Posthumous studies of three more 1972 Miami Dolphins football players have shown they suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease linked to repeated head trauma only detectable after death, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported on Friday.
Jim Kiick, Nick Buoniconti and Jake Scott were all found to suffer from the most severe Stage 4 of the disease by the CTE Center at Boston University.
Two years ago, the Boston CTE Center found that ’72 Dolphins players Earl Morrall, Bob Kuechenberg and Bill Stanfill all suffered from advanced stages of the degenerative affliction.
In 1972, the six Dolphins players had completed the NFL’s only undefeated season with a Super Bowl win against the Washington Redskins in Los Angeles.
Scott was named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player in that year’s big game, with two interceptions to seal a 14-7 victory. Buoniconti had another interception in the game, and Kiick scored the second touchdown.
A profile in The New York Times on Saturday paid homage to the family of the three men; all three players began deteriorating at a similar age.
“He was the guy I looked up to my whole life, so to see him deteriorate, I tried to shut my eyes to it,” said Austin Kiick, the son of Jim Kiick. “No kid wants to put their parents in a home. But you could see things were happening to him.
“We probably lost our dad five, six years ago, not one, two years ago,” Austin added.
“He’d have a whole conversation with people who didn’t have a clue who he was,” Scott’s friend, Richie Hall, said.
“Nick called the shots until he couldn’t,” said Nick Buoniconti’s widowed wife, Lynn Buoniconti.
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