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March 17, 2015

49ers Standout Rookie Chris Borland Walks Away From the Game, Citing Risks to Brain

Wow. I don't know whether to be impressed or just baffled.

I think more "impressed," because very few people make very gutsy, life-changing, proactive decisions. Most people will just go along on whatever path they're on without thinking about it all that much. Told that there is a risk of something bad happening in the future, most people will tend to ignore this, pretend that a low percentage risk is actually a zero percentage risk, or put it out of mind by telling themselves they'll be one of the lucky ones.

This guy, on the other hand, is told that there is a risk he'll have reduced brain function later in life if he takes more concussions -- something most athletes would blow off -- and he says Okay I'm done with professional football, then.

I wonder what his Plan B is.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Wary of head trauma, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland is leaving football....

So now, after one stellar rookie season, he is retiring at age 24.

The 49ers announced his decision Monday night, without offering specifics. But Borland told ESPNís "Outside the Lines" earlier in the day he wants to do "what's best for my health."

Borland had a team-leading 108 tackles as a rookie, emerging as a punishing defender. He also had a sack and two interceptions.

"From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk," Borland said in the interview. "I feel largely the same, as sharp as I've ever been. For me, it's wanting to be proactive. I'm concerned that if you wait till you have symptoms, itís too late."

Unless I'm missing something, I don't see any recent concussions that Borland would be concerned about -- the article talks only of a late-season ankle injury which, while I'm sure it was painful and difficult during rehab, is, let's face it, just an ankle.

I also wonder how this guy is going to settle into Real Life, real life where you're not treated like a superhero. People don't cheer and chant your name when you successfully hand them a set of car keys at Enterprise.

Kind of interesting on a human level, I think.

Not Really A History of Concussions:

Hell, at his age, most men will have had one concussion and maybe two. (Men do more stuff where you could get a concussion.) So he really hadn't had any more concussions than the average 24 year old would have, and he hadn't had one since high school.

But he's quitting the NFL over pure research into the issue, without any elevated personal risk?

Very odd.

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posted by Ace at 01:45 PM

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