Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Top Stories

September 6, 2013

A heady topic

Concussions and safety at heart of football debates

By CLINT FOSTER

It was a typically wet evening in Seattle, Wash., last Thursday, as fans gathered at CenturyLink Field for the preseason finale: an exhibition game between the hometown Seattle Seahawks and the Oakland Raiders. Like most preseason games, this one wasn’t much to write home about, but something happened after a pregame Seattle rain shower subsided that might have left few dry eyes in the stadium. 

Derrick Jensen, an eight-year veteran of the National Football League, was honored before kickoff. The former tight end and special teams captain for the Oakland Raiders had spent the last 22 years as a scout for the Seahawks organization. 

As a tribute to his service, the Seahawks arranged for Jensen’s family to come to the game and raise the 12th Man flag – a symbol of the spirit of the Seahawks and their fans – not unlike the moniker used at Texas A&M. His mother, Sharleen Stone, is a Mineral Wells resident who traveled to the event. His son, Davis, raised the flag for his father, who has now lost the use of his arms.

Jensen, 57, suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain, slowing breaking down a person’s ability to use everyday faculties. 

Readers may remember ALS took the life of Palo Pinto Precinct 1 Commissioner Ted Ray in March of 2008.

But how did Jensen – a former football player out of University of Texas at Arlington and a Super Bowl Champion who scored the first touchdown of Super Bowl XVIII against the Washington Redskins when he blocked a punt and recovered it in the endzone – fall victim to such a disease?

The answer probably lies in arguably one of the single biggest issues surrounding the sport of football today: head injuries.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • Rabies reported in area horse

    PARKER COUNTY – Parker County Sheriff’s Animal Control officers are advising the public of an area horse that tested positive for rabies.

    April 24, 2014

  • Baker Town Hall.jpg Laying it out: Baker developer, mayor explain funding proposal

    People of all ages and demographics showed up for what could be considered a favorable turnout to Tuesday night’s Baker Hotel 4B town hall meeting, put on by the Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Welcome 2.jpg A welcome sign

    Mineral Wells may not be a film industry mecca as, say, Austin might, but the city doesn’t lack for Hollywood lore.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0423 one ribbon cutting main.jpg Almost there

    WEATHERFORD – A ribbon-cutting on a bright, beautiful Tuesday morning — attended by more than 135 people — marked the near-finish of the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway, the centerpiece and largest project of the $80 million Parker County Transportation Bond approved by voters in November of 2008.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire update 3.jpg Electrical system fault cited as cause of sausage plant blaze

    PALO PINTO COUNTY – Investigators have determined that a fault in the electrical system caused last month’s fire that ravaged the warehouse of the Kennedy Sausage plant off Interstate 20 and U.S. Highway 281 South, said Palo Pinto County Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Training to begin for CASA child advocates

    Although National Child Abuse prevention month is quickly coming to a close, the fight against child abuse is far from won.

    April 22, 2014

  • Genesys2.jpg S-TEC now piloted locally

    Roger Smith, CEO of Genesys Aerosystems, and his management team, saw a great opportunity for growth with the acquisition through a managed buyout of Chelton Flight Systems Inc. and S-TEC Corporation, doing business as Cobham Avionics, from Cobham.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rains bring end to burn ban – for now

    PALO PINTO – Weekend rains led Palo Pinto County Judge David Nicklas on Tuesday to temporarily lift the countywide burn ban.

    April 22, 2014

  • paperclip patent.jpg Paperclip invented locally?

    It is a staple of the office – the paper clip, a simple but elegant tool, a couple of bends of thin wire that helps keep us organized.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • bat workers.jpg New bat sanctuary to be ready in June

    Sometime around June, area bats will have a new place to hang out.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
SmugMug


Click on a photo to see our SmugMug photos

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.