Life after football has been rocky for Bernie Kosar.
The former quarterback has gotten divorced, filed for bankruptcy after a few failed business ventures and, apparently, his daughter is trying to be a porn star. Additionally, Kosar has fought many of the post-career demons that other NFL players have experienced regarding their physical condition. Headaches, insomnea, and slurred speech have apparently plagued Kosar since he retired in 1996. But Kosar is doing some to combat his ailments with hopes of helping others.
In a column by Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Kosar is undergoing “groundbreaking” treatments for brain trauma. The treatments are being performed by Dr. Rick Sponaugle, a Florida doctor who, according to the report, has spent the last 15 years studying the brain.
“It was a gift from God to find this and to feel like this,” Kosar said during a news conference in Cleveland last week. “I see all the symptoms going away.” “There are hundreds, if not thousands, of guys who are dealing with issues and pain and stuff,” said Kosar, whose speech is noticeably improved from last month. “Literally, I think a lot of them are losing hope. I tried really hard to find it. This [treatment] isn’t something I think a lot of guys know about, whether it’s the younger kids playing or the ex-NFL players. I don’t think a lot of people know there is hope for them.”
In light of the report last week that Junior Seau was suffering from chronic brain damage at the time he committed suicide last May, the news could be a ray of hope for the NFL’s continued fight against concussions and player safety. Of course, based on Kosar’s history, we would be remiss if we didn’t question whether Kosar had some ulterior (read: monetary) motives in presenting this allegedly groundbreaking treatment to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and others. According to Reed’s report, Kosar has no business interests with Dr. Sponaugle. However, chances are that if Kosar was able to facilitate some sort of business interest between Sponaugle and the league, or with numerous other former players who are suffering from the same symptoms as Kosar, then Kosar would be rewarded financially — and perhaps handsomely.
Nonetheless, it’s the first public story that we’ve heard about a potential treatment for these players. With hope, it won’t be the last.