Woody Paige’s Own Suicidal Thoughts in Wake of Kenny McKinley’s Death

Denver has been an unlucky place for NFL players. In 2007, CB Darrent Williams was killed by a gunshot wound to the neck while sitting in his white stretch Hummer limo on New Year’s Day. RB Damien Nash collapsed and died shortly after playing in a charity basketball game in St. Louis less than two months later.

This past Monday, WR Kenny McKinley was found dead at his Colorado home in an apparent suicide.

Woody Paige, The Denver Post columnist who frequently appears on ESPN’s Around the Horn, wrote a column about his own bout with suicide. It’s self-revealing and personal while giving insight into how and why McKinley took his own life. In addition, Paige stresses the importance of saving others who are suicidal and heeding the warning signs.

Here’s an excerpt:

“The last, desperate, despondent, despicable act was all planned out. The Broncos were playing on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2002, against the 49ers. I would fly into San Francisco the day before, drive up to Napa Valley, enjoy a bottle of expensive red wine and check into a nice inn. The next morning I would head over to the coast and swim out in the Pacific Ocean far enough that I couldn’t make it back to the beach.

My death would be termed an “accidental drowning,” and my family and few friends would be horrified, but spared the humiliation.

I figured out the details while laying on the sofa staring at the ceiling for hours, as I did daily, and swallowing the pills a prominent Denver psychiatrist had prescribed over a period of months — Prozac, Ritalin, Xanax, Valium, Ambien and Zoloft — and swilling Jack Daniel’s.”

To read the rest of the excellent piece, click here.


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