Picture a pro wrestler in the middle of a ring wearing red shorts with a Harvard “H” on his butt, holding a microphone and bragging about his education.
The dude is Christopher Nowinski, and he really did go to Harvard, where he was an all-Ivy League lineman, and he really became a wrestler after graduating.
But he took so many nasty head shots doing both that he wrote a book about sports concussions and became a crusader to make the game of football safer.
He’s my guest on Fresh Air today, and I promise you’ll find his story interesting. Among other things, he went to the family of the late Eagles safety Andre Waters and asked for his brain so scientists could study the effects of hits Waters took over the years.
Waters committed suicide at the age of 44 after suffering from the same kind of brain damage found in aging boxers.
Nowinski has interesting ideas about making football safer, and some frightening things to say about the state of youth football programs.