Hoge essentially stated that he died -- literally -- in the Bears' locker room, forcing doctors to resuscitate him, and that he was barely cognizant in the weeks following his injury.
When I came to the sideline, I was never unconscious. My facemask has been bent. They were switching my facemask and realized cognitively I was not responding properly. ... They take me to the training room where I died -- I flat-lined. My heart stopped. In the process of trying to resuscitate me, I started to breathe again. Now, they rushed me to the emergency room. I was in ICU for two days, but it was after that I was basically trapped in my home for six weeks. You could not take me around the block, and I would not be able to find my way home because I did not have the cognitive skills. I had to learn how to read again. In fact, months later if you would sit me down and take the inventory of the day I would not be able to recite that to you. So, there is a lot of cognitive issues that I dealt with, and it took almost two years to overcome those particular issues.
The analyst previously testified before Congress about the effects of concussions. He wants the government to "assist" the NFL in establishing a baseline for health, in relation to head trauma. And, frankly, it cannot be overstated how important something like that would be to the sport -- too often in recent years, we have seen athletes, at all levels, rush back to the football field after suffering a concussion.
If the most visible and highly-paid football players in the world are willing to take steps in order to assure their health -- sitting out games following the injury is just the first step in that process -- then, as Hoge points out, college players and youth football players will become more aware of the potential dangers that concussions pose to long-term health.
Hoge might have been wrong about Vince Young (twice now, actually) and plenty of other issues in his role as an analyst, but he's absolutely spot-on in this case, and deserves nothing but kudos for pushing a health-related agenda that would provide sweeping reform for football -- even if it means recounting a terrifying story about his own near-death experience.