I choose my first book of 2017 to be After the Cheering Stops: An NFL wife's story of concussions, loss, and the faith that saw her through by Cyndy Feasel. It caught my eye from the start because it was about football of which I am a fan and it opened my eyes to something I didn't know anything about.
After the Cheering Stops is written by Cyndy Feasel, the former wife of Grant Feasel. Grant and Cyndy met in college when he was a college football player and immediately fell in love and were later married. Grant was incredibly intelligent and planned to go on to be a doctor on dentist. He fell more in love with football as college progressed and when he was drafted, he decided to pursue football and see where it got him.
Grant played for several teams as a nose guard over the course of several years and as Cyndy states, Grant had his "bell rung" often. He received many concussions over the course of his career as well as many injuries. As a result, by the age of 35, he was in incredible pain most days from knee, neck and back injuries.
Grant and Cyndy were of Christian faith but as Grant's circumstances changed, their marriage changed and their faith became less of a focus. Once Grant retired, he became a daily drinker where he had never drunk beforehand. Over the last 17 years of his life, he drank daily, drove their lives further into financial ruin as well destroyed their family.
Cyndy shares more and more about his life and their lives together throughout the book. Once Grant passed away, it was discovered that Grant had CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) which was the cause of so much of his decline. CTE is caused by repeated head injury and concussions which Grant received in the NFL.
I appreciated Cyndy's openness about how she struggled to care for Grant and support him throughout his final years. She shared about her regretted affair and how she realized she wasn't trusting God. I really enjoyed this book and think any NFL fan would enjoy it.