Brett Favre was diagnosed with “three or four” concussions during his career, but the Hall of Fame quarterback guesses he had “probably thousands.”
Favre, who has become an advocate for concussion research, worries about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after taking the number of hits he took in a 20-year, 302-game NFL career.
“As we’re learning about concussions, there’s a term we use in football and maybe other sports, that I got ‘dinged,'” Favre told NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today, via The Associated Press. “When you have ringing of the ears, seeing stars, that is a concussion.
“If that’s a concussion, then I’ve had hundreds, probably thousands, throughout my career, which is frightening.”
Abby Wambach, David Ross and Kurt Warner joined Favre on Kelly’s show. The four star athletes are investors in a company developing a concussion-treatment drug not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Favre, 48, said he would discourage boys from playing football with “no treatment solution out there.”
“I grew up playing football,” Favre said. “My dad was the coach. He was tough on me. He was a hard-nosed, just in-your-face-type of guy, and he didn’t know what concussions were about. We knew basically what a concussion was, but the thought process in those days was you would never come out of a game or practice because you had a little head ding. You would be considered, for lack of a better term, a sissy.
“My point in this is: 30 years ago, there wasn’t a problem in anyone’s mind from playing football. It was just a matter of being tough, and the ones who stuck it out and made the most of it. Now, what we know, is it has nothing to do with toughness, and that’s a lot scarier. So I look at my career as something wonderful. I didn’t know; had I known in Year 5, I would have looked at my future a bit closer as my career unfolded.”