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Old 06-27-2012   #1
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Default Bennie Joppru's Curse Continues

A sad continuum of maladies continue to follow Joppru.

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May 19, 2012 at 1:00 am
Former U-M tight end Bennie Joppru, 32, recovering from stroke

By Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News


Tight end Bennie Joppru celebrates a 43-yard reception in the second quarter of a game during his Michigan career. Recently, he suffered a stroke.
Tight end Bennie Joppru celebrates a 43-yard reception in the second quarter of a game during his Michigan career. Recently, he suffered a stroke. (David Guralnick/Detroit News)

Ann Arbor— The words came so freely, so matter-of-fact, but were so stunning he was asked to repeat.

"I had a stroke last December."

These are not the words you expect to hear from a 32-year-old former Michigan football player. Not from a guy who looks as healthy as ever.

But Bennie Joppru, who just minutes before had been so engaging and humorous during a WTKA radiothon interview Friday as part of a weekend-long fund-raiser for Mott Hospital, made the revelation as he finished adding his signature to a Michigan flag to be auctioned.

Wait. What? A stroke?

"I was brushing my teeth, and my entire right side from my head to my toes went numb," said Joppru, a 2002 team captain who holds Michigan's single-season reception record for a tight end with 53.

He figured it was a pinched nerve in his back but finally thought better of it and went to the hospital, where he spent six days and endured a battery of tests. The results were inconclusive.

During his two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks in 2006 and '07, Joppru suffered from ocular migraines. In contact drills, Joppru said he frequently suffered blackouts.

Initially, neurologists thought he might have brain cancer.

"My vision would go fuzzy," he said of the migraines. "You literally can't see."

Doctors couldn't tell Joppru why he had a stroke.

"They said it could be repetitive-injury related," he said. "They thought it was probably related to that same problem (ocular migraines). The final conclusion was sometimes this happens in healthy 30 year olds."

He referred to it as not "a real big stroke," but big, medium, little — a stroke is a stroke.

"Yeah, I was scared," he said.

Joppru doesn't know if it was the result of his football career. Even so, knowing what he knows about the rigors of the game and what it can do to you physically, like many players ever asked, Joppru said he'd do it all over again.

"Oh, yeah," he said.
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Old 06-27-2012   #2
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Holy cow. Guy can't catch a break.
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Old 06-27-2012   #3
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Default Re: Bennie Joppru's Curse Continues

The thing I like most about Bennie is his name! Just has a certain kind of ring to it that makes ya smile!

I wish him nothing but the best of good health in the future!
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Old 06-27-2012   #4
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Default Re: Bennie Joppru's Curse Continues

WOW!!Just wow!!! Good luck Bennie and take care of yourself.
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Old 06-27-2012   #5
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Default Re: Bennie Joppru's Curse Continues

That's a stunner !
Take care BJ, you deserve nothing but good fortune from here on out to 90 +.
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Old 06-27-2012   #6
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Default Re: Bennie Joppru's Curse Continues

Poor guy.
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Old 07-02-2012   #7
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Default Re: Bennie Joppru's Curse Continues

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
Poor guy.
Agreed. I think he was one of the first Michigan players we had on our team and I was rooting for him. Could have been a Pro Bowl player IMO but I guess it was never meant to be.
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