For nearly a decade, the media has effectively contributed to the heightened awareness of concussions in football. Many individuals, who either were or were not involved in the sport itself, became enlightened by the growing results of medical discoveries that connected mild traumatic brain injury to conditions such as post-concussion syndrome, depression, second impact syndrome, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The widely dispersed spectrum of opinion on this subject often provided vague interpretations of concussions in sports, so I engaged in something that would be a bit more effective in opening the public’s eyes, as well as my own, to the personal predicaments between concussions and professional athletes. To do so, I contacted Brad Scioli—former defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts.
Scioli played for the Colts from 1999 to 2004. He attended the same high school that I graduated from a year ago, and is forever enshrined in the athletic legacy of Upper Merion Area High School’s halls. He is known to be one of Upper Merion’s greatest, and most proud, athletes of success who took his talents to the professional level. Today, he is now a health and physical education teacher at Upper Merion, and is an assistant coach for the school’s football program. During my high school career, I had the pleasure of working with Scioli in a productive player-coach relationship, where I learned a tremendous amount of skills for the defensive end position through his expertise.
By speaking to Scioli, I wanted to learn about what the voice of a former NFL player had to say about the league’s most recent dealings with all aspects of mild traumatic brain injury. I wanted to see how we could further illustrate an issue that has been brought to the foreground of neuroscience and professional sports. After seeing my junior year mark the end of my high school football career, it was interesting to see what Scioli, a former defensive mentor who shares similar homegrown roots, had to say about the issue. Continue reading