My Sportsman: Chris Nowinski
One of the most bizarre and important resumes in the world of sports desperately needs revision. Visit the website of the
No, this nomination is premised on a different series of maneuvers by the youngest male Hardcore Champion in WWE history (as the aforementioned resume notes). It was Nowinski, you may recall, who called up Dr. Bennet Omalu -- the Pittsburgh-based neuropathologist who identified
That it does not sound that way anymore would already be proof enough of Nowinski's cultural contributions. But there's more: he's the lead recruiter for the CSTE's "brain bank," overseen by Dr. Ann McKee, where some
Which brings us back to that winding resume. A former financial consultant and All-Ivy defensive tackle at Harvard (thus the ring alias), Nowinski remade himself as the leading advocate for CTE awareness because he, too, had needed to see the light. What was the original impetus for testifying in front of Congress, various medical conferences, youth coaches and NFL players? A concussion suffered when 300-pound Bubba Ray Dudley's boot caught Chris Harvard in the chin during an '03 WWE tag-team match. Nowinski wound up on the floor of the Hartford Civic Center, crowd thundering, his mind unable to recall the rest of the night's script. As he wrote in "Head Games" of that fateful moment: "I still couldn't answer the most important question: What comes next? I know I have to do something, but what?"
Chris Nowinski, thankfully, figured out the answer. That's why he's my Sportsman of the Year.