Did Repeated Brain Injuries From Football Destroy Jack Kerouac?
If there’s one thing that freaks me out, it’s traumatic brain injuries. Okay, there are a lot of things that freak me out; brain injury is currently on the list between skin cancer and the antibiotic resistant super bacteria. When I was a kid, I sustained a couple concussions myself and every time I can’t remember the name of a movie, I am convinced my brain is rapidly deteriorating. While I may be just your average paranoid hypochondriac (though I seriously just forgot the word for “hypochondriac” so…maybe not paranoid), there is new evidence to suggest that one of America’s best known writers, Jack Kerouac, a one-time football player, might have actually suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the progressive neurodegenerative disease that has been found in the brains of more than fifty former football players. Kerouac died relatively young, an alcoholic with a mind that was slowly grinding to a halt. Because he didn’t leave his brain to science, there’s no way to know for sure what happened, but this story from The New Yorker blog will make you wonder and also keep you off the gridiron for awhile. Read it!