Tommy Nobis with most severe CTE

not surprising because he was awesome and scary for the hated wHorns. Epitome of leading with the head as was taught back then. I don’t know how anyone can reasonably deny the existence of CTE. I have a good friend (Ms St grad, tops in his class at Hopkins) who is the top of the NFL for medical affairs (neurosurgeon by training) and he fully believes there is a repetitive trauma link. Tommy Nobis deserves mention on our board because he was key to TX beating AL and winning our national championship.

Sad but believable account of his life as the NFL hits Atlanta … e-form-cte

I suppose Wayne Thumper Harris was close and some days better, but Nobis was legendary.

I wouldn’t be surprised if most NFL players of the 60s and 70s will be found to have CTE to some degree. I know when I came along with my feeble attempts to play football in the early 70s, they were teaching us to lead with our heads and put it between the numbers on the front of the uniform. Fortunately my football career ended at age 14 so the amount of damage was minimized, in spite of what Fred and JR think.

Football and boxing are similar…play it at your own risk. It is like smoking cigarettes. You know the dangers are real and are probably going to affect your health. These current NFL players are going to have issues, just as the guys in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Today’s players are bigger, stronger and faster. The hits are more violent, even though the helmets are a little safer, maybe.

Hate to hear that.

To all the Dr.s on the board, I have a question. Swine I think you are one.

It looks like we’re starting to see a questionable amount of former football players be diagnosed with ALS. I can think of three right off the top of my head, and I think theres around 1700 total players in the NFL each year. Even at the minimum of 3 I can think of, if you add the maximum amount of players over the last 10 years or so that’s a much higher rate than the general population for ALS which is some 1 per 50,000. Statistics can be very misleading, as we mostly know. But do some of you guys think that there is also a link in ALS and football, possibly linked to CTE. I believe one of the guys diagnosed with ALS, was also found to have CTE after he died. Curious on some of your thoughts.


Isn’t Jerry Eckwood also suffering from severe CTE?


Great Horn player and sad to hear…

Tommy Nobis had the Linebacker gene. Fierce player.

My football career also ended about age 14 except it was the early 60’s. After busting 3 helmets in Jr. High my dad bribed me with a guitar and a set of Wilson golf clubs to retire from our Jr. High team. Coach Harris was relieved since I was a runt plus slow when coupled with my passion for hitting equaled more than one bell rung (mine that is). My wife asks occasionally why i’m so forgetful. Thankfully it’s just old age. I worry for my athletic grands about CTE. Scary. Very.

I’m a PA, not an MD, but close enough for this semi-educated guess. It’s only anecdotal at this point but I would not be surprised if they do find a link between football and ALS. Wikipedia has a list of 33 NFL players who developed ALS. Dwight Clark just died. Steve Gleason is somehow still hanging on. In one scary coincidence, three guys on the 49ers roster in 1963-1964 developed ALS; that’s three out of 40 roster players at that time.

Yeah, that seems like a rate that should raise some eyebrows. Scary stuff. I appreciate the input!

There was a study of ALS prevalence done in 2014 using statistics from 2010-2011 (the stats came from a federal registry created in 2009 that tracks ALS diagnoses). That study found 3.9 cases per 100,000 U.S. population. I don’t know how many NFL players there have been in 100 years, but I bet it’s less than 100,000, so 33 out of 100,000 would be almost 10 times the prevalence in the general population. ALS is more common in white men than any other group, and most of the NFL players I see on the ALS Wiki list were/are white guys. One exception is O.J. Brigance, who played against the Hogs in college at Rice and then went on to play linebacker for the Ravens. He’s African-American.