Frank Wycheck sees signs of CTE, worries about future

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Former Titans tight end Frank Wycheck says he can tell the effects of multiple concussions in his post-football life.

And with other guys who went through what he has suffering for years and some committing suicide, there’s a part of him that wonders what will come next.

“I worry about, I’m scared about the time if I actually get to that point where these guys [who have committed suicide] have snapped,” Wycheck said, via Paul Kuharsky of “What has made them snap? And that is what I am scared of, that there is something that is going to come over me that is going to make me snap.

“I don’t think I am going to do it, but those guys you would never think in a million years would. And that’s the scary part about it. There is no one that can tell you really anything. It’s just, the damage is done.”

Wycheck said he’s certain he has CTE, and is scheduled for another round of testing with the concussion lawsuit settled, but said he hasn’t offered many details of his plight because: “It’s kind of creepy. People don’t want to hear about morbid stuff like that.”

But he will admit that he can tell he’s not the same, after suffering what he estimates at 297,000 collisions over the course of a football career that began when he was 5 years old, and 25 concussions.

He’s dealt with migraines and anxiety and depression, and has missed work assignments because of his symptoms. Wycheck said he plans to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for study after he’s gone.

“I don’t want this to be a pity party, ‘Oh poor Frank,'” he said. “I wouldn’t change anything in the world. I’ve had a blessed life, great opportunities to meet great people, raise my family and be able to take care of my family the way I could. I couldn’t do that without football. And it was the thing I had as a goal since I was 5 years old.”

And while he said he wouldn’t have allowed a son to play football before 12, he said he would have still played, though he’d have preferred if commissioner Paul Tagliabue and his medical advisor, Elliot Pellman, “didn’t lie.”

Now, he’s left to deal with the consequences, and hope his story doesn’t end tragically.

7 responses to “Frank Wycheck sees signs of CTE, worries about future

  1. Roger and the owners say balderdash, Frank. They’ll say it is probably from all the supplements from GNC.

  2. I would think a lot of the damage is done when playing football as kids. Bashing your helmeted heads into one another can’t be good for brains that are still growing.

  3. Frank, your anabolic steroid abuse, possibly all through college and early career at least until your ban, is proven to impact mental health (especially on brains that age), and the little wrestling career after football wouldn’t have helped much either.

    CTE is real and more needs to be done, but many of the players so far had steroids, drugs or other pre-existing issues, and too much of these are blamed on CTE alone.

  4. Obviously, nothing but best wishes for Frank and his family.

    With that being said; former athletes are only a small percentage of people that feel depressed (7% of all Americans), get confused, angry, frustrated, suffer from migraines(6%) or other symptoms of dementia (11%).

    Now, it’s common sense that head collisions aren’t good for you; but, CTE is in it’s infancy in understanding and diagnostics. All of the studies I have seen have solely focused on former athletes. Since they have only looked for it in former athletes already suspected of having it… do we conclusively know if it doesn’t happen to non-athletes as well?

    This year, the NFL employed over 2,000 players… law of averages would say that at least 200 of them will end up with dementia whether they played football or not… not that I think taking hits will help their cause or may not help in accelerating their symptoms.

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