Where To From Here For Football?

June 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

So in light of the discovery that just playing football had brutally scrambled and scabbed up Chris Henry’s brain, people are starting to wonder: what is going to happen to football? Yesterday I refrained from speculating, but I’ll write what I’ve been telling for friends for quite a while, even before the findings: as the science proves that American football is fucking up our bodies beyond repair, it’s going to get harder and harder to ethically support the institution. Americans like their violence, but we’re not to the point of the Roman gladiators in the Coliseum (boy doesn’t that stadium sorta have an icky connotation now?).

It’s why American football is not, to use financial language, a growth stock. Firstly, for anyone who’s traveled abroad, the idea that a sport predicated on 300-lb. men and hundreds of dollars of equipment can be exported is a laughable one. Secondly, as the plight of retired players gets increased exposure, the ick factor will increase for the American fan base. Thirdly, and this is more anecdotal at the moment, but I know plenty of families that forbid their kids to play football for the safety issue. Trust me when I say that the rich kids ain’t playing nearly as much football as they are lacrosse, basketball, soccer, hockey, and tennis. (Especially here in Denver, lacrosse’s steez is strong).

So, to put it short, I strongly doubt that in 50 years football will either be 1) recognizable to the current game, 2) at the level of a sport like boxing or horseracing. The crazy-fanatic Michigan Man in me is saddened by this, but my little bleeding heart is relieved.

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