Former Chargers, Vikings guard Ed White has Alzheimer’s

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Ed White was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time, second-team All-Pro in 17 seasons as a guard with the Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers. He was a member of the 40th Anniversary teams for both franchises as well as being named one of the 50 Greatest Minnesota Vikings in 2010.

Now he’s dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, White found out about his condition just two months ago.

“After all the head-knocking, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised,” White said. “… “I was driving home after (the MRI) and the doctor called. He already knew what I had.”

Officially, White was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s-related dimensia.

“My hippocampus memory center is about half of what it should be,” he said.

White was a second-round pick of the Vikings in 1969 out of University of California. The Vikings won the NFL Championship game in his rookie season to advance to Super Bowl IV against the Kansas City Chiefs, who beat the Vikings 23-7. He played a total of nine seasons for Minnesota and was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his final three seasons with the team.

He was traded to the Chargers 1978 and played the final eight years of his career in San Diego. He made another Pro Bowl in 1979 and retired after the 1985 season with 241 career games under his belt.

10 responses to “Former Chargers, Vikings guard Ed White has Alzheimer’s

  1. Everyone blames head hits in football, but what do old ladies who get this disease get it from? Football may have little or nothing to do with the dementia ex-players get. I know of others who never did anything straining or physical in their lives in the same boat. Any scientific study would have to consider that in its findings.

  2. Alzheimers is a terrible disease. I hope he has insurance for the long term care medical treatment (including residential nursing home care) that will be needed as the disease advances. It should really be a part of the NFL package for all players that continues after their retirement from the game.

  3. Nice photo of Ed White leading Chuck Muncie through a hole.
    White was a great lineman and considered to be one of the strongest players in the league at the time. He played in the era of rampant anabolic steroid use, and it is conceivable that he used them at some point. I dont’t know. Sheer conjecture. Also, during White’s era, offensive lineman did all of their run and pass blocking in tight quarters, leading with their chins. Extended arms and hands blocking had not been developed yet, and defensive lineman used head butting and head slapping as routinely then as players use the swim, rip, and spin techniques today. It’s not at all a shock that a 71 year old man might have Alzheimer’s, especially one who played a decade and a half in the NFL during the 1970s and 80s.
    I was an Ed White fan and wish him and his family well.

  4. Sad, and terrifyingly it awaits more that a few of us, even if we were not NFL or even high school players. I can see the connection being drawn from CTE to ALZ but medical science has mixed opinions. evidently the susceptibility to ALZ by head trauma is not consistent.

  5. Speculation at this point without a close look at the brain after he’s gone. Lots of people with alzheimers who never played football or had a concussion.

  6. He was just a solid, strong, consistent player, and a part of a very solid Viking O-line that already has 2 players in the HOF (Yary and Tingelhoff).

  7. Ladies are getting it from the headboard. Lotta head banging
    ———————————————————————————————————
    catquick says:
    June 26, 2018 at 3:16 am
    Everyone blames head hits in football, but what do old ladies who get this disease get it from? Football may have little or nothing to do with the dementia ex-players get. I know of others who never did anything straining or physical in their lives in the same boat. Any scientific study would have to consider that in its findings.

  8. Very sorry and sad to see this news, and I hope he’s able to make the best of things going forward, and surrounded by good family.

    White was a vital part of that Viking OL, and I still remember being upset when he was traded to San Diego for Rickey Young. Young was a decent RB, but definitely not the same caliber player as White.

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