Lendale White did not have the NFL career that many projected after a stellar college stint at USC. With that said, the now 32-year-old did produce a 1,000-yard season at the professional level with the Tennessee Titans and that is something that not every star back in college can say.
However, White paints a frightening and horrific picture of what it took to keep him on the field and the conditions that he faced while playing. In speaking to Zach Helfand of the Los Angeles Times, White admitted that he suffered what he described as 20 to 30 concussions during his career and reflected on them (and more) in this way:
“You lose consciousness and then all of a sudden it’s like shoooo-ooooof,” White says, making a slurping noise, his eyes growing wide as he described the sensation. “Like, that’s how it sounds, like shhhhhhloooof, and then all of a sudden you hear the play again.” He’d wander around in a haze, Young directing him to the right spot until he regained his senses.
“And I don’t mean like popping a pain pill because I’m hurt,” White says. “I mean popping scripts. Like 10 Vicodins at a time type [stuff]. You know what I mean? To feel it, like I’m high. To feel the numbness.”
The thought of anyone using that level of medication is scary and White also indicated that both his head and body were essentially in constant pain.
For some, this will be used as a pure example of the issues that football is facing today and the reason why many are fleeing from the sport, especially at the youth level. For Lendale White, it is just plain troubling.