Frank Wycheck is one of the all time great Tennessee Titans players. He fears that he might begin experiencing CTE symptoms soon.
Frank Wycheck, a former tight end for the Tennessee Titans during the best years of the organization in Tennessee, believes he has CTE. CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) is a degenerative disease found in people who have had a severe or repeated blows to head. An uncomfortable amount of former football players have been diagnosed with CTE (can only be diagnosed in an autopsy), and it’s a legitimate concern for the future of many former football players’ lives and the life of football itself.
Here’s what Wycheck had to say in an interview with Fox-WZTV in Nashville:
"“I worry about, I’m scared about the time if I actually get to that point where these guys have snapped. What has made them snap? And that is what I am scared of, that there is something that is going to come over me that is going to make me snap. I don’t think I am going to do it, but those guys you would never think in a million years would. And that’s the scary part about it. There is no one that can tell you really anything. It’s just, the damage is done.”"
Wycheck says he is “sure” that he has CTE and estimates that he was part of 297,000 collisions and 25 concussions throughout his entire football life, starting at age 5 and ending at age 33. While he says that he would’ve played even if advised to not do so, more information about brain injuries would’ve been appreciated.
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The stories about former football players experiencing symptoms of CTE, with some dying early because of it and others taking their own lives, have intensified over the past few years. They are always unsettling to read, and hearing that Wycheck is going through what many others have suffered through just makes it all the more real. Wycheck was one of my favorite Titans to ever watch. Wycheck was also a key figure in the Nashville community.
Thankfully, the NFL concussion settlement money is expected to begin rolling out this spring. If a player has been diagnosed with ALS, another degenerative brain disease, they can accrue $5 million. Relatives of any former players who died with CTE may receive $4 million. It may not be much solace to these players and their families, but it’s better than nothing being done. Players with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s will be awarded $3.5 million. A neurocognitive impairment such as moderate dementia can mean $3 million for players, while an impairment like early dementia could be $1.5 million. All of those figures are from CNN.
Titan Sized wishes Frank Wycheck well in the immediate and distant future. We hope that he and his family can continue living life in the highest capacity possible.