After taking a ball to the head estimated to be travelling at 60 miles per hour in the last minute of a tie match in April of 2013, Abby Wambach, of the Western New York Flash, “collapsed lifelessly and rolled into the fetal position.” She grabbed her head and remained on the ground for 31 seconds. “Wambach stood, took two off-balance steps, and play resumed,” Slate reported. She played several extra minutes and headed the ball once more on the final play of the game. When the whistle blew, she fell to her knees.
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Pressure was Kelly Catlin’s constant and silent companion. That pressure helped boost Catlin to great athletic and academic heights, turning her into a “warrior princess,” as her father called her. After Catlin ended her own life in her Stanford University residence last week, those who knew her were left thinking about both that constant pressure and whether a head injury she suffered late last year contributed to her suicide.
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Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common in American football, and we’re only now starting to learn just what a devastating effect they can have on a person over the long term. While TBIs can happen in a variety of different ways, under many different circumstances, they tend to be most common, and perhaps most dangerous, when people are competing in sports that promote violent contact—like American football.
Read more at thesportsdaily.com
Marc Mazzeri’s football career was brief but distinguished. Though he didn’t play until his junior year at Maine South High School in 1982, he was big, athletic and skillful enough to interest coaches at the University of Iowa, who offered him a spot as a walk-on.
Read more at chicagotribune.com