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Tom Waddle & other former Baers discyss effects of concussions after NFL careers February 12, 2010

Posted by intebic in Uncategorized.
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With a wife, four young daughters, an impending move, a daily radio show on ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago and enough side gigs to occupy all the “spare time,” Tom Waddle doesn’t possess the energy to worry about things he can’t control.

And yet he can’t help it. He does.

“Absolutely, I do,” he said. Waddle said it’s too hard to determine how many concussions he may have sustained during his six-year career as a fearless, over-the-middle receiver for the Bears in the early ’90s.

“It was nothing where I woke up the next morning throwing up,” he said.

But given the recent attention and ongoing research on the lasting damage that playing football can have on the brain, Waddle’s bouts of periodic fogginess are scary, he admits. “Not to be overly dramatic, but there are days when what I’m thinking I want to say just doesn’t come out of my mouth,” he said. “I can’t seem to make the connection of what I want to say and saying it. There are times when I can’t process everything, where I feel like I’m thinking things through, but I can’t verbalize it for some reason.

“Being in the media for so long, it’s your job, so you learn to do it on a decent level. But some days are much harder than others, and I can’t process it all.”

A week short of 43 years old and the picture of health, Waddle often has joked on-air about being “concussed.” He recalls the time he was hospitalized after a 1991 playoff game in Dallas but then woke up with nothing more than a headache and was told after an electroencephalogram that it probably wasn’t a concussion.

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