Brett Favre says he may have suffered 'thousands' of concussions in his 20-year career

NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement

Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre says he was diagnosed with 'three or four' concussion over his 20-year, 326-game career in the NFL. 

However, he estimated that the number he actually suffered was 'probably thousands' and admitted that he worries about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). 

Speaking on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today", the 48-year-old revealed he suffers from memory loss issues and spoke openly about the effects of his long playing career on his health, as well as his opinion on kids playing contact football. 

Favre is now a leading advocate for concussion research, and revealed he is worried about developing CTE as he ages. 

''But as we're learning about concussions,'' he told Kelly, ''there's a term we use in football and maybe other sports, that I got `dinged.' When you have ringing of the ears, seeing stars, that is a concussion.

''If that's a concussion, then I've had hundreds, probably thousands, throughout my career, which is frightening.''

''My football career has meant a great deal to me and has provided a lot of things, a lot of joy not only for me, but for my family,'' the three-time MVP said. ''Now, my family doesn't have to face the physical problems that could potentially arise, or the mental problems that could, but they are directly associated with me in that regard. It's kind of a blessing and a curse."

He then explained how the mindset regarding concussions has changed from the days when he played football as a kid.

''I grew up playing football. My dad was the coach, he was tough on me, he was a hard-nosed, just in-your-face-type of guy, and he didn't know what concussions were about. We knew basically what a concussion was, but the thought process in those days was you would never come out of a game or practice because you had a little head ding. You would be considered, for lack of a better term, a sissy.

''My point in this is 30 years ago, there wasn't a problem in anyone's mind from playing football. It was just a matter of being tough, and the ones who stuck it out and made the most of it. Now, what we know, is it has nothing to do with toughness and that's a lot scarier. So I look at my career as something wonderful. I didn't know; had I known in Year 5, I would have looked at my future a bit closer as my career unfolded.''

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The former Packers star then gave his opinion on kids playing football, and it won't be a popular one amongst many traditionalists in the sport. 

''The brain and just the skull itself, for (8- to 15-year-olds), and maybe even older, is not developed enough and they should not be playing tackle football,'' Favre said. ''We should protect them, especially when there is no treatment solution out there."

The fact that a hard nosed, old school style football fanatic like Favre has taken the step and put it out there that kids should not be putting their bodies at risk at such a young age is a huge step for the almost taboo subject.

Though enormous strides have been made since CTE was first discovered, many in the game simply refuse to budge on their stances and Favre's admission will go a long way to influencing the more stubborn in the football world that contact at a young age could be detrimental to players health and well being. 

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