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whatever happened to kenny easley?


Seattle Seahawks Kenny Easley

Photo by “unwritten” (flickr) CC-BY-SA

Not that I had any serious interest other than being a football fan, but the two teams I was rooting for in the playoffs (Denver & Seattle) are out of it.  My son and I listened to the second half of the Seattle game on the way home from church.  We got home just in time to watch the last 3 minutes.  What a ride!  Seattle pulled it out and then almost pulled it out again.  Watching the game and seeing how poorly Seattle’s secondary played in the final 25 seconds left me wondering about the whereabouts of Kenny Easley.

If you were a football fan in the 1980’s, you’ll remember Kenny Easley.  Easley was a top draft pick of Seattle in 1981 (UCLA), eventually earning Defensive Rookie of the year honors and going on to play in 5 pro bowls (he was Defensive player of the year my senior year in high school — 1984).  He was a defensive nemesis of the KC Chiefs in the AFC West.  He had that Darth Vader look with the black rubber-like arm coverings — not to mention he was one of the first guys to wear a tinted facemask.   On the football field, Easley was a bad boy.  But he only played in the NFL for 7 years.  Where did he go? 

Believe it or not, Easley fell victim to something that is shockingly common here in America —- severe kidney damage / failure caused by over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Advil, Ibuprofen, etc (HERE and HERE).   How many of these pain relievers was Easley taking every day?  He claims that he was taking up to 32 tablets a day for months on end.   Interestingly enough, the National Kidney Foundation indicates that this is not that uncommon, claiming that 10% of all kidney failure is caused by these drugs. 


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