50 years of pucks to the head, 4 years as a linebacker in football (gridiron) the car crash, the bike falls and so many others.
Tony’s still wearing the same shitty equipment I was wearing playing pick-up in Guelph in the early 2000s.
And that mask. I try to describe what goalie masks were like when I started playing in 1967, and the best description I can come up with is, they were plastic Halloween masks; at least Tony’s had some wire on it.
He also used to cover his body in Vaseline so the pucks would hurt less.
He still holds the record for single season shutouts, set in 1970.
I have an autographed picture of Tony tucked away somewhere.
Not bad for a couple of boys from the Sault (Ste. Marie).
Tony seems fine, me not so much.
Today I (almost) finalized the paperwork to donate my brain to the Sports Brain Bank in Sydney upon my death. They’re affiliated with the U.S. branch and do research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (see the movie Concussion). They’ve asked us to post a picture with our brain donor card.
Awareness of concussions and how special our brains are has come a long way since 1967, but there is still much that is unknown.
First I started falling on my hockey skates and the was the end of my 50-year hockey career.
Then I started falling while walking.
My wife thinks I’m a drunk, I think I’ve taken too many pucks to the head as a goaltender in ice hockey since 1967 (the last time the Leafs won the cup), 4 years as a linebacker in North American football, the car crash and everything else.
Amy took me to emergency yesterday a.m. because she’s solid like that.
Three stiches in the ear, a couple in my forehead.
Yes, it fucking hurt.
Check out my new web site,dougsdeadflowers.com.
The first time I got an MRI was about four years ago in Tokyo after I passed out in a bowl of soup.
Now that I randomly fall, my Australian doctor said go get a MRI.
So I just finished.
Some say it’s the booze, others say it’s CTE (chronic traumatic encephalapthy from too many pucks to the head, too many years playing linebacker where the coach said go kill the dude with the ball, the car crash, and too many falls as age advances.)
I don’t know what to expect, but remain optimistic for my partner and family.
Peace and love.
I hate it – and hate is a strong word – when athletes or musicians talk.
Yes, you have a voice, but can it be better than, “Uh, yeah, we gave it 110 per cent out there, just trying to win one for the team.”
In addition to all the pucks I took to the head playing goalie since 1967 (the last time the Leafs won a Cup), I played four years of linebacker, receiver and kickoff/punt returner for my high school team.
I was a grunt.
So my head’s been knocked around a lot in ways it probably wasn’t designed for.
I’m reading Ken Dryden’s book on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and will report on that later.
Still, it’s a little scary, not to know what’s going on all the time, feeling distant and distracted, and knowing there will be no diagnosis until I’m dead.
Whatevs, I got great support.
Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright recovered from a concussion that forced him to miss last week’s game against the Rams, only to get felled by a bout of food poisoning the day before Seattle’s eventual 21-12 win over Dallas.
Wright said he ate some lasagna on the team’s Delta Airlines charter flight from Seattle to Dallas on Friday, and felt ill immediately afterward.
“I think it was the lasagna,” Wright said. “As soon as I had my last bite, about five minutes later, my stomach got tore up, and, uh, it ws all over from there. … It was coming out both ends.”
Food poising usually doesn’t happen within 5 minutes, unless it’s chemical contamination.
Wright said he did not leave his hotel room on Saturday, and that the Seahawks’ doctors came in to give him IVs and some nausea medicine.
“He was in bed all day yesterday,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “Those guys played like crazy to hold (Dallas) down.”
Wright said he felt better by Sunday morning and was able to start against Dallas. He came up big for the Seahawks twice, tallying six tackles, picking off Dallas quarterback, Dak Prescott once and recovering two fumbles.
“Shout out to our doctors and trainers,” Wright said. “They’re tremendous and they took good care of me.”
(that’s the equipment I has circa 1972; the puck hurt, a lot, especially on the head)
It was Sept. 1989, when this 26-year-old first heard the opening chords of Blow at High Dough on a kitchen radio at 5 a.m. in Galt (Cambridge, Ontario), featuring the vocals of 24-year-old Gord Downie.
The 1980s were a wash-out for rock-and-roll inventiveness, and when the five friends from Kingston Ontario, The Tragically Hip, splashed onto the national scene with their first full album, Up to Here, it felt like something special.
Up to Here became my running companion for the next six years.
I saw the Hip many times over the years, but the best was in a small bar in Waterloo, Ontario, about April 1990, with my ex who was about 7 months pregnant with Canadian daughter 2-of-4.
We humans know so little about the brain.
PTSD, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), cancer, addiction, bad wiring, and yet we continue to bash our heads around, in sports as little kids, in cycling and falls around home construction sites. The three concussions I’ve had in the past three months, along with a lifetime of pucks to the head, have made me slow down, be more careful, and try to take care of my brain a bit better.
The best we can do, as Gord said, is try to lift up those around us.
Two of my favorite videos are below.
The first is from a song about North America, although the video was shot near Melbourne in Australia while the band was on tour.
May Ry Cooder sing your eulogy.
A gift from down under.
The second, here’s hoping for peace on Fiddler’s Green.