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Frank Wycheck believes he has CTE, fears the onset of 'scary' symptoms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Former Titans tight end Frank Wycheck told ESPN that he fears a scenario that has played out for other football concussion victims.

"I worry about, I'm scared about the time if I actually get to that point where these guys [who have committed suicide] have snapped," he said. "What has made them snap? And that is what I am scared of, that there is something that is going to come over me that is going to make me snap.

"I don't think I am going to do it, but those guys you would never think in a million years would. And that's the scary part about it. There is no one that can tell you really anything. It's just, the damage is done."

Wycheck, who threw the lateral on the Music City Miracle play in a wild-card game during the 1999 postseason, said in a television interview on Fox-WZTV in Nashville, which he taped at least 10 days ago, that he's certain he has CTE.

He expanded on that in an extended conversation with ESPN.com.

Wycheck is due to have another round of testing done with the concussion lawsuit settled, but said that he hasn't opened up much about his daily life in great detail regarding his condition and his fears because, "It's kind of creepy."

"People don't want to hear about morbid stuff like that," he said.

Wycheck plans to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for study after he dies.

A linebacker and running back as a kid, he played running back in college at Maryland and fullback in the NFL for Washington before he settled in as a tight end with the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans. He estimates he was part of 297,000 collisions from the start of his football life at 5 until he retired at 33 and that he suffered 25 concussions.

Despite migraines that he's sure are a result of concussions and blows to the head and issues with anxiety and depression -- for which he takes medication -- he said he would not change his life in football. He would have liked more information but would have played even if commissioner Paul Tagliabue and his medical advisor, Elliot Pellman, "didn't lie."

"I don't want this to be a pity party, 'Oh poor Frank,'" he said. "I wouldn't change anything in the world. I've had a blessed life, great opportunities to meet great people, raise my family and be able to take care of my family the way I could. I couldn't do that without football. And it was the thing I had as a goal since I was 5 years old."

Divorced, Wycheck has two grown daughters. He said if he had a son, he wouldn't have allowed him to play contact football before he was 12.

"I played at 5," he said. "I remember dings and flashes and stuff like that. That couldn't have been healthy. But no one knew about it yet."

He currently serves as a co-host of "The Wake Up Zone" on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville as well as the color commentator for Titans Radio, but he has missed work, including the Titans' game at San Diego this season, because of his symptoms.

Currently, he is in Pebble Beach for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He's not playing in the tournament, but Wycheck said he managed to finish a round of 87 there Monday. His neck and back issues frequently keep him from completing a round. Those problems are similar to plenty of guys who had careers in the NFL, he said.

His unwillingness to leave his home in the suburbs south of Nashville is not so common.

"My family and close friends congratulated me for getting on the plane," he said of his current trip. "... I've made commitments over the last five years that at the last minute I've cancelled; it's just like some type of psychological thing for me. It's hurt, and I've lost friendships over that. And that bothers me and makes me feel terrible and leads to another form of depression ...

"It's almost like there is a brick wall before you go out the door."

Wycheck ranks third all time in Titans franchise history in receptions with 482 and seventh in receiving yards with 4,958.

He was a sixth-round draft pick by Washington out of Maryland in 1993, and the Oilers claimed him off waivers for $100 in 1995.

Note: Paul Kuharsky also works at 104.5 The Zone.