By Jay Skurski
Given the choice, Joe DeLamielleure says he wouldn't play football again.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame member and former linchpin of the Buffalo Bills' famed "Electric Company" offensive line, DeLamielleure makes that telling statement in an interview with Matt Crossman of the Sporting News, as part of an exhaustive five-part series on concussions in the NFL.
"If I could see a picture of this when I was 28, and somebody said, 'Here's you sitting with a reporter at 61 with a card donating your brain to science because all the guys are messed up, would you still play?' " he asks Crossman in the article. "No."
DeLamielleure goes on to say he's convinced he has chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a type of brain damage that's been found in 18 of 19 former NFL players whose brains have been studied by Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. CTE can't be diagnosed until after a person has died and an autopsy has been performed -- DeLamielleure has donated his brain to be studied after his death.
DeLamielleure -- who has long been outspoken against the league for its treament of former players -- also says he's battled depression, anger and short-term memory loss.
DeLamielleure isn't the only Hall of Famer to say he wouldn't play football again knowing what he knows now -- former Giants linebacker Harry Carson tells Crossman the same thing.
It's a significant admission when Hall of Fame members talk about giving up their careers if they had the choice, but one that many more former players would not be willing to make, as the survey shows.