Nick Buoniconti, a tenacious center linebacker who gained two Tremendous Bowls within the 1970s with the Miami Dolphins and in retirement turned his doggedness to discovering a remedy for his son’s paralysis, died on Tuesday at his house in Bridgehampton, N.Y. He was 78.
The son, Marc Buoniconti, the president of the Miami Undertaking to Remedy Paralysis, which his father helped discovered, introduced the dying. His mentioned his father had been in hospice care.
Nick Buoniconti acquired a analysis of dementia in 2015 and two years later agreed to donate his mind to researchers at Boston College. They’re to find out if his repeated head accidents as a participant had brought on power traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative mind illness.
As of 2017, the college had discovered C.T.E. in 110 of the 111 former N.F.L. gamers’ brains it had examined.
“I’m constructive that soccer brought on this,” Buoniconti mentioned in “The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti” (2019), an HBO documentary. In an interview for the movie, he confirmed his frustration with the halting speech that his dementia had brought on.
“I’m not mad on the recreation, I’m mad on the house owners,” he mentioned. “I feel that we paved the way in which for the N.F.L. being what it’s at the moment. In different phrases, we, uh, we paved the way in which for them and so they’re, they’re reaping all the advantages.”
He added, “Sorry, I’m not, uh, I’m not, uh, coherent.”
For a few years Buoniconti was an clever, articulate and difficult participant forging an All-Professional profession with the Boston Patriots and the Dolphins. Afterward he grew to become a lawyer, a participant agent, a TV sports activities character, a company government and the lead voice of the Miami Undertaking.
Marc Buoniconti severely injured his spinal twine in a college-football recreation in 1985. For greater than 30 years afterward, Buoniconti helped elevate almost $500 million for spinal twine and mind analysis carried out by the group. He additionally performed a important function in directing the analysis and was a charismatic motivational speaker earlier than scientists and researchers.
Dr. Barth Inexperienced, a neurologist and longtime chairman of the Miami Undertaking, mentioned in a cellphone interview: “Persons are strolling now due to mobile transplants and the newest neuroengineering and bioengineering that has been utilized to people with incapacity. Nick was a stimulating power in that space, from bench to bedside. And that is somebody who in all probability by no means took a science course.”
A full obituary will seem quickly.