The Sad Story of Shane Dronett

Posted: 1st April 2011 by Mike Swickey in Science

CNN will air an episode of Sanjay Gupta, MD this Saturday and Sunday morning (7:30am ET) that should make us all slow down and think about the consequences of professional football on the players and, more specifically, on the brains of these men.

The story of Shane Dronett is one of the most tragic.

Former NFL lineman Shane Dronett’s transformation from an affable prankster, quick to flash a wry smile, to a person who was often frightened — and frightening — was subtle at first.

It began in 2006, with a bad dream.

“He woke up in the middle of the night and started screaming and told everyone to run out of the house,” said Chris Dronett, Shane Dronett’s wife. “He thought that someone was blowing up our house. It was very frightening.”

Donett Family
Photo by Sandee O Photography

Chris tried to dismiss the incident as isolated, except that two weeks later, there was another outburst, then another, until they were an almost-nightly occurrence. And as Shane’s fear and paranoia began overwhelming him, so did episodes of confusion and rage that sometimes turned violent.

Only three years after retiring from the NFL in 2006, Shane was suffering. The tragic culmination of his pain came when he committed suicide in 2009 at 38.

Read the rest of the story here.

It’s a sad and tragic side of the cheering on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I love football – but all of this makes you stop and think. One of the big issues with the NFL lockout is the owners wanting to increase the regular season schedule from 16-18 games. The players representatives are saying “no” and citing – brain injuries. Science is telling us it is all about accumulation.

A few links:
Five Ways To End Football Head Injuries

Top Neurologist Says All Football Players Have Some Sort Of Brain Damage

The Problem With Football

The Sports Legacy Institute

TIME Magazine Video: This Is Your Head On Football: