Legendary Steelers quarterback and Fox commentator Terry Bradshaw has revealed that he is suffering physical and mental effects of concussions sustained during his playing days.


The usually jovial Bradshaw was serious and measured when speaking about his condition at a recent charity golf tournament to benefit his alma mater Louisiana Tech.

Bradshaw indicated that he's having issues with short term memory and hand-eye coordination. He says he is undergoing rehabilitative treatment.

After ten years as a starting quarterback, Terry knows that the cumulative damage is "not good". He told KTBS-TV that he knows of six concussions, plus numerous other instances where he had to "clear the cobwebs" after hits.

Bradshaw's sobering admissions illustrate a problem that the NFL has been trying to deal with in earnest over the past several seasons. Penalties and fines for vicious hits, leading with the helmet, and hitting defenseless receivers have increased dramatically. But it's still probably not enough to protect players from head trauma.

It just seems that the players are getting bigger, stronger, and faster every year. That awe inspiring athleticism, along with the violent nature of the game are what fans expect when we watch pro football.

Still more needs to be done. When you watch the old black and white films of football players in leather helmets, you marvel at how they survived. With that said, some argue that if they did away with helmets altogether, it might be safer because players wouldn't have the tendency to lead with their heads. That somehow not having a helmet on would kick in the self preservation instincts.

And with the high tech nature of current helmets and pads, can these protections even be improved to a higher level of protection and safety? Probably not.

Troy Aikman has to be wondering about his future mental prognosis at this point. As I remember, his concussion count is higher than Terry Bradshaw's. Watching him play and take such frequent hits due to his limited mobility in the pocket, I would guess the actual concussion count is substantially higher than the official number.

What do you think? Is there any way to make the game safer without compromising the thrill factor for fans? Do players know and accept fully all the risk involved? Regardless of the salaries, is anything worth permanent brain damage?

These and other questions are facing NFL officials and management. One thing is for certain: High profile, Hall-Of-Fame players like Terry Bradshaw will bring the issues even more to the forefront. Former players like Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, and Joe Montana are not far behind. What do their futures look like? (via msn.foxsports.com)

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