Kris Jenkins gave a decade of his life to pro football, first for the Carolina Panthers and then the N.Y. Jets. But he may spend the rest of his life recovering from the toll it took on his body. Jenkins explains in a compelling piece in the New York Times:
N.F.L. fans, people outside, they have no clue what goes on. This isn’t like playing Madden. This isn’t like being the popular kid in high school. When you do those things in the real world, and it don’t work out, you still have your health. The thing about football is you’re directly playing with your life, the quality of it and the longevity of it. The stakes are up there.
You ever been in a car crash? Done bumper cars? You know when that hit catches you off guard and jolts you, and you’re like, what the hell? Football is like that. But 10 times worse. It’s hell.
I got my first N.F.L. concussion against Green Bay, my rookie year…