The Epic Career of Former NFL Player Doug Plank: Part One

Steve Kashul and Dr. Cole talk with Doug Plank about his experience playing at Ohio State and with the Chicago Bears. As a former NFL safety who played 9 years with the Bears, he suffered about 30 concussions and has had both shoulders and knees replaced.

There was a time, in the late 1970s, when there were only two reasons to watch the Chicago Bears. One was Walter Payton. The other was Doug Plank. Watching Payton was watching everything beautiful about the game, excellence in the highest form. His runs were played back to classical music. The field was his canvas, and he was DaVinci. Watching Plank was nothing like that.

Seeing him hit was spectacular, like the finale of a Fourth of July fireworks show. But it never was about what he did as much as what he stood for. Watching him was understanding the power of the human spirit. The game of football, on many levels, is about self-sacrifice. Plank, with smelling salts in his waistband and blood dripping down the side of his broken nose, was a portrait of self-sacrifice.

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