Kyle Turley was interviewed by Mike Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune in regard to his health struggles post-career. Turley was always a fiery competitor who wore his heart on his fully-tattooed sleeve. You might recall his helmet throwing tirade in a primetime game against the Jets when he was a Saint. He has even written a country song about the incident.
Turley has been retired since 2007, when he attempted a comeback with Kansas City but struggled with a myriad of injuries at age 32. He is now an advocate for awareness of brain issues, in addition to still performing as a musician. That advocacy and his donations made him aware of a program that may have saved his life.
I’ve got as good of a chance as anybody of going down that road into Crazy Land or into Super Crazy Disease Land,” Turley said. “I’ve got every opportunity to probably be in the same boat in the future, and I don’t know how far in the future. It’s very, very disturbing, very frustrating, very stressful to deal with, especially having kids.”
Turley has donated to the Gridiron Greats, and is a board member, and they helped launch something called NFL Life Line, a 24-hour support service, soon after Junior Seau’s death. Turley used the life line within the last year, while sitting in a parking lot, battling impulses.
“It was imperative that I did,” Turley said. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just a moment where you’re lost. You’re completely gone. You don’t understand the things that you’re doing, you’re pissed at yourself because you’re doing the things that you’re doing, and you have little control, it seems, over it.
The impulses that Turley describes have taken control at times have resulted in broken plates and damage to cars and homes. Still, he remains a big Second Amendment believer, owns guns that he keeps in his car and his home, and does not believe in taking precautions to remove it from himself. Will his own awareness, a kind of disturbing self-awareness, be enough to prevent him in those weak moments? It is another hopeful yet sad tale. Let’s hope that we don’t revisit this in future years for the wrong reasons, and instead Turley is an advocate for players and keeps away the impulses.
[photo via athletepromotions.com]