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NFL Player Donates Brain To Science

By Wyatt Earp | February 20, 2011

Former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson committed suicide this week, after shooting himself in the chest.

Duerson, a pretty good player in his time, was only 50 years old.

He chose not to shoot himself in the head, because he had a plan for when he passed away. Believe it or not, Duerson wanted his brain donated to science:

Former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, a source with knowledge of the situation told the Tribune. His death has been ruled a suicide, but the Miami-Dade police department has yet to make the information public.

Chris Nowinski, co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine, said Duerson’s family contacted him to examine Duerson’s brain for abnormalities related to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease found in those who have a history of repetitive brain trauma, including concussions.

“At some point that he wanted his brain to be studied so people could learn more about the effect of brain trauma, so kids could play the game more safely in the future,” Nowinski said.

Screw that! When I go, I want my brain to be kept alive forever. I’m putting Mrs. Crankipants on that, post haste.

Topics: WTF? | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “NFL Player Donates Brain To Science”

  1. realwest Says:
    February 20th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Damn Wyatt, that is a sad story. I remember him from his playing days, but looked him up on wikipedia anyway and found this:
    Duerson played college football at the University of Notre Dame from 1979 to 1982.[2] He graduated with honors, with a BA in Economics. He started all four years, and earned recognition as an All-American in 1981 and 1982. He was named as his team’s MVP in 1982, and a Captain. He was the winner of the Edward “Moose” Krause Distinguished Service Award in 1990 by the Notre Dame Monogram Club, of which he was a past president. He was also a member of the University of Notre Dame Board of Trustees from 2001-2005.[2]
    Duerson was selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1986 to 1989 in his career, and won two championship rings with the Bears (Super Bowl XX) and with the Giants (Super Bowl XXV). During the 1986 season, Duerson set an NFL record (later broken in 2005 by Adrian Wilson of the Arizona Cardinals) for most sacks in a season by a defensive back, with seven. He also intercepted six passes for 139 yards with a long return of 38 yards. At season’s end, Duerson was named first team All-Pro by Pro Football Weekly, the Pro Football Writers Association and The Sporting News and second team All-Pro by AP. In 1987, Duerson was the recipient of the NFL Man of the Year Award. In his 11 seasons, Duerson recorded 20 interceptions, which he returned for 226 yards, and 16 quarterback sacks. He also recovered five fumbles, returning them for 47 yards and a touchdown.

    RIP Dave Duerson.

  2. Kim Says:
    February 20th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I was going to go on a long-winded discussion about suicide and what-not but decided not to. I love the back button.

    My family is getting ready to go head out for my birthday dinner. So, have a wonderful day. Sorry this guy decided to throw the towel in on life. Hopefully something is learned about brain trauma and traumatic brain damage/disease (such as my husband has) thanks to his donation.

    And Wyatt – Your brain would not be used for scientific research. It would be placed in a glass jar up on a shelf where people can stand in awe and amazement. “WOW! That small and he still functioned?” (ducking)

  3. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    February 20th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I’d be honored! I’ll keep it in a Mason jar in my cupboard next to the rhubarb marmalade and the bread and butter pickles.

  4. proof Says:
    February 20th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I hear several good liberals are donating their brains to science, too. The only stipulation is, the scientists have to be able to find them first. (The brains, not the liberals!)

  5. Old NFO Says:
    February 20th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    It’s sad, and he is not the first to die young… Mike Webster died (of natural causes) a couple of years ago. There DOES need to be studies done, as there has been a lot more damage than people think.

  6. realwest Says:
    February 20th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Old NFO – I agree that a lot more studies need to be done. A very close pal of mine e-mailed me today (he knows a lot of the former Bear players from Charity Events) that “Wilbur Montgomery, is wheel chair bound for the rest of his life. Arthritis in his knees and hips from injuries, plus he destroyed his kidneys taking ibuprophen by the handful to deal with inflamation.”
    And I LOVE the NFL. And Big Hits are a part of the game,but I really don’t believe that all that CAN be done to protect the players IS being done.

  7. Wyatt Earp Says:
    February 20th, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Real – You have to wonder how bad it must have been for him to kill himself.

    Kim – “We dissected it, and found it only contained information on hockey and boobies.”

    Mrs. Crankipants – For God’s sake, don’t spread my brain on your zwiback toast!

    Proof – Have they invented a microscope that powerful yet?

    Old NFO – I think so, too. That’s why the NFL banned the helmet-to-helmet hits.

    Real – Wilbert. Fantastic Eagles running back of my youth. Earl Campbell is in the same boat.

  8. Dr. Evil Says:
    February 21st, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Think his brain cells look like little X’s and O’s?

  9. Wyatt Earp Says:
    February 21st, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Dr. Evil – Or little Bears logos.