Former Titans Tight End Frank Wycheck Believes he has CTE, Worries he Could "Snap"
Wycheck is concerned he could "snap" one day like many other former players who experienced his symptoms.
Frank Wycheck's name is written all over the franchise record book for the Tennessee Titans. The former tight end, who played nine seasons for the Titans/Oilers organization, ranks third all time in franchise history in receptions with 482 and seventh in receiving yards with 4,958. The Music City Miracle, the greatest play in the franchise's history, would not have happened without him.
While he was grinding out that life in football, which started at the age of five and ended when he was 32, Wycheck also suffered, by his own estimation, 297,000 hits and 25 concussions. Now Wycheck is coming forward to shed light on what he believes could be a battle with the dreaded brain disease CTE, which has directly or indirectly claimed the lives of untold NFL vets over the years. In an interview with ESPN, Wycheck admitted that he suffers from anxiety, depression, and migraines in addition to back and neck pain. He also expressed his fear that he would one day end up as yet another NFL player to commit suicide:
"I worry about, I'm scared about the time if I actually get to that point where these guys [who have committed suicide] have snapped," he said. "What has made them snap? And that is what I am scared of, that there is something that is going to come over me that is going to make me snap.
"I don't think I am going to do it, but those guys you would never think in a million years would. And that's the scary part about it. There is no one that can tell you really anything. It's just, the damage is done."
Like many former players, Wycheck has made a commitment to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, which studies the effects of CTE, after he dies.
Wycheck was a major part of Tennessee's 1999 Super Bowl team. During the first round of the playoffs, he threw perhaps the most famous lateral in NFL history, which NFL fans still remember as the Music City Miracle.
Despite his current suffering, Wycheck says that he does not regret his life in football; he wishes he had been given the information earlier, but believes he still would have played even if commissioner Paul Tagliabue and his medical advisor, Elliot Pellman, "didn't lie."
Wycheck decided to come forward despite the fact that he finds discussing his health condition "...kind of creepy."
"People don't want to hear about morbid stuff like that."