By Dr. Matt McCarthy & Timothy Burke [i]


Potentially damning information reveals that NFL offices have obtained a study which predicts the probability of psychotic episodes on the part of NFL players. The study—conducted by the American Brain Foundation (ABF), and secretly requested by the commissioner's office—recently asked current and former players to undergo cutting-edge CAT-scan imaging. The results are terrifying, if accurate.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources in the league office say the ABF examined the neurological inertia of 300 concussive-related psychotic cases—notably including Junior Seau and Jovan Belcher—and found startlingly similar synaptic malfunctions across a broad and representative data set. The ABF concluded that correlative and peculiar patterning recurred with such frequency that, after five concussions, a patient's CAT-scan could predict his likelihood of violent or psychotic episodes to within a 0.003% margin of error. Infamous for waffling on the issue of CTE and its causal effects for violence, the NFL made clandestine requests of the country's most trusted cerebral experts, who confirmed what we could only guess at all along.

According to the ABF study, a player's "positive psychotic probability" increased exponentially with every concussion after five. Such specificity undercuts much of the League's pose with regard to concussion symptoms and players' protracted exposure to hits to the head.


Deadspin has obtained four NFL players' Trauma-Induced Psychosis scores (TIPs): Ray Lewis, 0.71; Danny Woodhead, 0.68; Jermichael Finley, 0.66; Percy Harvin, 0.62. The scores indicate that, within the next two decades, these players' cerebro-neurological functions will have deteriorated to a point rendering them clinically schizophrenic and dissociative. Patients such afflicted demonstrate higher potential for sudden, inexplicable violence. In the cases of those named, a TIPs score above 0.3 is considered "a high likelihood of dissociative violence stemming from prolonged brain trauma."

These results, passed to Deadspin anonymously and first published here, could prove a formidable weapon for the NFLPA come next year. At press time, the NFL had not responded to requests for comment, nor the ABF to inquiries regarding how to prevent or reverse neurological deterioration of this type.


We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

[i] Deadspin's staff dedicates this exposé and its reporting to the late memories of Dr. Matthew McCarthy, Jesse Fredeen, and Tom Ley, whose collective energy and researches discovered and eventually cracked this grievous story. Requiescant in pace.