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How Much Time Does the NFL Have Left?

July 25th, 2017 · 1 Comment · NFL

Another story, another alarming connection between NFL players and brain damage.

How long can the league semi-ignore this and hope it goes away?

That $765 million settlement the NFL made in 2013, concerning former players with brain damage … now seems so 20th century. It is going to cost the league more money than that. A lot more.

The latest? A scientist looked at the brains of 111 NFL deceased veterans and found signs of CTE (chronic trauma encephalopathy) in 110 of them.

CTE is brought on by repeated blows to the head, and guys in the NFL have been putting up with blows to the head for most of their lives, going back to football in college and high school.

The NFL sells a product with lots of high-speed collisions between humans, and has made a lot of money doing so.

But how does that business plan work going forward when more and more scientific evidence shows markedly high levels of brain damage in the men who play the game?

I anticipate tackle football will die from the roots up. Fewer and fewer parents will allow kids to play. (Already happening.) More and more high schools will give up the sport. (This is next.) And then more and more colleges quit, and on up to The League.

The NFL in the not-distant future very possibly could be ordered to pay lots and lots and lots of money to players. Sums that would make the $765 million of 2013 seem like small change.

I don’t see how the NFL survives this. I don’t see how the game at any level survives it. Unless someone invents protective equipment that somehow allows collisions to endure without inflicting lasting damage in the skulls of everyone playing the game.

Maybe what we are talking about here is touch football; flag football.

Tackle football? A thing of the past.

Want to pick a date? Let’s say 2035. The NFL is out of business of tackle football by 2035, forced to quit by the government after studies showing players’ brain damage are piled 100 yards high.

Or when clubs go bankrupt from all the time they spend in court and all the judgments rendered against them.

This is dire.

It makes me queasy watching the game, knowing what we already know. Seeing a QB’s head bounce off the turf; seeing collisions in the open field.

At some point, we as fans become complicit. That time may already have arrived.

 

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 David // Jul 26, 2017 at 9:31 am

    The NFL had turned me off for other reasons long before this, but I’m now finding it hard to watch any football as these studies keep appearing. I think it’s really hard to roar about a big hit when there’s a good chance it’s causing permanent damage to the participants.

    And I do wonder why any parent would let his or her kid take part in light of the mounting evidence.

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