Sunday is a big day for fans across the country as our favorite football teams face off for week one. While we open a new season, there are new health statistics about players that might surprise you.
The NFL released details from its first ever government study saying former NFL players are 3-4 times more likely to die from brain diseases compared to the general population.
Diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.
One former NFL player is Sioux Falls native Neil Graff who played six years in the NFL. He was a quarterback for the Vikings, the Patriots and the Steelers in the 1970s.
When he hears about the health statistics, he's not surprised because it's not so much the game that has changed but the players.
They're getting stronger, bigger and faster on and off the field therefor the impact is greater during the games.
When he talks with his former teammates, he sees the early onset of dementia and other common diseases and knows it's a big issue. With the evolution of today's players getting stronger, he says the risk isn't getting any smaller.
"Another 20 years down the road, as these big players come to the forefront, we'll see more problems unless some new measures are taken to restrict the brain injury in the NFL and in football in general," Neil Graff said.
Last week, the NFL announced it has pledged $30 million for medical research to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health in order to take the right steps in response to concerns about head injuries.
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:48 PM EST2013-12-04 03:48:06 GMT
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center. The city required 60% of voters to approve the bond to pass; only 50.9 voted yes. Canton financial officer Kyle Cwach said 412 votedMore >>
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:52 PM EST2013-12-06 23:52:25 GMT
Every year the streets of downtown Dell Rapids fill up to welcome the holidays with open arms. But the recent blast of arctic air has forced organizers of Christmas at the Dells to make some changes. "IMore >>
Cold weather cancels outdoor portion of Christmas at the Dells annual holiday event. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:47 PM EST2013-12-06 23:47:21 GMT
WCCO -- A family is western Minnesota is dealing with a tragic loss. Two of their children were unaccounted for after a fire started in their home Wednesday. The bodies of those children were found WednesdayMore >>
A family is western Minnesota is dealing with a tragic loss. Two of their children were lost in a devastating house fire Wednesday. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:10 PM EST2013-12-06 23:10:35 GMT
The fate of South Dakota's minimum wage rests in the hands of voters, Secretary of State Jason Gant announced Friday. After passing the petition certification process, the issue is now known as InitiatedMore >>
The fate of South Dakota's minimum wage rests in the hands of voters, Secretary of State Jason Gant announced Friday.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:09 PM EST2013-12-06 23:09:49 GMT
KOTA -- Next November, voters will decide on an initiated measure named 'Patient Choice,' after nearly 23,000 valid signatures were gathered and certified by petitioners. Today, Steve Eckrich, one ofMore >>
Next November, voters will decide on an initiated measure named 'Patient Choice,' after nearly 23,000 valid signatures were gathered and certified by petitioners.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 5:52 PM EST2013-12-06 22:52:25 GMT
At approximately 01:03 A.M. on 12/06/2013 officers of the Sioux Falls Police Department responded to the Cubbies gas station located at 2101 W. 49th St for an armed robbery that had just occurred. UponMore >>
Sioux Falls police are searching for two men accused of robbing a gas station clerk at gunpoint early Friday morning. Officers say these men are armed and dangerous.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 2:48 PM EST2013-12-06 19:48:09 GMT
After four days of deliberations, a jury determined a Sioux Falls man is guilty of sex trafficking. Mohammed Sharif Alaboudi, 45, was found guilty on four counts, including sex trafficking by force andMore >>
After four days of deliberations, a jury determined a Sioux Falls man is guilty of sex trafficking.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:47 AM EST2013-12-06 16:47:04 GMT
South Dakota's governor requests flags be displayed at half-staff Friday through Monday at sunset. President Obama called for flags to be flown half-staff nationally to honor the life of Nelson Mandela.More >>
South Dakota's governor requests flags be displayed at half-staff Friday through Monday at sunset.More >>