In an emotional, heartfelt, and honest book, former NFL wife Cyndy Feasel tells the tragic story of what life was like living with Grant Feasel, a center with the Seattle Seahawks who suffered repeated concussions and head trauma.
In After the Cheering Stops, Cyndy describes how Grant’s attempts at self-medicating his pain destroyed their marriage, devastated her relationship with their three children, and left her destitute—but also gave her a mission:
• to raise awareness about CTE and head trauma injuries in sports
• educate current athletes and parents of athletes at all levels about the potential damage that head injuries can cause.
Watch Cyndy's video tribute to her late husband, Grant
Unless you’re a longtime Seattle Seahawks fan of a certain age, you’ve never heard of Grant Feasel.
After playing college football at Abilene Christian University, Grant was a starting center and long snapper for the Seattle Seahawks from 1987 to 1992 after starting his pro football career with the old Baltimore Colts in 1983.
While playing 117 games in the National Football League, Grant was just another anonymous offensive lineman who toiled in the trenches, banging up his battered body with every snap of the ball.
As his wife, Cyndy, shares on the pages of After the Cheering Stops, those jarring collisions with powerful nose guards took their toll on Grant in physical, mental, and spiritual ways.
That’s because Grant drank to dull the pain that began in his brain—a brain muddled by a history of repetitive trauma and symptomatic concussions. He drank and drank . . . until the alcohol killed him.
Grant’s death certificate lists “ESLD” (end-stage liver disease, a form of cirrhosis of the liver) as the cause of his demise, but his family later learned that he also suffered from a degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which has been the focus of lawsuits from former NFL players and the topic of a Hollywood movie, Concussion, starring Will Smith.
In After the Cheering Stops, Cyndy Feasel describes how Grant’s attempts at self-medicating his pain devastated their family but also left her with a mission to raise awareness about CTE and head trauma injuries in sports as well as educate athletes and parents about the potential damage of that head injuries can cause.
Cyndy also has a redemptive message to share about how she and Grant made amends just weeks before he died. While he lay in his hospital bed, his life slowly ebbing away, Cyndy planted a light kiss on his cheek and released the man she loved.
Cyndy believes that Grant would be cheering her on to share his story as a cautionary tale of what can happen when you play a sport you love but has inherent risks that wreak physical damage.
“If I’d only known that what I loved the most would end up killing me and taking away everything I loved, I would have never done it.”
just weeks before his death in 2012
My book, which released November 15, 2016, is difficult to read and raw in many ways, but I want to put a human face on what can happen to an NFL player and his family long after the cheering has stopped.
When my husband, Grant Feasel, played in the National Football League in the 1980s and early 1990s, we didn't understand that his helmet-to-helmet collisions opened the door to brain trauma that impacted his thought processes, accelerated his physical deterioration, and altered his personality.
Those are important points because the Grant I fell in love with and brought three children into this world with was not the Grant I said goodbye to at the age of fifty-two. My husband was someone I adored and respected, a godly man of character who wanted to be the best at what he did—until he started down a lonely path that ultimately led to his early death and the devastation of our family.
Now that After the Cheering Stops is coming out, I want to raise awareness for parents about the dangers of playing sports that produce concussions. I’m an art teacher at a private Christian school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and each football season, a handful of my middle school students miss up to a week of classroom instruction because of concussions they received while playing organized football and soccer.
While many think that concussions are synonymous with football, the head-butting sport of soccer produces the most concussive events by virtue of its popularity and the fact that both boys and girls play the sport. Lacrosse and ice hockey are other popular sports that produce a high number of concussions.
Finally, I want to make this point: I know that Grant would not want his name to be remembered this way, but I also know that he would want me to warn others about the dangers of concussions and CTE. He always admired the way I could talk to anyone about anything, and he liked me to fill in the gaps for him with groups of people.
I consider After the Cheering Stops to be a continuation of a relationship that started with such promise but ended so tragically.
Get a taste for After the Cheering Stops by reading the first chapter. But careful—you'll never watch a college or NFL game in the same way after finishing Cyndy's amazing book.
Download the opening chapter by clicking the link below.
Cyndy Feasel is a dynamic and emotional speaker with a passion to share her experiences about living with a NFL player who developed CTE and the life lessons she learned. Cyndy is available to speak at men’s and women’s weekend conferences and vacation retreats.
If you, your church, or your community organization would like Cyndy to come speak at your event, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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