American soccer poster-girl Brandi Chastain announced she will donate her brain to Boston University to see just how bad a lifetime of smashing your head into a ball is.
I would wager it’s somewhere on the spectrum between “meh” and “not great”.
Chastain immortalized herself by scoring the winning penalty kick in the 1999 World Cup.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (better known by its spooky acronym “CTE”) has been getting a lot of press lately, causing a big headache for the NFL. The league recently settled a class action lawsuit brought by former players for nearly $1 billion, which seems like a lot until you realize that’s about half of what ESPN pays per year for the rights to Monday Night Football.
While Boston University’s comprehensive CTE research includes a laundry list of famous athletes, Brandi Chastain is one of only a handful of women (7 out of 307 brains studied thus far).
It will be awhile before scientists crack open that melon and see what’s really going on – Chastain is only 47 and in great health.
Good on you Brandi, for science.