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NFL Legend Tackles Concussions

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(credit: CBS) Mike Max
Mike Max returned to WCCO-TV as a sports reporter and anchor in Apr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Concussions is a hot topic today in the NFL. Former quarterback Joe Theismann is well aware of this, and well aware of the risks inherent in suiting up for the game.

“At least in football, you wear a helmet to protect your head. And they continue to evolve in the safety factors regarding helmets,” said Theismann.

“Junior Seau, I think, was another situation that people were focusing on, and I think that’s wrong. I believe suicides are the number ten cause of death in this country. So you’re saying that anyone that takes their life has had a concussion? Those are the questions that I’m asking,” he said.

“I really feel like when I put on a football uniform as a professional football player, I understand the risk in the game. I believe I have post-concussion syndrome. I have balance issues. I have memory issues. I know they’re there. I’m gonna have a CTE scan. I’m gonna go in there and find out exactly what’s going on just because I’m curious. But to me, if you’re a policeman, you understand the risk. If you’re a fireman, you understand the risk. When you put on that uniform and you go play football, you understand that there’s a possibility that you’re going to get hit in a lot of different places – the head being one of them,” said Theismann.

When asked about how fellow quarterback Christian Ponder measures up, Theismann was complementary.

”I think he has a really bright future, although you couch that by saying ‘the quarterback is only going to be as successful as the people they surround him with,’” he said. “I think he’s very athletic. I think he throws the ball well. Now it’s just a question of what are the Vikings going to do putting people around him.”

Like Ponder, Theismann is no stranger to giving back to the community. He says it is an essential role.

“I use Drew Brees now as the modern example. It’s more than just the football team. You represent not just the football team, but the city of Minneapolis. You represent the Minnesota Vikings but also this community,” he said.

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