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By Mark Daniels
At a private reception, Friday night at Lambeau Field, the day before Ted Thompson was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, the former GM’s close friends told me he was ready to come clean about what had been speculated for years, his health.
The family wanted to get through the ceremony which rightfully put Thompson among the most significant and historical members of the Green Bay Packers family.
Today, through the team, Thompson issued a statement that described what led to his departure from the General Manager’s duties after 14 years.
“Late in the 2017 season, Mark Murphy and I had a conversation about my health and future with the Packers. At that time, we mutually agreed that it was in the best interests of myself and the organization to step away from my role as general manager. In consultation with team physician Dr. John Gray, I began a complete health evaluation that has included second opinions over the last year from the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Mayo Clinic and the UT Southwestern Medical Center.
I have been diagnosed with an autonomic disorder. I feel that it’s important to mention that based on the test results and opinions of medical specialists, they feel that I do not fit the profile of someone suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
I want to thank Dr. Gray, the medical professionals, the Green Bay Packers and my family for all that they have done and continue to do for me. It was a tremendous honor to be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame this past weekend. The Green Bay community and the fans of the Packers have always been and will continue to be very special to me. It is my hope and belief that I will be able to overcome this disorder.
Finally, I’d like to ask that you respect the privacy of myself and my family as we move forward”.
The onset of Thompson’s condition was readily evident to anyone who worked with and around him. Symptoms of an autonomic disorder can be wide ranging, from irregular heart rates or blood pressure, becoming lightheaded, fatigued and cognitive impairment.
Thompson was never a fan of press conferences but in recent years, appeared even less and less before the media which led to even more speculation.
It was sad to see Thompson slowing down but on a personal note, I’ll always appreciate the fact that he agreed to be a guest on my 5th Quarter Show every year he was the man in charge of the Packers. It was the only live show Thompson appeared on and he graciously fielded tough questions and told wonderful stories.
Loosening up on the 5th Quarter Show
So now we know.
Thompson will remain a special adviser to his successor, Brian Gutekunst but he will work from his home in Texas while continuing treatment for the disorder.