Marcia Frost
5 min readJul 9, 2020

Highlighted by the Death of NFL Player Jim Kiick

Former Miami Dolphin Jim Kiick. Photo courtesy of Alli Kiick.

On Father’s Day eve, former Miami Dolphin Jim Kiick passed away at 73. Obituaries all over the sports and national news noted that he died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. That is far from the whole truth.

Kiick’s Story
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a disease caused by repeated head injuries. It is neurodegenerative and the effects from it can show up years after the initial injuries. They include behavioral problems, confusion with thinking, and changes of mood. Jim Kiick was suffering from dementia from CTE.

In 2017, Sports Illustrated writer S.L. Price, did a story on Jim Kiick, and other NFL players who had sued the league in a $1 billion concussion settlement. This money helped to support these players (Kiick needed to go into an assisted living facility in 2016), but it certainly didn’t give back the brain capacity they lost forever.

Jim Kiick was instrumental in helping the Miami Dolphins win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1972 and 1973, the latter of which was an undefeated season. He ended his career with a 3,644 yard rushing record and 28 touchdowns, making him one of the top players in the franchise’s history. During that time, he had multiple head injuries.



Marcia Frost

A lifestyle journalist forced to slow down sports, travel, health, music & food coverage when chronic illness changed her life & career.