Hidden, in plain sight, there is a second thread woven into rugby's historic concussion narrative and its one for which the game's administrators are going to have to accept at least partial responsibility.
Former All Black Carl Hayman, revealed in his soul-baring interview with The Bounce, that he's not only got early-onset dementia, but that he's been an abuser of alcohol throughout his medical journey to reach that diagnosis.
He will not be alone among his peer group in having struggled with alcohol, as heavy drinking - even in the early years of professionalism when Hayman first held a Super Rugby contract - was endemic.
Beer and rugby had been bedfellows for as long as anyone could remember, to the extent that no one ever thought to separate the two when the game turned professional.
They were intertwined to such a degree it was almost as if being able to sink a small lake of beer was as much a part of the job description as being able to hold a scrum steady.
Rugby teams everywhere in the amateur age had legendary drinkers – men of whom their teammates were ridiculously proud, often showing them off at opposition clubrooms and more regularly still, pimping them out to compete against others in wildly daft and dangerous drinking escapades.
Rugby administrators of today have tended to paint this as an ill of wider society rather than a problem specific to rugby, which is an argument that has legitimacy whenever a rogue drinker pops up in the cleaner, sober environments of the modern game.
But it's an argument that when applied retrospectively, wrongly absolves their administrative predecessors from their role in aiding and abetting lifelong drinking problems.
Being able to drink hard was valid currency in a rugby changing room of the amateur era, but so too did it continue to have value long into the professional age, as institutionalised rituals of enforced and copious consumption were an accepted and encouraged part of the framework.
Sadly, rugby teams didn't seem to have any other means by which they felt they could bond, celebrate or commiserate other than by enforcing a culture where excessive alcohol was used to break the ice, endorse a win or soothe the pain of a loss.
Be it a so-called court session where players were accused of fictitious crimes and forced to drink as punishment or an initiation ritual to honour a representative landmark, rugby teams across the professional spectrum – provincial, Super Rugby and All Blacks – endorsed, enabled and condoned heavy drinking sessions.
They were seen as part of the cultural fabric and while some coaching and management teams will be able to argue they never actively encouraged these sessions, none will be able to deny they turned a blind eye and pretended they weren't happening.
There's no prospect of deniability here as there is a substantial evidential basis to support these claims that generations of young men, even that first professional cohort, were wrongly led to believe they would find respect, self-esteem and happiness at the bottom of every glass they drained.
The most infamous example was the court session conducted by the All Blacks after their loss to South Africa in 2004.
By 9pm, most of the squad were lying semi-conscious in the gardens of their five-star Johannesburg hotel, having been put in the recovery position by horrified guests.
Hayman was a victim of that "drink to earn respect" culture, having been enshrined in rugby's alcoholic folklore for supposedly drinking 60 cans of beer on the flight back from London after the 2007 World Cup campaign.
When he signed to play for Newcastle he was the best tight-head in the world, but seemingly the media were more interested in quizzing him about his alleged epic drinking feat, and then glorifying it in print.
Arguments that rugby's broken relationship with alcohol were caused by a failure in personal responsibility simply don't wash, certainly not when most professional teams of that period had such strong sponsorship associations with beer brands and the first corporate logo to ever appear on the All Blacks' jersey was that of Steinlager.
Besides, whether this culture of heavy drinking was promoted or ignored is a nuanced point of irrelevance because either way, there are hundreds, if not thousands of former coaches, managers and administrators complicit in enabling generations of young men to build a harmful relationship with alcohol and measure their self-esteem by their ability to consume.
How this undeniable truth fits into the wider story of this group's brain health is something absolutely worth exploring.
Former All Blacks doctor John Mayhew has made the critical observation that it's not good science to automatically link Hayman and other players' early-onset dementia with their former occupation.
This broadly reflects that the limited research exploring the relationship between recurring head injuries and brain damage has moved some in the medical world to conclude there is a definitive, direct link, while others are not yet convinced, citing the need to explore in early-onset dementia patients other factors such as their alcohol and drug use.
Currently there appears to be an emphasis on singular research fields, with scientists exploring the impact of recurring head injuries on brain health and separately the effect of drug and alcohol use on brain health.
What Hayman and his cohort of players who are taking legal action against World Rugby and the Rugby Football Union arguably need is for those streams to amalgamate and for research to be done on the combined impact of recurring head knocks and excessive alcohol use.
Whether the sport is historically guilty of failing to adequately protect players from the risks caused by concussions and sub-concussions, despite being armed with the knowledge and evidence to do so, will be for a court of law to decide.
But the question of whether the sport's respective governing bodies historically failed to promote responsible and positive attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol is one to which the answer is already known.
Society may have sown the drinking seeds, as it were, in many young men, but it was rugby clubs who nurtured the growth and amplified and habitualised drinking habits that left a generation of early professional players determining their self-worth by the number of empty beer cans on the floor.