Jeanne Marie Laskas first met the young forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu in 2009, while reporting a story for GQ that would go on to inspire the movie Concussion. Omalu told her about a day in September 2002, when, in a dingy morgue in downtown Pittsburgh, he picked up a scalpel and made a discovery that would rattle America in ways he’d never intended. Omalu was new to America, chasing the dream, a deeply spiritual man escaping the wounds of civil war in Nigeria. The body on the slab in front of him belonged to a fifty-year-old named Mike Webster, aka “Iron Mike,” a Hall of Fame center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the greatest ever to play the game. After retiring in 1990, Webster had suffered a dizzyingly steep decline. Toward the end of his life, he was living out of his van, tasering himself to relieve his chronic pain, and fixing his rotting teeth with Super Glue. How did this happen?, Omalu asked himself. How did a young man like Mike Webster end up like this? The search for answers would change Omalu’s life forever and put him in the crosshairs of one of the most powerful corporations in America: the National Football League. What Omalu discovered in Webster’s brain—proof that Iron Mike’s mental deterioration was no accident but a disease caused by blows to the head that could affect everyone playing the game—was the one truth the NFL wanted to ignore.
Taut, gripping, and gorgeously told, Concussion is the stirring story of one unlikely man’s decision to stand up to a multibillion-dollar colossus, and to tell the world the truth.
|This was a difficult book for me to get through because it opens with the death of Mike Webster, who was an All-Pro and Hall Of Fame football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Him player center meant that on every play he would receive contact. From there you are taken to the testimony of the doctor who Bennet Omaul who new to this country would rock the world in 2009. This was the character that the movie was based on. The author first takes you back to 2002 and the day of the autopsy of Mike Webster who at 50 was gone. These discoveries not only shocked him, but would shock the world. The story then leads you back to the Doctors life and the village and civil war that he grew up in, in Nigeria, and his struggles just to make it from there to school but eventually to America. She does this while he is on the stand reflecting in his mind on how his journey had gotten to that point. To the people that helped him to also a man he looked up to that let him down immensely. The book goes into much, much more detail and facts than the movie could have every hope to have touched on, and when I was finished I actually felt worse after reading this book. Worse about myself not for playing football when I was younger, but in a way still enjoying it knowing what can happen to those who are now playing. I feel the NFL has known for decades about this issue and has used the money and influence to change doctor’s opinions, some not all. When doctor Omaul stood up against his mentor he took the courage he had from his life in Nigeria knowing he had seen the worse, and knew that this is what he needed to do. An excellent book. I got this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com|