Lance Briggs, who had a 12-year career with the Bears, teamed with Sqor.com to develop the multi-episode original production “Lance Briggs|Time of My Life” to help educate others about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
The seven-time Pro Bowler has symptoms of the degenerative brain disease that’s caused by repeated trauma to the head. It can only be confirmed after death. Symptoms include difficulty thinking, short-term memory loss, aggression, suicidal thoughts and motor impairment.
Briggs, who is the host of “The Lance Briggs Show” on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, explains in the first episode his love for the sport, knowing the risks and how it was just a matter of time before he experienced symptoms of the condition.
“I enjoyed every minute of football. I didn’t feel like I was in the game until I got a good pop. Either I got popped or I popped somebody. You’re not supposed to be doing the things we’re doing to our bodies,” he says, adding “CTE affects guys in a different way, and you start seeing it even in the practice of football. You get worried. I get concerned for myself. And even though I’ve never had any suicidal thoughts, or anything like that, for it to happen to some great men, and great football players, I know that I can’t separate myself from that crowd.”
While discussing his mission on Fox Chicago affiliate WFLD-TV on Monday, Briggs was asked if he was scared.
“It does scare me, because a lot of men that played the game, have taken their lives. There’s a heavy percentage of them that are linebackers,” says Briggs.
Jovan Belcher, Dave Duerson, Adrian Robinson Jr. and Junior Seau are among many with confirmed diagnoses after committing suicide.
How is he coping with it all?
“For me, it’s important to stay active, keep feeding my brain,” he says.
Scores of NFL players suffer from symptoms of CTE and the NFL settled a class-action lawsuit in 2015 on behalf of thousands of former players.
The disease was the subject of the 2015 film Concussion.