Manning A Part Of The Problem: BrainChamps Calls Him Out

Today’s revelations by NFL Star QB Payton Manning indicate he knowingly lowballs the NFL concussion baseline test.  He was smug and almost bragging in his statement.  And he is too ignorant to know any better.

Manning has been raised by a Football legend who often seemed to always put the Football Glory of his sons first over anything.

Said  Payton Manning:

“They have these new (brain) tests we have to take. Before the season, you have to look at 20 pictures and turn the paper over and then try to draw those 20 pictures. And they do it with words, too. Twenty words, you flip it over, and try to write those 20 words.

“Then, after a concussion, you take the same test and if you do worse than you did on the first test, you can’t play. So I just try to do badly on the first test.”

(The Huddle)


That is the worst thing he could say.  And he is a big part of the cultural problem that has led to the systemic breakdown of the game.  The same break down that threatens the game today as lawyers and lobbyists move in.

Payton needs to take ownership for his words and instead of advocating for lying on concussion Baseline Tests he needs to be saying that he did it.. but acknowledge that it was wrong and that he risked his life in doing so.

Very few Pros appreciate the fact that they are not bullet proof.  Very few have had to deal with a death or see a friends or a loved one suffer from a Craniectomy.   That is the wonderful Skull removal surgery they have to do to kids and athletes who play with a concussion and then receive another one;  thus causing massive blood flow, swelling, and pressure to the skull.

Kort Breckenridge was the All American kid living his Friday night Dreams until he played hurt and was hit again

Maybe instead of making it a cool thing that he tricked the systems Mr. Manning can give something back to help combat the problem.

Here we are,, a small group of activists which includes coaches and players and families of survivors and of those who have died and we get it. We are working daily to educate and train.  And we do all of that on a small budget from our own funds.

Manning could do more in one day then we can do in a year and what does he do?  He mocks the NFL who all these kids look up to just as much as they idolize Manning.

And shame on the NFL for having a test that is as simple as Manning explains it to be.  The ImPACT test that we advocate for takes 25 minutes and has built in checks which make it very difficult to fool. So that does not sound like the test Manning was referring to.

Thanks Payton. Thanks alot!

Because of ignorant people like you, who seem more interested in how many zeros are in your bank account then if the game of football is safe or even around in 5 more years, the problems are compounded.

Here is Kort after he was played hurt and lost half of his Skull.  It is hard to show but we must because if I don’t people who read this won’t get it.

Here is what Second Impact Syndrome looks like for some….

Kort Breckenridge of Tetonia, Idaho after a Craniectomy was need to save his life thereby removing half of his skull

Does this help you understand?  And this happens when kids play hurt and when they play with a concussion and are hit again.  It happens quite often.

We would never wish this on you Payton but we need you to understand.  We need your help.  Because only guys like you have the voice and the podium to make a difference fast enough to help.

Oh by the way… Kort who still suffers today and every day of his life… well he was one of the lucky ones.  Why you ask?

Because for the vast majority of SIS Victims the end of the injury ends up like this.

Many injured football players who receive a second concussion while playing with an unresolved concussion end up dead

The injury is almost always fatal.

And while SIS may be rare the manly concept of playing hurt and playing at all costs for the good and glory of “the team” is making sure that the deadly injury comes around a few times each year.

And of course there are many more issues here then SIS.  We are learning that CTE is an equal deadly killer.  Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of  athletes who suffer with the damages of concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury.  Many of them hurting from pushing themselves because they have been convinced by their idols  like Manning and unscrupulous Coaches to man up and do what they have to do to never leave the field.

Of course they could… but that would mean loosing their starting spot!

This is exactly why what Payton Manning did today by making that statement to the media was harmful.  He hurt kids today.  He may have even had a hand in the next football related SIS Death today by what he said.

So regardless of his intent we are calling him out.  We challenge Payton Manning to do something to help.  We challenge him to admit his statements were hurtful and a part of the problem or that they were at least poorly worded. Even if he was being flippant he has to take ownership that we are no longer in that era where what we say does not matter.  Especially on this issue.

He is a fantastic football player.  He apparently needs to work on being a better person.  So Payton here we are man… looking for help.  Kort Breckenridge and Drew Swank (RIP) and Matthew Newman and a whole bunch of other damaged kids and families are with us at BrainChampions and we want your help.

We challenge you to call and accept our invitation to help.  We will accept anything you want to bring to the table.  Anything.

But Payton if there is a family that has benefited more from the game then yours we doubt it.  We realize how hard you have worked too.  But maybe… just maybe.. it is time to check yourself and help.

Can you do that?

We are always available at



  1. says

    I played against your father back in the early 80’s, and understand your statements, IF we were still back in the 80’s. Like it or not, being a player of your position and status in the NFL carries a lot of responsibilities. Along with the millions and millions you make playing a game you love, you owe it to the sport to ensure younger players coming up through the ranks are not putting their lives on the line trying to emulate you. You and I both know the odds of any of the millions of youth football players making it in the NFL are slim at best.

    I don’t know you as a person, but have always respected you as a player. My only guess is your statement was a stupid response given without thought to the ramifications it could have on younger players. The locker room bravado regarding head injuries is archaic. I did it, we all did it, but there is a price to pay. Its much more than just getting your bell rung. I know. I am now on my 9th emergency VP Shunt brain surgery since developing hydrocephalus during the 81 Super Bowl season. I have a ring, but it’s not worth the hell my family has gone through dealing with my football souvenirs.

    Your statement is a slap in the face to Kort Breckenridge’s family and all the other Breckenridge families who suffer because traumatic brain injuries are still thought of as a joke. WIth all the media attention to head injuries these days I take your statement as a slap in the face to my family. Why don’t you speak to Garrett Webster, Mike Webster’s son, about what Iron Mike’s last few years were like. Before he died living in his truck in the same town his family lived in, he would call Garrett telling him he was unable to find his way home.

    You owe a lot of people an apology, especially all the Kort Breckenridge families who have lost loved ones to what you consider a joke. You also owe me and my family an apology for your ignorance and derogatory comments towards a very serious, life altering injury.

    I hope when you hit my age, 52, you are not on 4 different dementia medicines at once, like they had me on, in an effort to improve my memory. To see what a joke it is to live with a TBI, go to the following links:

    NPR: A Brain, A Life, Battered by Football

    First Annual Independent Football Veterans Conference

    Sac News and Review Cover story

    If you are half the man your father was you will step to the plate and acknowledge your error. Someone in your position could do so much good towards this tragic epidemic, without costing you a dime or a minute of your time.

    You are a very cerebral player, how about using your head to prevent head injuries. And please, remind me again how funny they are.

    George Visger
    SF 49ers 80 & 81
    Survivor of 9 NFL Caused Emergency VP Shunt Brain Surgeries
    Benefactor of ZERO NFL Benefits

    • says

      Thanks as always for your crisp and real perspective. Manning has now said he was joking around but you know he has done nothing to make a statement that could have been helpful or educational. So I am still hot. He has been very lucky to have not had a reported concussion and with the #1 line in the entire NFL and a quick release he is tough to get to. He is very lucky. I am sure our friend Kurt Warner would feel entirely different. Keep up all the good work and as always thank you!


  2. Susan Apostol says

    Susan Apostol,
    April 28, 2011


    We lost the father of our grandaughter last mother’s day in a football scrimage. He felt like a son to us and he was trying to prove himself so he could start. I have no doubt that he was hitting harder than anyone out there and I’m sure he kept playing even though his head was hurting him. He laid on the field for 43 minutes and was bleading in the brain. He was pronounced dead the next day on mother’s day. I have a great daughter and the most beautiful grandbaby that will not Have Dylan around for the rest of their lives. Brain injury is no joke!!!!

    Its amazing how an athelete like kobe can say a bad comment and everybody jumps down his throat and his fined and needs to do public service and statements to make it right and you open your mouth and in one silly statement do more damage to the cause of educateing people about brain injuries and hardly anyone complains like its no big deal. I know a little girl who is growing up without a daddy because of a scrimmage in Eastern Oregon and I’m telling you it is a big deal. I bet you know players in the NFL allready that suffer memory loss and other problems because of playing when they had a concussion.

    You need to speak out and let people know that brain injuries are serious and you know this. To many people have watched you play and look up to you for you to just let it go by without a respose. I’m glad London is to young to read, she doesn’t to hear the things you said she lives the truth daily.

    • says

      Thanks Susan~! So well spoken from someone who lost a loved one and who has seen what has happened to her family as a result. We will never probably know what happened for sure to Dylan but we do know that he died of a massive brain injury that he received while playing the game of football. So no matter what Manning, who has hundreds of Millions, has done nothing but hurt. We as a group have done nothing but help!
      Thanks for the comment and stay strong!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *