Tom Dinkel speaks out on head trauma and CTE

Feb 17, 2014

Tom Dinkel Bengals 1978-’83,’85



I think that after watching the video of the two young boys going 1 on 1 and seeing the impact of the hit, it is about time we as former NFL players start to make public statements as to the impact that football can have on the lives of both the young and old. There has to be some factual research that shows a “safe” age as to when a youth should be able to start playing contact football. (if there is one at all)

click here:

My son played both youth football and HS football until the age of 16. He started playing contact football in the 6th grade. There wasn’t a day that went by when I wasn’t fearful of him being hit and being paralyzed. The thought of head trauma never entered my mind. Unfortunately, after his sophomore year in HS, he was diagnosed with a “Ewing’s Sarcoma” cancer that was found in the lower base of his skull. When the neurosurgeon told him that they would have to operate to remove the tumor from inside his skull, but he would never be able to play football again, I was both terrified about the cancer that was found, but quietly relieved that he would not be able to play contact football again. He is now 6 years cancer free and living a healthy life. With the tumor being found in his skull, was it head trauma that caused the tumor to grow in his skull? No doctor has ever told me no! I continue to research the issue.

Anyway, how much more proof do we need to show that head trauma can caused CTE? I really don’t think we need to sit around and wait for the NFL to acknowledge it. Do we turn our backs and do nothing while more and more kids needlessly die in grade school, high school, college and the NFL? What percentage of those that die, do we continue to tolerate and say that it is just part of the game?

Tom Dinkel
Bengals 1978-’83,’85

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13 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Conrad Dobler
    February 17th, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    Roger Goodell makes $121,095.89 per day for 365 days a year or $15,136.99 per hour if he worked 8 hours a day for 365 days. He never had to take a lick and never got knocked out while in office. Its hard to do the right thing when you have been bought off.

  2. Dave Pear
    February 17th, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    I saw the owner of the New England Patriots; Robert Kraft on the news recently. They were asking him about concussions and he said; “we need to do a better job on our public relations.”

    So this is the NFL’s answer for “concealing” the dangers of head injuries.


    Dave Pear
    Pro Bowl 1978
    Super Bowl XV
    Social Security Disability at the age of 50

  3. Rob Beckman
    February 17th, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    The Army and the NFL have done a beautiful job of marketing their interest in more research. “We just don’t know enough.” “Science is inconclusive.” “We don’t want to rush to judgement about the best way to understand the problem and to be able to differentiate what’s going on.” “Look at all the money we’re spending on research!”

    For many years and just last month, scientific evidence continues to mount about the nature of head injuries and their consequences — and the treatment that is giving the brain-injured their lives back. See the research on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy; watch a couple of videos. Much can be done immediately to help.

    Israeli TBI Study:

    Israeli Stroke Study:

    Reflections on the neurotherapeutic effects of hyperbaric oxygen

    The Honorable Patt Maney (BG, USA)
    RMHI with Margaux and SGT Ramirez

    American Legion
    Matt Smotherman / John Bennett
    Brian Fleury – Hockey Player
    Rocky Mountain Hyperbaric Institute
    Navy League Video
    Mr. Ray Cralle-Case Studies
    Marv Fleming, NFL, 4 Superbowl Rings!patient-testimonials/c1fy6
    Bill Romanowski – Broncos
    George Visgar (NFL, 49ers)

  4. Don Brady, PhD, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist
    February 17th, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    Glad to hear your son’s health has improved, Tom.


    Re: concussions, or more precisely, brain injuries occurring in football:

    1- Let’s try an analogy re ” proof “:

    Suppose football is perceived as a new medication / drug.

    Then suppose brain injuries / concussions become known as a well documented adverse “side effect” of football participation

    Seems like the FDA would have both:

    A) a significant justification and

    B) a legal and moral responsibility to remove the harmful and unsafe drug from being further developed…and injuring scores (pun intended) of other individuals.

    2- Re ” Proof “:

    Case studies have long been considered acceptable scientific findings…

    Yet certain “so called experts” or perhaps more precisely, ” the manufactures of doubt ” express the desire to soley collect data via longitudinal studies…and group studies…for the purpose to also delay and delay addressing significant health issues that are confronting persons at this time.

    …for the transparent purpose to obviously dismiss, deny, minimize, sanitize and ignore an increasing number of former NFL displaying numerous adverse effects of concussions / brain injuries.

    A well respected researcher, Michael Patton, PhD, has long advocated for expanding how real world balanced research data is collected.

    The following excerpt from my 2004 Dissertation research re NFL Players’ knowledge of concussions reveals Patton’s perspective:

    Patton (1990) urged the avoidance of these constructs [of objective and syubjective] in order to bypass useless debates, while at the same time advocating for the investigator to commit to “comprehending the world as it is while simultaneously utilizing credible research strategies which are balanced in reporting both confirming and disconfirming evidence” (p. 55).

    He emphasized as well the importance of the investigator maintaining a neutral position, and strongly cautioned and reminded the reader that:

    (a) instrumentation designed by humans is subject to inherent biases of the researcher; and

    (b) no single research methodology adequately explains away differing causal variables.

    Source: Patton, M. , 1990, Qualitative evaluations and research methods (2nd ed). Newbury Park, California: SAGE Publications.

  5. Michael Butler
    February 18th, 2014 at 7:03 am #

    I’m sorry to hear about your son and the brain tumor, but happy to hear that everything is going will with him. I don’t think we will ever get the full truth about any of our injuries and the long term effect they have on us. As long as the owners can buy some of our higher profile former team mates off to discredit the effects on us and to keep the general public believing that we are a bunch spoiled jocks not understanding that we did not make the same level of compensation as todays players.

    Michael A. Butler
    Green Bay Packers 77-82, 85-86

  6. Tony Davis
    February 18th, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    Tom Dinkle and I used to line up next to kickers, run 40 to 60yds down field and take out wedges for a living. This was legal, acceptable, encouraged and taught in the NFL. Concussions were rarely if ever a reason to not play. A quick dose of smelling salts, identify that the trainer is holding up more than one finger and your ticket was punched to return to the fight. Tom Dinkle did this about as good as anyone ever did it. So when he speaks in the arena of head trauma he speaks with first hand knowledge….Thanks Brother…


  7. Sue Brodie
    February 18th, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    Is the NFL truly a 501c (non-profit)? How can it be?

    Sue Brodie

  8. Dave Pear
    February 18th, 2014 at 1:31 pm #


    Yes (unfortunately for tax payers) the NFL is a non-profit.

    Is there another CEO or Commissioner of a NON-PROFIT that earns $45,000,000 annually with an expense account that is probably worth millions? Roger Goodell is the only one I know of. If there is another high paid NON-PROFIT Commissioner or CEO like Roger please correct me.

    The reason the NFL is able to have a non-profit status (and pay no Federal income tax) is they have the best lawyers and politicians money can buy.

    Dave Pear
    Pro Bowl 1978
    Super Bowl XV
    Social Security Disability at 50yo.

  9. Tony Davis
    February 19th, 2014 at 6:40 am #

    What Roger Goodell makes does not concern me. He is earning what the market bares and what those who pay his salary view he is worth. I have heard many former NFL Players speak on the issue of great compensation for Players as “too much”. Until we NFL Retired Players decide to UNITE together, with one major voice, it will take a lot longer to affect the results we fully seek. The NFL has reached this economic status by capitalizing on the popularity and emotion that their Industry creates. The have used the popularity of the NFL for their own benefit calling it “Sport” and getting the support of the right politicians to allow themselves great benefits. NFL teams are not “non profits” the League is a classfied non profit. Teams pay taxes and owners decide what they want to pay the CEO of their company and Roger Goodell has been a great CEO for his owners. We have managed to improve the conditions of Former NFL Players in a very positive fashion over the last 10 years without really becoming a United Front. In my opinion, the last 10 years of improvements is just the start. Before this is over every NFL Player past and present should have full Medical/Dental benefits for their lifetime. The Pensions need to be doubled again for the Pre93 Retiree’s. All of this can be achieved if we collectively come together to address these issues. Every NFL Retired Player needs to put aside their political rhetoric and reach a common goal….We will continue to win court cases because we are on the right side and the NFL knows it. The speed and degree of the win will be determined by our ability to collectively unite.

  10. Tammy Holloway
    February 19th, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    I totally agree with Tony Davis..NFL players should have full Medical/Dental benefits for for the pre 93 Retiree’s pensions should double. All NFL Players Retired need to come together and their wives also, let the wives tell their stories..Everyone will have a common story what they go through behind close doors with their husbands, that have injuries, head trama. We need to all stand together for the right reasons and goal..I am behind Tony Davis all the way..Roger Goodell don’t even want to get started on that, I hope he sleeps well at night..
    Tammy Holloway
    husband X-NFL Brian Holloway
    New England Patriots & Raiders

  11. John Hogan
    February 20th, 2014 at 3:00 am #

    I agree with Tony, completely. I never busted any wedges with him, but have spent a lot of time along side him trying to improve the benefits for retired players. I have a bit of a different take on RG’s salary – it proves that there is plenty of money there to pay for the benefits retired players need and deserve. Come together. Oh, and for some of you out there in retired player land, stop attacking attorneys who help you.

  12. Tom Dinkel
    February 20th, 2014 at 7:12 am #


    The link above includes additional research being done and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center about concussions and possible prevention of concussions. Again as your read the article, the NFL and the NFLPA both chose not to comment on the study.

    The article talks mainly about the volume of blood flow to the skull and how this could prevent concussions. It also discusses the fact that the new revamped helmets being used in the NFL could possibly INCREASE the risk of injury!

    Very interesting research and well worth the read. Nothing will get done if we just sit on our asses and wait for someone else to do something. I would urge everyone to post information as you become aware of it and make it known to every current and former NFL player. I am sick about reading about former teammates and guys that I played against having to suffer with Head Trauma issues. There are too many research facilities now doing research that are not under the influence of the NFL and these institutions and research facilities are going to be the ones that provide the factual data. The more data that is documented, the more the NFL will have to recognized, and yes, even acknowledge!

    Tom Dinkel

  13. Gregg Bingham
    February 20th, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    looks to me like tony davis scored again as he hit the nail tight on the head….. he does that a lot you know

    gregg bingham