Former BYU quarterback and coach Max Hall sat down with Jude LaCava of Fox 10 TV in Phoenix in his first public interview since his arrest in Sept. 2014 to discuss the path that led him to drug addiction, including some eye-opening statements about playing through concussions.
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FOX 10 Exclusive: Max Hall speaks publicly for the first time. Five years ago Max Hall started and won a huge game against the defending Superbowl Champion New Orleans Saints. But a series of concussions and a serious shoulder injury lead to his excessive use of painkillers. Hall describes how the series of events lead to his drug addiction. The former Cards QB talks candidly for the first time on his lowest point (arrest in September 2014) to his rehab and now his road to recovery. Click play for the interview as Jude LaCava goes through the last five years of the life and times of Max Hall.Posted by FOX 10 Phoenix on Monday, May 4, 2015
If the video doesn't work for you, it can be viewed here.
Here are some things that stood out to me:
Hall's descriptions of playing through concussions were pretty alarming. Here's a guy who is a fringe NFL talent with his chance to start a career, not wanting to give anything up. Hall suffered his first concussion in the second quarter against the Saints, but finished the game and won.
"I was afraid if I told somebody, I would lose that. I lied my way through the concussion tests and told the doctors what I thought they wanted to here, because I wanted to play. Looking back, that was a huge mistake .... I was definitely different. I was spacey, I was forgetting stuff, I remember going into that Seattle game, being at the line of scrimmage and forgetting what play we're running."
Hall is removed after getting hit again in Seattle, he sits the rest of the game and then starts the next week. "I remember being astonished they were going to start me again against Tampa. But the old football mentality and football guy in me said 'Suck it up, be there for your team ... seize the moment, take advantage of the opportunity.' I wish I wouldn't have done that. I wish I would've just said, 'Hey, I'm not right.'"
His pain killer addiction didn't come until he separated his shoulder. He explains his path from being cut from the NFL without the Cardinals telling him, to coach at BYU, and going to play in the Canadian Football League all while trying to manage his addiction. He coached at BYU after completing the NFL's drug program, but was still managing his addiction.
He described the night he was arrested after his theft as "being on autopilot" and he couldn't even explain why it happened, just that he gave in to his addiction and made bad decisions. He also identifies Brandon Doman and Chad Lewis as the first BYU friends to reach out to help, as well as professor Doug Witt, who came together and found a place for him to get treated.
Unfortunately, this doesn't appear to be the entire interview, but it still sheds a lot of light on both concussions in football and on the battle of drug addiction -- and it seems, hopefully, that Hall is in a better place and can put his four-year fight behind him.