Last year the Concussion Inc. ebook imprint published a kind of Reader’s Digest autobiography by George Visger. Today ESPN.com published a long profile of Visger by Patrick Hruby, one of the country’s most brilliant writers on sports or anything else. “The Damage Done,” http://es.pn/12z0kbJ, is a must-read.
Hruby has it all: Visger’s bone-crunching ethos; his full medical history; the battles with football authorities — including the supposedly unreproachable Bill Walsh — over being made whole for his sport-induced brain injuries; how it all fits into the chronic traumatic encephelopathy research of Dr. Bennet Omalu; and, most painfully, the toll on Visger’s marriage with his wife Kristi, who has had to protect herself and their children from a gentle giant who can fly into rages, even though they have never had an estrangement of the heart.
I did not pretend that George’s ebook short was anything like a comprehensive account of his life story, which can turn so abruptly from warm to chilling. Hruby’s article shows that the Kristi aspect might be the most telling omission, both in terms of personal pain and in terms of illustrating the range and fallout of Visger’s challenged memory.
Last January, as we were going to press, George called me to make sure the ebook hadn’t neglected to document his deep debt to Kristi and his relentless campaign to make things right for her and their family. I assured George that we had indeed included this note:
“The stress on Kristi from living with me – not knowing who was coming home from one day to the next – blew us apart. Kristi once told me she hates what football has done to her life. Others tell me I had anger-management problems and scared my own family. The thought of this absolutely kills me, and I am determined to win Kristi’s trust again. As I write this, Kristi and the kids are with her parents, and I’m at Motel 6 the few days I am not on the road working as an environmental inspector and biologist.”
For complete information on George Visger’s OUT OF MY HEAD: My Life In and Out of Football, go to https://concussioninc.net/?page_id=5578. The ebook can be purchased on Amazon Kindle at http://amzn.to/znZuiL or as a PDF file by remitting $2.99 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are links to further reading on this blog, in chronological order.