By: Brendan Smart (@bsmart21)
January 8th, 2000 former Tennessee Titans Tight End Frank Wycheck gave the state of Tennessee hope in a young NFL team. With a simple lateral pass to his left to former Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson the Titans won the AFC divisional round matchup against the Buffalo Bills. That was then, this is now.
A little over 17 years later, Wycheck is dealing with something not many of us understand. It's battle internally between the mind and the body. All of those hits early in life, even leading up to the end of his career make the former tight end believe that he has CTE.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head. (Via Boston University)
Wycheck said in his interview with Paul Kuharsky of ESPN and the Midday 180, “he's scared of snapping.” He continued “all of these former athletes end up snapping at some point and commit suicide.”
It's true, the brain is damaged and the person officially loses control of his body. Waking up with headaches, not wanting to socialize, and depression are just some things that Wycheck is dealing with.
Wycheck is a huge reason I'm writing this right now. All he did for the Titans and the community over his eight seasons make me want to help, but how do we help?
That answer is pick Wycheck up when you can. A simple complimentary tweet, sending mail for prayers, and just letting him know that he isn't alone in this battle off the field.