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Football: The sad story of Steve Hendrickson

Long-time Cal football fans will remember Steve Hendrickson, a ferocious linebacker recruited to Berkeley by Joe Kapp who exceleed on Bruce Snyder’s early teams.

Hendrickson, from Napa, earned Cal’s Joe Roth Award as a senior in 1988, given to the player who exemplifies the “courage, sportsmanship and attitude” ot the late quarterback.

Hendrickson went on to play in the NFL.

Now  45, Hendrickson is suffering the ravages of his football career, including a loss of short-term memory that has led to him being unemployed the past six years and divorced.

From the Napa Register, here’s a terrific but sad and cautionary story on Hendrickson’s decline.

Jeff Faraudo

  • 707 Bear

    Downer alert.

    Wow.

    Watch the video of Hendrickson attached to the article and then answer this question: What responsible parent would let their child play football?

    I have to say I’m beginning to feel a bit guilty for enjoying a college football Saturday in the fall. By supporting college football, am I helping ruin a person’s life?

    I would never pay to watch boxing or ultimate fighting because I don’t want to support an activity whose sole purpose is to cause physical harm to another human being.

    Do I need to add football to that list?

  • Beastmode

    Seau’s death was a turning point for me, perhaps because I saw him play in college, perhaps because that event was so shocking. Hendrickson was from that same era. The video is shocking.

    I looked into the science behind head trauma after stubbornly refusing to believe the 2009 Gladwell article… it is an ugly picture. How can I detest dogfights and bullfights, yet support unpaid college kids playing gladiator for my weekend amusement? Very hard to justify, despite having loved the game since my childhood. That love is fading fast.