Famed New York Jets wide receiver, George Sauer, Jr., passed away this past Spring from congestive heart failure, and after dealing with complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. At the time of his death, stories circulated about some of Sauer’s eccentricities, and how he had become disgruntled with professional football, which contributed to his early retirement from the game.
This week the New York Times published an in-depth article on Sauer, which dealt mostly with his life post-football. The article painted the picture of a man who, sadly, never seemed to be comfortable with life. He had a series of failed marriages, an unsteady employment history, and a disdain for the sport that at one time had made him famous.
While the authors did not connect Sauer’s Alzheimer’s or social dysfunction directly to football, his story seemed to have unfortunate similarities to several of the other former football players who have suffered from post-football brain injuries. These once-vibrant and intelligent men gradually withdrew into themselves, and experienced increasing individual and social difficulties.