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Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Outside the Lines: Leroy Hoard

By Kevin Seifert


Over the past few years, we've seen countless stories of former NFL players suffering from debilitating pain and depression they attribute to the violence of their careers. So I appreciated the approach ESPN's Kelly Naqi took in this "Outside the Lines" profile of retired running back Leroy Hoard, who played the final four seasons of his 10-year career with the Minnesota Vikings.

The piece focuses more on how Hoard, 45, is living with his ailments. Hoard admits to memory loss and that he spends hours at a time in a dark bathroom, but he recognizes the events over the past decade that have prevented him from joining a growing list of former players who have committed suicide.

Hoard cites his recent marriage, along with his friendships with ex-teammates Robert Smith and Keith Byars for maintaining his quality of life. At the same time, he regularly writes down the names of three contemporaries -- Andre Waters, Dave Duerson and Junior Seau -- who have killed themselves. He doesn't want to forget what happened to them.

Check it out.