A Steeler's melting point

Mike Webster walked away from the NFL with four Super Bowl rings. Walked away with more than an assortment of chronic aches and pains. Walked away and found out years later that he was mentally disabled.

In a five-part series, ESPN.com explores the after-football life of the former Pittsburgh Steelers great, from his odyssey of bizarre behavior and failed business ventures to his eventual homelessness and untimely death.


  • A tormented soul
    Mike Webster, the center of attention during the Steelers' dynasty, lived a life in limbo after retirement.

  • A game of mortals
    Anecdotal evidence would suggest that NFL players die young, but research suggests otherwise.


  • Blood and guts
    The wear and tear of a 17-year NFL career became an uncomfortable badge of honor for Mike Webster.

  • Bigger is better
    The NFL has banned steroid use among its players, but that doesn't mean players aren't still bulking up to maintain their competitive edge.


  • <"http://www.espn.com/nfl/news/story?id=1972287">Man on the moon
    The bumps and bruises accumulated over a 17-year NFL career were nothing compared to the beating Mike Webster endured in the business world.

  • The devastating blow
    There are approximately 300,000 sports-related concussions sustained each year.


  • Wandering through the fog
    When his playing days were over, Mike Webster often slept in his truck behind a Pittsburgh grocery store.

  • Developing a new game plan
    When an NFL player retires, it doesn't mean he won't need a coach to prepare him for the real world.


  • Sifting the ashes
    Part 5: Mike Webster's family takes up the one battle that the former Steelers center ever shied away from.

  • The fringe benefits
    Mike Webster hobbled away into retirement on his own, but today's veteran players now receive medical insurance.