Reading Guides

Football and Brain Trauma – Recommended Books

Football Brain Trauma Books

As the Super Bowl draws near, the books on this reading list challenge us to take critical look at football and the brain trauma many players have experienced …

I used to be a big football fan, often spending large chunks of my Sundays enjoying NFL games. But the more I heard and read about brain injuries and trauma, the less enthused I was about the sport. Today I rarely watch a full game, and have mostly lost interest in the sport.

Here’s some excellent books that present the research on brain injuries and tell the stories of former football players: 


Football Brain Trauma Books

Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away: A Love Letter to My Family

Ben Utecht

(Howard Books)

“I strongly encourage every parent, every child, and every person who plays or plans to play football and other high impact contact sports to read this book and become enlightened and empowered by Ben’s powerful story.”
—Dr. Bennet Omalu, featured in the movie Concussion

After five major concussions, NFL tight-end Ben Utecht of the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals is losing his memories. This is his powerful and emotional love letter to his wife and daughters—whom he someday may not recognize—and an inspiring message for all to live every moment fully.

Ben Utecht has accumulated a vast treasure of memories: tossing a football in the yard with his father, meeting his wife, with whom he’d build a loving partnership and bring four beautiful daughters into the world, writing and performing music, catching touchdown passes from quarterback Peyton Manning, and playing a Super Bowl Championship watched by ninety-three million people.

But the game he has built his living on, the game he fell in love with as a child, is taking its toll in a devastating way. After at least five major concussions—and an untold number of micro-concussions—Ben suffered multiple mild traumatic brain injuries that have erased important memories. Knowing that his wife and daughters could someday be beyond his reach and desperate for them to understand how much he loves them, he recorded his memories for them to hold on to after his essential self is gone.

Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away chronicles his remarkable journey from his early days throwing a football back and forth with his father to speaking about the long-term effects of concussions before Congress, and how his faith keeps him strong and grounded as he looks toward an uncertain future. Ben recounts the experiences that have shaped his life and imparts the lessons he’s learned along the way. Emotionally powerful, inspiring, and uplifting, Ben’s story will captivate and encourage you to make the most of every day and treasure all of your memories.



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