diego, which is the very reason he refused to go there.
    I agree with you: Winning is all about TEAM chemistry. There’s no greater evidence of that than right now in Pittsburgh. How’s the “Super Bowl QB” looking now without a TEAM around him?

  45. Deb says: Oct 4, 2013 2:38 PM

    @bobzilla …

    You know I agree with you to a large extent, especially on Eli and Roethlisberger. But the Favre/Rodgers and Peyton/Luck transitions–like the Montana/Young transition–don’t happen every day. Most teams wind up wandering in the wilderness for a while as we did post-Terry and the Cowboys did post-Troy. Perhaps it’s easier now to find a guy who can get the job done if all the other pieces are in place–which is why I’m so ready to trade Ben. But finding a Brady or Brees is still as tough as ever.

  46. kwjsb says: Oct 5, 2013 3:03 PM

    Whether it is true or false, it is alarming to me a son would pile on His father with this kind of information for money. It just seems low life and greedy. We all know Webster had problems, why make it worse just for a buck?

  47. swirlgirlinc says: Jun 14, 2014 1:09 AM

    My suspicion is that more former players HAVE turned their CTE-induced rage against others. WWE wrestler Chris Benoit had confirmed CTE, and he killed his wife and son before committing suicide.

    I’ve always suspected that OJ Simpson’s bizarre, violent behavior had something to do with repeated head trauma incurred playing rough 1970′s-era football.

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