Hansen Unplugged: 'America's favorite game has a serious problem'

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by DALE HANSEN

WFAA

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 11:50 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 13 at 6:15 PM

America's favorite game has a serious problem, and Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett is just the latest reason why.

Dorsett telling us last week that he's been diagnosed with CTE, the brain damage that so many NFL players are dealing with because of the game they played.

The damage the NFL knew about and tried to hide.

The league settles a lawsuit with the players for $765 million. Thousands of players trying to rebuild their lives for about half of what it would cost to rebuild the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.,a stadium they could build again — half of that — for the lives that can't be.

The players who have left the game with the crippling injuries so many have... the players who live in constant pain and struggle to walk... they're actually the lucky ones.

Dorsett has put a local face on a problem we have all ignored much too long. The NFL made millions putting their greatest hits on tape just in time for the holidays, and we all sang along.

But America's favorite game is in trouble now.

Players who used to play say they played so their kids won't have to, and a lot of parents are starting to think maybe their kids should play another game.

I love the game like most of you do. I didn't play it much because I wasn't any good. My son didn't play; my grandson doesn't, either; and I like it that way.

We pay a high price to watch our favorite team on Sunday.

The men who play, they pay a much higher price.

Tony Dorsett and the thousands of others just like him face a very bleak future — a future where they will tell their grandkids: "I used to play a game that made me rich and made me famous. They tell me I was really good, but I don't remember anymore, because I used to play a game that made me rich and famous, but I don't remember anymore."

We remember, Tony. We will always remember. We paid to watch you play. We just didn't know you were paying so much more.

E-mail dhansen@wfaa.com

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