F.J. Murphy has known more than his share of serious football injuries. But instead of giving up, the Salem resident has found ways to remain active in the sport he loves.
Murphy saw his senior year at St. John’s Prep end before the 2012 season began when he blew out his knee in a scrimmage. He didn’t sit on the sidelines, though; instead, he remained with the team the rest of that incredible Super Bowl season helping coach Jim O’Leary in any way he could. In fact, after the Eagles’ Thanksgiving Day win at Xaverian that clinched a playoff berth, O’Leary gave the game ball to Murphy.
He is now a student at Endicott College and wanted to continue playing football, but in preseason practices last year Murphy suffered concussions two days in a row. That ended his career, but he is now actively involved in helping to make the game safer for others. His goal is to bring the Impact Test to Endicott to provide help for other athletes.
“I was at camp in late August when I got two concussions in the same weekend,” said Murphy, a criminal justice major who is also a part-time student at Mount Ida taking mortuary science classes. “I didn’t realize I had a concussion the first time, but I remember feeling awfully sick to my stomach. I went to practice the next day and got another one, but couldn’t remember anything about it.
I knew I couldn’t play this year, but after talking to doctors, my family, and coaches I came to a decision that this was it for me. It wasn’t an easy decision because I love football and have been playing ever since I was a freshman in high school. I’ve had five concussions over the years, though, so I think it was the right thing for me.”