On February 17 former Chicago Bears football player Dave
Duerson killed himself with a gun shot to the chest.
Doctors later found that Duersonhad a condition in common with
more than 20 other dead football players in the U.S.: Chronic
Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE, a degenerative disease linked to impulsive behavior, depression and dementia. And Duerson thought he had it. Which is why he took great care to leave his brain intact for study.
And concerns have been growing that the concussions and other
head injuries that are common in the NFL might be to blame.
The other week the Canadian Sports Concussion Project announced
the results from brain autopsies of four CFL football players.
Bobby Kuntz, a former Toronto Argonaut and Jay Roberts, who
played for the Ottawa Roughriders, showed classic signs of
CTE. But Peter Ribbons, a Winnipeg Blue Bomber, and Tony
Proudfoot, from the Montreal Alloettes, showed no signs. All
four played when it was common to spear opponents head-first
The Canadian Project seeks more brain donations from former
contact sport athletes. To try to find out why some seem able to
avoid CTE, while others tragically are not.