I feel lost,” he said. “I feel like a child.”
That’s what former Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Nick Buoniconti told Sports Illustrated as the Hall of Famer and member of the NFL’s last undefeated team in 1972 struggles with dementia.
Buoniconti’s tales are like many others in the NFL. He once hit a player so hard he blacked out, but stayed in the game, and doesn’t remember playing it. He says he tool more than 500,000 shots to the head during his playing career, which lasted from 1962 to 1976.
Now, playing football for so long and taking so many hard shots has caught up with the 76-year-old former Pro Bowler and Super Bowl winner. On the video, you can see that he struggled walking. He said:
“I can’t remember how to tie a ties, I can’t remember how to lace my shoes.”
And then he gave the most damning assessment.
“The answer is, no, I would not have played football.”
The entire read — a long one — is worth it. It not only details Buoniconti’s phenomenal career in Boston and Miami, but it chronicles his personal tragedies, first with his son, and now, with a battle against dementia.