While the likes of Screamo Cockface continue to insist those sounding the alarm concerning football concussions are either hellbent on castrating the American male and/or destroying the game they hold dear, persons who’ve actually, y’know, strapped it on, are singing a different tune. 13-year vet Reggie Rucker tells the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s John Mangels, “We didn’t really know what we were doing to our bodies and the cumulative effect of all those hits”.
“I remember when I was in Oakland and got knocked out by Jack Tatum,” Rucker says, referring to the menacing Raiders defensive back nicknamed “The Assassin.” “I remember [trainers] asking, ‘Do you know where you are?’ I said, ‘Oakland, California.’ You sat down for a while, and then you went back in. You’ve been programmed all your life as a professional athlete, particularly in my era, that you could not give in. You had to show your bravado.
“The next day, when you went back to review the game on film, I’m sitting there and watching something I couldn’t remember. You’re laughing and joking and it’s funny then. It’s not funny now.”
About 20 years ago, Rucker says, he started feeling some strange symptoms. Dizziness. Headaches. Burning sensations. Near-blackouts. “It’s the weirdest thing to explain,” he says. “Something would come over you and suddenly you would be mortified – ‘What just happened to me?’”
Rucker was sure it was a brain tumor. “I was terrified and went running to the doctors. They ran all these tests and said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with you.’ They thought I was crazy. Well, you know when something’s wrong with you. And now I do know. It’s the concussions and all the hits.“