Wednesday, December 14, 2016
After the Cheering Stops by Cyndy Feasel
with Mike Yorkey
An NFL wife's story of concussions, loss, and the faith that saw her through.
This is the story of Grant Feasel, who played center for the Seattle Seahawks for most of his career and his downfall into alcohol and prescription painkiller addictions after he retired from playing football.
This is a great story to raise awareness of the dangers of head injuries incurred by playing contact sports. Injuries to the brain can cause CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a "progressive degenerative disease of the brain found mainly in athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including concussions and concussive hits to the head."
Because Grant played center, he was hit on pretty much every play. He was also a long snapper which resulted in hits even on special teams. This led to the development of CTE. He also had multiple aches and pains and was an old man before his time. After a lot of games, if not all, he would come home with a baggie of Vicodin to help with his pain.
He went from an easy-going loving man to an occasionally physically abusive and definitely verbally abusive husband who was the complete opposite of the man Cyndy married. She lived with this for many years until her divorce, which actually happened within a year of his death. Grant became financially unstable, had poor memory, and basically drank himself to death. Cyndy would still go in and visit him in the hospital until he was moved to hospice five days before his death. I think she did still love him and in some ways I think, and this is just my opinion, he might have been more the man she married in those last few days. He acknowledged and apologized for the pain he put her through and also commented that had he known football would take everything he loved, he never would have played.
The storyline was very good. I think raising awareness of the dangers of brain injury is very important. There were some aspects of the writing that I struggled with, but I can't really lay my finger on why. It was told in a very blunt, honest manner which is good, but I think it felt a little hard on Grant and yet I don't think the truth should be sugar-coated. I also need to recognize that I have no idea what a wife goes through living with a husband who struggles with addiction to that degree. So with all that in mind, it was a good read.
I received this book from Book Look Bloggers and am in now way required to write a positive review of the story.
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