TORONTO (CBS) — The medical tragedies that have befallen several members the fabled 1985 Bears – most recently the death of Dave Duerson – have prompted a Canadian news magazine to deem the team the “sad news Bears.”
MacLean’s Magazine reported this week on the woes of several members of the Super Bowl-winning team.
The tragedies began when Walter “Sweetness” Payton died from bile duct cancer in 1999, the magazine points out. But since then, many players have suffered from physical pain and other medical issues.
Particularly hard-hit by medical problems is William “the Refrigerator” Perry, who suffers from an advanced case of the autoimmune disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome, MacLean’s reported. After suffering partial paralysis in 2007, Perry dropped to about 190 pounds and later ballooned to 400, the magazine reported.
Now, his exercise program is limited to trips “from his chair to the washroom or the liquor store,” MacLean’s reported.
Other players have also suffered health woes, McLean’s pointed out. Jim McMahon recently told the Chicago Tribune he is losing his memory as a result of taking too many hits to the head, and has gone through surgeries 19 times, the magazine said. Wilber Marshall has spent most of his retirement fighting the NFL for disability benefits after numerous surgeries, according to McLean’s.
Most recently, of course, Duerson was the subject of a tragedy when he committed suicide at his home in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. Duerson’s family believes he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease, and he has donated his brain to Boston University for research.