But the NFL has since dismissed those findings as unscientific, pointing out that the survey makes no link between concussions and memory disorders and has now funded a study due out next year that looks at the long-term effects in the brain of its retired players.
For Omalu and Bailes, the evidence is already there -- etched in the brain tissue under their microscopes.
"I believe that football is the greatest sport in the world, and I played it for 10 years and I have children and if they want to play it, they can play it, and I think there are so many, many benefits of football, any organized sport," he said. "We are trying to draw attention to what we believe is a real finding. I think it's irrefutable. I don't think any physicians in this country or worldwide have refuted the findings that Bennet Omalu first discovered. Let's, if we can agree upon that, let's move on to making it safer and trying to prevent it."
"They should have been more acknowledging, should have been more proactive, but the truth is that this story is over with -- Mike Webster is not coming back," said his son. "Now, let's learn from the Mike Webster mistake."
Webster is spoken of in hushed tones by the faithful fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. His heroic status on the field made him legendary. Perhaps his greatest legacy will not be the games he won, but the way his life was lost.
"I am building toward my father's legacy to the game being that no family has to go through what our family went through," Garrett Webster said. "That is what I want his legacy to be. ... It's funny, for all the Super Bowls, and all the things he has, his legacy is going to be greater in death than it was ever in life, and that is just ... I am so honored by that."