FORMER NFL PLAYER AND BEST-SELLING AUTHOR TIM GREEN APPEARS IN HIS FIRST INTERVIEW SINCE REVEALING HE HAS ALS,
ON "60 MINUTES" THIS SUNDAY
The Former Falcons Player Tells Steve Kroft His NFL Career Was
"Magical and Wonderful," Despite His Belief Football Caused His Illness
Tim Green, the former NFL player and sports commentator, talks to Steve Kroft about his life since he was diagnosed with ALS. Green, a one-time defensive standout for the Atlanta Falcons and now a bestselling author, will speak in his first interview since revealing his illness on the next edition of 60 MINUTES, Sunday, Nov. 18 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Green has been silent about his disease for over two years. He is going public now, as his symptoms become more pronounced. Green tells Kroft he was diagnosed in the summer of 2016 with the incurable disease forever linked to Lou Gehrig, when his fingers and hands became affected. "I went to see some great hand surgeon. And he looked and he said, 'I think you have ALS.' I said. 'No, I don't.'" The same day, he went to a neurologist, who he says told him "Get your affairs in order."
Green believes his amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is strongly linked to his football career; he was a star lineman at Syracuse and played linebacker and defensive end in the NFL for Atlanta. "I used my head on every play, every play. Every snap. It was like throwing myself head first into a concrete wall," says Green.
He is the author of dozens of fiction and nonfiction books. Green appeared on 60 MINUTES in 1996 for his first nonfiction effort, The Dark Side of the Game. He spoke to Kroft then about his time in the NFL, and even alluded to the possibility the game could take 20 years off his life. Asked now about that prediction, he replies, "I've maybe taken that much off the end of my life. Maybe more. I don't know," he tells Kroft.
But asked whether he regrets his career now that he has ALS, he emphatically says "No... It was as magical and wonderful as I dreamed it would be."
Kroft and 60 MINUTES cameras spent time with Green at his home in Skaneateles, N.Y., in New York State's Finger Lakes region. His son, Troy, and wife, Illyssa, are also interviewed.
He takes medication to slow down the progression of the disease, but he is steadily losing the ability to use his muscles. He remains upbeat and points to his wonderful life and family. And there's always his writing. He is working on his 39th book using technology to overcome the limits ALS has imposed on him. It's slower going this time, and he says he missed a deadline for the first time. "I apologized to my editor," he tells Kroft, who quips, "I think your editor understands."
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