CTE, or Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is on all of our minds following Will Smith’s recent movie Concussion. But it has a bigger impact on the men who play the heavy-hitting sport of football.
Dhani Jones, a former NFL linebacker and one of the hosts of a new competition show on NBC called Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge, recently admitted to having a fear that CTE might be in his future.
“I think about it all the time, I think about it when I walk out of my house and I forget something. Is that because of [CTE], or is that because there are a lot of things on in my brain?,” he said.
The veteran expressed his concerns about the condition, but credits his passion for discovering new things and keeping his brain active as a way to deal.
“The way that I always position it is, one of my friends told me when you stop doing things that you’re passionate about that’s when you really start to break down. So yes, I understand CTE, but the most important thing to realize is that those that are transitioning out of the game also have to be able to find their passion so their brain stays fresh. The nerves keep firing because you’re alive, you’re challenged. So that’s why I am so adamant about working hard and finding things I’m passionate about. Hopefully, MJ (Acosta), Evan (Dollard), Kyle (Martino), and this show can be examples for people to find something and compete for and to do that with family and friends in your community.”
Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge is also hosted by former LA Galaxy star Kyle Martino. NBC news anchor MJ Acosta and TV host/ninja contestant Evan Dollard serve as course reporters who chat with groups of friends, families, and co-workers, as they work together to complete a race across specially designed Spartan courses, engineered to test their determination, endurance, and will.
You can catch Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge airing Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.