Chris Nowinski was in New York City late last week to join
1,200 former football players gathering for the Ivy Football Association
(IFA) dinner at the Marriott Marquis. Earlier in the day, he and a group met
for an informal breakfast at the Harvard Club in midtown,
where I met Chris and got a sense of his back-breaking schedule. At both events, there was considerable buzz about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a long-term degenerative and incurable brain disease caused by repeated hits to the head—mild or otherwise.
Cerebrum, the Dana Foundation’s online neuroscience journal, had invited Chris to write about CTE. His recently posted story, “Hit Parade: The Future of the Sports Concussion Crisis,” couldn’t have been timelier. In the two weeks leading up to our publication date, a new study had been released, several Super Bowl participants had talked about the implications of CTE in their own lives, and President Obama had expressed his own concern in a magazine interview. As senior editor of Cerebrum, I told Chris how much I appreciated his keeping us current and updating our story.