Troy Martino played tight end for Stevenson University until he suffered a career-ending head injury during a non-contact spring practice after a successful freshman season. Troy is a fellow Rutgers Sports Management graduate and although it seems as though to our transition to life after football was similar, in many ways it was also very different. In this episode we are going to compare and contrast what worked for us and what didn’t in our transition to life after football to prevent you from some of the suffering we experienced.
Below are some topics Troy and I cover throughout this interview:
- What led up to the career ending head injury.
- The“flashy drill” that led to Troy being in the wrong place wrong time.
- What doctors said after diagnosing Troy with a depressed skull fracture on the left temporal bone.
“One of the first things that I heard when I woke up was you’ll never play football again.”
- Why Troy was okay with hanging up the cleats after the injury.
- What went into the decision to not surgically repair his skull fracture.
- The struggle of not being able to workout during recovery from an injury like this.
- Why Troy decided to transfer to Rutgers University.
- Troy's transition to Rutgers and the challenges he was presented with (academically and socially).
“I had to reteach myself how to learn.”
- Immersing himself into the Rutgers social scene without the football identity.
- The importance of getting involved with things at school after losing a sport.
- Why an injury in high school made him know he wanted to play football in college.
- Why he felt empty watching Rutgers football games (only watched one game).
- The value in talking to a therapist.
- The value of playing smart vs. playing “tough."
- Troy's thoughts on health & safety in football.
- How the injury changed him as a person.
- How Troy was able to combat amblyopia (born with a blind eye) and play football at a high level.