Michael Pittman Battling Depression

May 31st, 2012

Joe really recommends this riveting interview with former Bucs running back Michael Pittman, who was a guest of the Ron and Ian Show on WDAE-AM 620 this morning.

Pittman, 36, described how he has concussion-related depression that has become out of his control at times. He hasn’t had thoughts of suicide, Pittman said, but has sought psychiatric care and medication. “I’m not ashamed to say it,” said Pittman, who added he is not part of any brain injury lawsuit against the NFL.

“I can understand maybe what Junior [Seau] was going through at the time he probably committed suicide,” Pittman said.

Pittman also reminisced about his time with the Bucs, saying Keyshawn Johnson talking badly about Jon Gruden in front of young players was key to his Tampa Bay demise. Though Pittman said he believed Keyshawn was motivated by truly wanting to succeed and was so good he deserved the damn ball.

Pittman also spoke of Chucky studying 1960s film, and said some teammates could roll with Chucky’s often broken promises to players, but others didn’t deal with it well. But “I still believe a lot of those players respect him.”

20 Responses to “Michael Pittman Battling Depression”

  1. Fester Says:

    Something has to be done to make this right for these players. I’m not on any side, but they have to figure something out.

  2. SteveK Says:

    Micahel Pittman should be hired to the Buc’s Coaching Staff, today!

    He can be GMC’s personal “Bicep Consultant”. Look at those guns!

  3. Eric Says:

    The fact is that the human brain cannot sustain that kind of repeated impact. And these guys are so fast and hit so hard i can’t see equipment saving the day.

    Damn sad to hear this about Michael.

    And when guys like Junior kill themselves there is something really bad going on IMO.

    What to do about it I have no clue. But medical coverage for sure.

  4. Vince Says:

    Check out the gun show goin on over here!!

  5. Bucfever40 Says:

    I like Pittman, but what rubbed me wrong was as soon as he was cut, and that Orlando semi pro team was signing a bunch of former Bucs (Rice, Pittman, Bryant, ect) and he was so geeked up about his new “almost-pro” team, he said that if his new team played the Bucs that they would win easily. How does somebody go on record with that nonsense, I don’t care how bad the Bucs were or the perception, there is NO way a patchwork team of washed up former NFL’ers mixed with other “never-was” collegiate players could ever win against ANY NFL team, Pitt, you were probably popped one too many times to not only think that…..but to openly confess it on tv is just plain rediculous.

  6. crazy Says:

    Kudo’s for speaking out and seeking help. Let’s hope Pittman’s okay in the years ahead. Too bad the players don’t do more to step up and support one another through the NFLPA.

    Instead of fighting the employer why don’t these well-paid employees and their well-paid reps take care of one another with a group policy or fund? It’s easy to say the league should pay but isn’t the recognition that professional football is a violent and risky occupation the reason players are payed as well as they are?

  7. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Sorry, it sounds like he is posturing, to set up the NFL by attempting to “connect” suicide, and depression, to concussions.
    I am surprised to hear no ex NFL Player has blamed his failed marriage due to the inability to sustain an erection on the concussions they “suffered” as a player.
    Just as a coal miner knows about black lung, every idiot knows hits to the head can be dangerous.
    Funny, mome of these NFL Players were bitching when they were playing, and getting the glory.

    They were very well paid for what they did, and chose to play football.
    If they blew their money, too bad.
    If they are disabled, let them get on Social Security Disability, like the rest of the injured workers.

  8. thibs5599 Says:

    Biggest arms of any RB in the NFL ever…hands down

  9. Eric Says:

    The actual pathological proof of causation between concussions and severe depression is probably a few years away.

    But remember, the tobacco industry argued for many years as to the causal connection of smoking and lung cancer.

    common sense tells me that getting knocked out a few times aint good for your brain functioning.

    I understand these players know what they are getting into, but at the same time I don;t see any Glazer Boys putting their asses on the line on Sundays. Something ought to be done to help these guys out IMO. Joint effort by the league and the NFLPA.

  10. dan Says:

    Eric. No its not. I speak from a person who has sustained 8confirmed concussions, the most recent of which left me with concussion symptoms for months on end, and nearly 4 months later i was borderline mentally handicapped. And throughout the process i worked with a well respected neurologist who pointed me towards several publications where there is documented correlation between tbi(traumatic brain injury) and Mtbi(mild traumatic brain injury) and chronic depression.

  11. dan Says:

    the pathological discussion is on what do you call a concussion? there is no ‘real’ universal test to confirm that you have sustained one, no scan reads ‘positive’ if you’ve had one

  12. Eric Says:


    I agree with you, but proving it in court is another matter. It has to be “generally accepted in the scientific comunity”. Its like linking brain damage to violent behavior. Very hard to do even if a PET scan reveals a very damaged frontal lobe.

    But the league and players ought to just do the right thing and help these guys. Set aside the legal posturing for once.

  13. dan Says:

    also, going forward i am now 6-7 times more likely to develop early onset Alzheimers yay! and of course your right you can only prove that they are more susceptible to depression not that this bout of depression or memory loss is caused by playing football only that playing football made them more susceptible

  14. Miguel Grande Says:

    I think the league needs to be pro-active and move forward. There is a positive treatment for these types of injuries and that is synthetic human growth hormone which they just outlawed (very curious).

    They should start a pilot program dispensing this treatment to some of the worst 100 cases and commission a university medical team to monitor its success.

    As a country, the US needs to get out of the dark ages and escape from the pharmaceutical stranglehold on our health. Few doctors or people know that there are many natural cures for cancer, heart disease and diabetes. They have outlawed some of these cures (Hemp) and plan on outlawing more like non-genetically modified (organic) fruit and vegetables.

    There is an Eugenics Program that is active in this country that actively pumps rat poison (sodium flouride) into our municipal water system, Aspartame (toxic waste) into food and drinks, high fructose corn syrup (mercury) into almost all foods and sprays barium and aluminum (chemtrails) into our atmosphere . They are trying to kill us.

    Sorry to stray so far off topic but I feel so strongly about these subjects that I actually left the USA.

  15. J 2.0 Says:

    Pittman has always had mental issues. The guy tried to run his wife and kid off the road in a Hummer. The guy is naturally bi-polar.

  16. L.J. Says:

    J 2.0 got it right when he said Pittman tried to run over his family. I wonder if his wife can file for back injuries she suffered with the beatings she took from Mr. Biceps. Can’t say I care about what happens to this wife beater.

  17. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Funny, mome of these NFL Players were bitching when they were playing, and getting the glory.”


    I’m sure you are old enough to know that nobody knew concussions were such a big deal back then. It was unheard of for a player to miss time because of a concussion. Hell, I got a concussion playing pop warner football, and went right back in the next series. So please stop with this nonsense that they players knew what they were getting themselves into. That is pure BS. I’m shocked that you could possibly think that way.

  18. Eric Says:

    Well said Mr. Hawaiian.

  19. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Unfortunately, the only real solution is a bad one for all football fans. In order to make the game safer, you have to take away as much of the violence as possible, which is damn near impossible without putting flags on them. Everyone complains about the quality of play at the Pro Bowl, but that’s why players rarely get hurt in the Pro Bowl. Once they go full speed, concussions are going to happen. Although I love the Pro Bowl, if every game was played like that, I would probably start watching other sports. I don’t think there is a real solution, but I do think the NFL is now trying to take steps, but it’s still unavoidable.

  20. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    Pittman has a history of bad behavior. He controlled it (mostly) in Tampa. But I think blaming concussions is a mighty convenient excuse for some of these guys.