I'm editing this column to add another tragic, unexpected death. A 24 year old, exceptionally fit, professional football player (Damien Nash) "collapsed in his surburban St. Louis home...Nash had four physicals since 2004 and was in good health." He had just completed a charity basketball game at his old high school. "This week (1/19/2007) my local Battle Creek newspaper reported the collapse and death of a 19 year old football player at University of South Florida "after working out". A "prep football player in New Jersey dies... as he walked toward the bench but collapsed" (October 12, 2006). Todays newspaper (October 10, 2006) reveals : "TOLEDO PLAYER DIES AFTER COLLAPSING...during (basketball) conditioning practice". Did you notice that on September 26 a college football player in Texas died unexpectedly? He was 19 years old. A teenage college football player died in Pennsylvania before the first game. At least two high school football players died this year; one in Missouri and another in Kentucky during preseason conditioning drills. This seems like an unusually large number of "healthy" youths to die, mostly in non-contact drills. It makes me suspicious. Apparently none had a history of asthma, etc. Maybe I'm just more aware BUT I don't recall these type events occuring in the 60's and 70's. What's going on? In personal discussions with the very top authorities in the world, it is apparent that every person in the U.S.A. has hydrochloric acid in the esophagus after an ordinary meal. They unabashedly call this "physiologic, because we all do it". The same world authorities will admit that undeveloped, non-industrialized countries DO NOT experience this phemenon. It is proven that acid in the esophagus results in a "steal" of blood from the heart's coronary circulation. It has also been documented that 78% of a group of "healthy" heart rythm disorder patients responded favorably to GERD therapy. It is likely that the rigorous routine of football conditioning and the recurrent bending to assume the "football stance" promotes gastric reflux. I fear the consequence(s) of "silent" regurgitation of gastric contents into the esophagus. Could this chain of events be playing a role in these "unexplained" tragic senarios? (I have since heard the Toledo BB player had a "tear" of his aorta , again a very "unusual" occurance even if not a cardic arrthymia).