It's a pounding football players are all too familiar with, especially in a day and age when the violent hit means the difference between staying in the stat book or shining on the television highlights.
After all, when is the last time you saw a good old-fashioned tackle around the legs or a shoulder buried in the breadbasket on a promo for the game of the week on CBS, Fox, ABC, NBC or ESPN?
The reported suicide of NFL legend Junior Seau Wednesday, at the age of 43, weighs heavily on those who track America's violent game of choice. It also hits very close to home for those who've put on the pads and helmets in the college and pro ranks, only to find growing old means never forgetting the pains of the game.
Akron's Jay Brophy is among them, and admits he too has fallen victim to the head injury syndromes that many think have been leading to decisions by former NFL players to take their own lives. The former Buchtel High, University of Miami, Miami Dolphin and New York Jet says he's also been diagnosed with the brain injury that leads to wide swings in emotion, frustration over loss of memory and cognitive ability, and depression.
Brophy is retired from playing the game, but still plays an integral part as a high school coach, consultant to coaches and even as the color analyst for WAKR's high school football coverage. He says it took him three years to get the football playing bug out of his system after retiring, and many other players find they can't even watch the game on television because it becomes such a big part of their soul. Even long after their bodies can no longer deliver the performance still blazing in their hearts.
Brophy says after becoming frustrated with the buildup of symptoms following his playing career, he decided to seek help and found it in the diagnosed from Akron Neurologist Dr. Delphi Toth, who discovered damage in Brophy's frontal and right side where key functions such as memory and emotions reside.
Brophy went on to say that a state of depression also set in when he left the game. With depression and brain damage affecting so many ex-NFLers he understands how this can happen.
"The NFL needs to do more to help those who are suffering even though I do believe they are now making strides in the brutality of the sport" Brophy said. "We don't get insurance and for many that means they live in a state of depression".
Former NFL players Dave Duerson, Terry Long, and Andre Waters have all committed suicide in recent years.