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Ex-NFL Player Dealing With Memory Loss Due To Concussions

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Former NFL player Ben Utecht spoke with Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about his book, Counting The Days While My Mind Slips Away, about dealing with memory loss due to the concussions that he accrued during his playing career.

Utecht hopes his perspective will help fans understand what many players must face when their time on the field is over.

"I've always tried to elevate the game, at the same time, get people to care more about their brains, understand how important their memories are to the makeup of who they are. That only came because some of the unfortunate consequences from my concussions have been memory loss [and] the fears that that creates for me and my future. The book is just an authentic and vulnerable story that can take people on that journey, a behind the scenes journey of what that is like for an athlete."

He said his goal in writing the book is to make the game safer for those who play it in the future.

"The game is a wonderful game. It provides so many incredible life lessons. It's the greatest team environment to be a part of. At the same time, as a culture, we just have to embrace the fact that concussions are an externality of the game. You can't watch your Eagles without seeing concussions this year. I can't watch my Vikings without seeing concussions this year. It's a part of the game. Because of that reality, what do we do? How do we make the game safer? How do we ensure the long term health of players in their lives? When we start to do all of those things, I think it allows us as fans to sit back and enjoy the game because we know the players are going to be protected in the future and we know that everything is striving towards making the game as safe as possible for them."


Utecht stated he understands the challenges he faces and is prepared to confront them.

"It's not all is lost. The perspective of the book is really how differently would you live your life if you knew the truth about the future. The idea is that at 29 or 30, I had some memory issues. I look at other players in their 60's who also had memory [loss] and how they're doing. That's the reality. That's something that I have to understand could be a future that I have to face and because of that, how will that change the way that I live my life today."

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