Sunday, April 26, 2015

Football - Top of the Hierarchy Sport not so Desirable

Karen Kinzle Zegel married a man who was a football fanatic. Her son became a football fanatic. As a player in high school, he was a star, going on to play at Dartmouth.

But her son's personality changed, and he could not function normally. He felt his life was no longer worth living, and he committed suicide.

Examinations of the brain of her son, Patrick Risha, 32, at the University of Pittsburgh and Boston University revealed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., the degenerative disease caused by repeated blows to the head that has been found in the brains of dozens of former football players. C.T.E. has been linked to depression, impulsive actions and short-term memory loss, among other symptoms.

Power, money, and glory seem to draw so many to the top of hierarchies, in this case, the sports hierarchy of the United States, where a sport exclusively for half of the population dominates. But, as usual in hierarchies, striving for the top isn't what it is appears to be.