Sunday, February 12, 2012

Former NFL player weighs in on ESPN article

This was posted on an ESPN message board from a person claiming to be George Visger, a former member of the San Francisco 49ers in 1980 and 1981. The link to the ESPN article is listed here:
His post was in response to the article and many other posts by individiuals in response to the article about pending lawsuits against the NFL, and Commissioner Roger Goodell's handling of the issue in recent years. His entire post is listed below.

George Visger:
I was a member of the 1981 SF 49ers Super Bowl team when I developed hydrocephalus (water on the brain), and underwent emergency VP Shunt brain surgery during my second season in the NFL. I remember turning 23 while lying in intensive care at Stanford hospital, this just a few weeks after a knee surgery.

My football "career" began at age 11 playing for the West Stockton Bear Cubs Pee Wee Pop Warner team in Stockton, CA. My first "diagnosed" concussion occurred during my 3rd year of Pop Warner, when I knocked myself unconscious in a Bull-In-The-Ring drill and was hospitalized. No telling how many concussions I had through high school at Stagg High where our only loss was a bowl game my Jr season in 1974, to an Orange Bowl appearance with Colorado my freshman year in 1976. I had two "diagnosed" concussion at Colorado, but only because I could not remember the game the next day while watching films. My final "diagnosed" concussion occurred my first play with the 49ers in 1980. (I was a 6th round pick of the NY Jets in 80 and the 49ers picked me up just prior to the first Dallas game). I hustle in early in the first quarter and subsequently get ear-holed by Jay Saldi on a Dallas TE Trap. The trainings laughingly told me the next day I went through 20-25 smelling salts during the game. They would hand me a handful, clear my head and send me back in. I never missed a play or a practice.

Two months after we won Super Bowl XVI my shunt failed and I went into a coma, had two more brain surgeries 10 hrs apart and was given last rites. I was also given the hospital bills. All at the ripe age of 23. I was forced to sue the 49ers for Workers Comp just to get my bills paid for, a battle which took me nearly 5 years with creditors hounding me. At the time I was swinging a hammer for my older brother and bouncing in bars at night, as I had not completed my Biology degree before I was drafted.

Fast forward to today, at age 53, I have survived 9 emergency VP Shunt brain surgeries, multiple gran mal seizures, battle constantly with Work Comp to get my bills paid for, and I still don't qualify for any NFL benefits because I had not played the 4 yr minimum to be vested. Now I ask you all, how many of you work in an industry which is based on employee violence, and would need 4 years service under your belt in order to have your injuries covered? I will answer that, NO ONE.

The NFL is a $9.5 BILLION industry with less than 1,800 employees who actually generate those funds. You mean to tell me they can't take 1/2 of 1% of gross annually ($47.5 million unless my damaged brain is not functioning properly), and put it in a non-wasting endowment account for retirement funds to help the families of their injured employees?

By the way Manley 66. I agree with you totally. If you want to protect heads, get rid of helmets. I coordinate with Dr Rich Ellenbogen, the NFLs head of Head, Neck and Spine Injury Group, and one of the first things I told Rich was to get rid of helmets. From the first day you suit up as a kid, they teach you to stick your face in the numbers and explode through the opponent. The brain was never meant to be used as a weapon. I'm brain damaged, and even I figured that one out.

NFL players speak up against brain trauma 8/19/11
By Mark Emmons

Visger Rules – Recommended Changes to NFL Rules
The Sport Digest
Dec 16, 2010 ... George Visger, who played defensive tackle for the University of Colorado in the 1977 Orange Bowl, and won a Super Bowl championship in 1981 ... - Cached

George Visger

SF 49ers 80 & 81
Survivor of 9 NFL Caused Emergency VP Shunt Brain Surgeries

Benefactor of ZERO NFL Benefits

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