HEAD GAMES: What's killing the professional football players: Professional sports players are often viewed as overpaid and under-worked. But after the glory is gone, little is reported about the physical toll the game takes. the fifth estate investigates why professional football players have a life expectancy that is at least 20 years less than that of the general population.
The Edmonton Eskimos of the late 1970s and early 1980s were arguably the greatest football team in CFL history, winning five consecutive Grey Cups (1978-82). Players like York Hentschel, Bill Stevenson and David Boone took the team to the top, but life after football would prove to be so much harder than winning those Grey Cups. In Head Games, the fifth estate’s Bob McKeown discovers that years after retirement, the lives of these players share disturbing similarities with contemporaries who played in the NFL—failure in their personal and business lives, depression, alcoholism, even suicide.