The sport that has driven conference re-alignment is in the twilight of dominance

  • Football.

    It has been at the top of the mountain. Financially, it has been the driving force behind conference re-alignment. It’s been the main engine for fund-raising for many universities… The NFL is a huge business.

    But the demise of football is imminent. This week’s news that autopsies of 111 NFL players’ brains revealed CTE in 110 of them is the death knell for football.

    Not today. Not next year. But it’s coming.

    The demise of football is certain. With the medical evidence mounting, it is undeniable that playing football is hazardous to your health.

    Universities cannot continue to sanction a sport that is assured to cause a brain injury. If I was an NFL owner, I’d be looking to sell sell sell. The product that you sell is killing the people who create it. How do you manage the workman’s comp liability for this?

    So what does this have to do with Basketball?


    As football declines, the #2 sport will rise to take its place. Basketball is not only the #2 sport, but it is played by both sexes and it has global popularity. In short, the ceiling is much higher for basketball than football.

    It’s only a matter of time before the reality sinks in for the power 5 conferences. Once they get it, there will be a scramble for the schools with basketball pedigree.

    My guess is that as early as 2020, the tide will be turning… (apologies to Alabama) and by 2030, basketball will be the dominate athletic enterprise in universities and the NBA will eclipse the NFL in revenue and popularity.

    This is good news for KU and the great basketball tradition we all love. It will be even more valuable and more coveted in the future.

  • Interesting topic.

    I heard someone compare football now, to smoking in the 70s. Now that there is so much evidence, “no one smokes” he said. However, people do still smoke.

    In my view, the more that there is evidence of CTE, etc., the more likely that the owners and league are protected. Just like with smoking – the consumer (or participant) has knowledge. It is buyer beware. Who sues tobacco companies anymore? Everyone knows. The label says so. Folks proclaimed boxing was dead quite a while ago too, and it survives. And then we got a more violent version (MMA).

    Now that doesn’t mean participation in football won’t drop. It already has. Youth leagues are way, way down. So the ripple effect may continue. But I don’t see any high schools not able to field teams – yet. So all of this is a very good point. Is it a matter of “when”?

    Also, while it may seem good for CBB, remember, college sports lives off of football money, in large part. College sports would change significantly if CBB revenue was cut. While KU hoops is self sustaining, other programs that we would compete against aren’t. But CBB would certainly take the center podium as you suggest of CFB died.

    Heck, by 2030, the way our society is going in the gutter, MMA will transition to Roman Gladiator fights to the death. MMA is just a step above that. We have a lot to look forward to as our society continues its march backward down the path of incivility. Football is controlled violence. Moderate violence. When that goes, the extreme will take its place.

  • @HighEliteMajor Rollerball?

  • @bskeet Good points. Worldwide, though, I don’t see basketball supplanting soccer.

  • I absolutely loathe it but soccer is going to be king. Sucks as it is boooooring. Football is waaaaay safer than what the gladiators did! I say let it roll. Hell start sacrificing the losing teams so the brain injuries don’t matter. (Joking)

    Kicker is there are more concussions in soccer than football. It’s the routine every down hits that are the problem in football too much jarring the old noggin around. I don’t know if there is a solution or if you just keep sending poor hungry athletes to kill them selves out there for our entertainment. I’m ok with that it’s not like dog fighting- they have a choice.

  • Banned

    If football dies it wont be because of the violent nature of the sport. Let’s face it people love violence. Who hasn’t slowed down at a traffic accident to get good a good look at the carnage?

    No if football dies it will be because something better has come along or those people that think they know what’s best for you and just hate free choice will turn the game into flag football.

  • I think so long as basketball is more TV friendly, it will be more popular than soccer in America. Soccer would have to allow TV timeouts for that to happen, but that would be like baseball not allowing guys to attend out of the batters box to tighten their batting gloves fifteen times between every pitch.

  • Football isn’t dying anytime soon, at least not for reasons mentioned here. MMA is safer than boxing and has been for a long time now.

    In soccer in developed nations, kids are banned from heading the ball until about 1e or 14 years old because of the impact on developing brains taking head shots with a soccer ball caused. I think football is headed for something similar. Maybe flag football or 7 on 7 through middle school and then don’t allow kids to play full contact until they reach high school. Basic fundamentals also aren’t taught much any more and I think that would make a huge impact as well teaching kids the proper way to wrap up and tackle.

  • Baseball. America’s game.
    I’ve always been a huge fan, especially a Royal’s fan, but after having kids turned harder to baseball, hoping my kids would embrace the game. I just hope the non-sport marketing wonks don’t continue to destroy the game.
    It has so much to offer, but requires patience from fans. It’s better than soccer for no other reason than not allowing games to end in a friggin’ tie.

    What I like about the game is that I can actually relate to the players. Players don’t have to have a freakish reach half a foot longer than their bodies, or the ability to deadlift half a ton. Some players even have a gut! Ha… It is definitely a game owned by skill over pure athleticism.

  • @drgnslayr Go, Bartolo!

  • @DoubleDD “or those people that think they know what’s best for you and just hate free choice will turn the game into flag football.”

    This is unfair. The full extent of the risk is still being discovered. “Those people” investigating this are trying to save possibly hundreds if not thousands of athletes from debilitating brain injuries suffered in teenage years and early adulthood. Perhaps the research will find a way to reduce injuries.

    It is cavalier to simply describe safety and health concerns as infringing on free choice. Kids playing football seldom have any idea of the risk, and coaches certainly don’t focus on educating them; it is always “hit harder.” Parents might be the ones making the choice, and I am sure most of the ones whose HS or college kids are paralyzed or brain-injured wish they had heeded the risks more carefully. Professional athletes at least get compensation and medical care, but 99% of pros suffering brain damage doesn’t make you cringe at least? Most people have no doubt had no clue that the risks include more than knees, hips, wrists, fingers, and shoulders, or even the relatively rare Stingley type of spine injury (“that only happens out of a million tackles, so it won’t happen to me”). If just ordinary games played today result in injuries discovered only years down the road, seems the choices made might be free but they aren’t exactly informed.

    Few people are advocating banning football anyway, so your attack seems pretty premature. And you might rethink it if the evidence shows these repetitive brain injuries can (as they seem to have already) result in future aberrant behavior, and aggression, including physical attacks, murder and suicide.

    This research will help discover what the risks are in what is supposed to be a fun, not mentally incapacitating, sport. Why don’t we get more info before we get upset at those do-gooders this time?

  • I’ve expected the patent of a concussion proof head armour and moreover full body armour for a while. Something that locks like a seatbelt with impact and better distributes shock. If they remove the concussion risk football will resurge.

    I also think soccer will be king but basketball has the advantage of being a winter friendly sport. I dont think soccer is boring but they need to get rid of the stupid flops. Watched Barca vs Man U last night and stretches were unwatchable with fools rolling around on the ground after slight contact. I really like watching soccer footwork. It’s beautiful and allows for a wider variety than what you can do with a basketball.

  • @approxinfinity The helmet has to stop the brain from moving somehow. Studies of boxers show that the brain can flatten out and the sheath gets torn on a sharp blow. It can suffer damage not only on the impact side but also on the other side where it gets secondarily squashed.

    Perhaps a future player will look like Mr. Potato Head, with padding surrounding him, no discernible neck, and head covered by a full body width helmet made of several inches thick layers of the same material as pool noodles. The eyes could be cameras with viewing screens inside. Teams could have a lot of creative decorating schemes.

    From the owners’ perspective, they could start looking at technology that would allow trainers to just pull off and replace arms and legs as necessary.

  • @mayjay lolol fantastic 😂

  • Football took a big hit when some of the players decided to kneel for our national anthem. It caused a fan concussion that left the sport in concussion protocol.

  • @mayjay This is an interesting discussion. Don’t you think that with football, there is really full disclosure now?

    For example, we know you can suffer the most horrific injury – full paralysis. That the game is inherently violent. That every limb and bone could be broken, every muscle torn, every ligament/tendon severed – and that is foreseeable, correct? And further, it is expected, really. Now we know that a brain can be severely traumatized by repetitive blows so that you die early, or suffer significant loss of function. We know the brain is not safe.

    Amazing that was not really considered for so long.

    As you said, we all know we can’t really protect the brain.

    Do you suspect further “Unknown, Unknowns” are out there, to quote Donald Rumsfeld.

    I guess there could be – like damage to the organs or something. But is any of that worse that what we know? What could be worse?

    We have folks quitting the game. Seems like it’s to the point of real “buyer (player) beware.”

  • KUSTEVE said:

    Football took a big hit when some of the players decided to kneel for our national anthem. It caused a fan concussion that left the sport in concussion protocol.

    That’s great!

  • @BeddieKU23 @KUSTEVE Not only is that great, it’s correct -

    Go to You’ll see that the story is not on its front page, or on the front page of even the football section. Hmmm. Not shocking give the poll result thumps their communist loving hero.

  • @HighEliteMajor I think there is a huge difference between damage that people come to expect due to violent collisions (such as limb and joint injuries, concussions, or even spinal injuries), and what the research on brains is showing. 110 out of 111 with brain disease apparently caused by cumulative impacts over a career.

    What people are willing to assume the risk of, I think, is the first type–from singular events that they hope won’t happen to them (or their kids). What I doubt anyone knows yet is how this new research showing cumulative damage is related to simply playing the game over many years. No one knows that risk yet, and certainly not the parents of a kids having a scholarship dangled in front of him (and the coach dangling it probably doesn’t, either). It would be premature to think the info is in.

    I think the research has just begun, and the possibilities are wide open. We might learn that playing the game in college has fewer risks, for example, if the study of NFL players doesn’t get confirmed by studies of brains of players who never played pro ball. Maybe it is longer careers that carry more risk. Maybe older brains are less likely to heal. Maybe certain positions are more prone to these injuries. And, unmentioned in what I have seen is whether the study had any way of determining if the deceased players were juicers–I would imagine that 'roid tage and CTE could have similar sources in brain tissue, but that is just speculation.

    If I had a kid, I would want him to avoid fb. Basketball would be nice because of so many hundreds of schools giving schollies, but the talent required certainly has never climbed into my family tree. Baseball seems safest, or swimming, or who knows? My roommate in freshman year took fencing and has participated in the US national championships for his age group. I took bowling and have never accomplished anything in it.

    Boxing is still a sport despite the clearly known risks of brain damage. But young boxers wear special protective headgear that, while not always effective, help soften the impact of a full strength (even if padded) blow to the head. As someone said, maybe they will discover that better gear in fb makes these injuries a chance rather than a near certainty.

    We have all seen old NFLers limping or read about the who ones can’t walk at all. Those guys we feel sorry for, but I think that there it is safe to say they knew their joints are vulnerable. We haven’t seen too many, before Junior Seau, who have dramatically illustrated how radically differently brain injuries can affect someone’s life.

    I will always treasure my memory of Bo Jackson running over that jerk from Oklahoma into the end zone in that MNF between the Raiders and the Seahawks. But I will always wish he hadn’t played in the NFL because I had hoped for more memories like his All Star game HR or his warning track throw to the plate. I know, his choice–but to me, our loss. Obviously not related to the brain issue, but it just emphasizes to me how much I hope to not read more about athletes of the past few decades and today becoming debiltated while relatively young by something unknown when they played.

    I know it is a long answer, but to me it is complicated. I don’t want to ban football, but I would like catastrophic injury insurance to be mandated at HS and above, so the choices people make can at least be adequately treated when the odds go sour.

  • What I see happening to football over time is parents keeping the kids out of it starting at young ages and then gradually that age will climb. Then a few high schools will get sued over brain injuries to students and schools will start dropping football. The combination will reduce the number of experienced players colleges can choose from. Kind of a domino effect basically from there until the pros are half guys that have played a couple years of football and who is going to pay big bucks to watch crappy games?

  • Those that want to ban football, you also need to look at soccer and hockey as well. Soccer players take repeated shots to the head from the ball, and ball is really hard, and they also bang heads regularly on jumps trying to head the ball. Soccer players have been known to have brain trauma as well from years of taking soccer balls to the head.

    Hockey players also collide with each other, their heads get bounced off the boards and ice itself. Not to mention that players also are skating around on razor blades and we’ve seen players get accidentally slashed with skates in the past.

    Football is not the only sport in the US that exposes its participants to repeated brain trauma so if football dies a death because of that, soccer and hockey will as well.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 There is much more contact to the head in a football game than soccer or hockey. It’s not even close.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 soccer will just ban headers. They’ve already moved up the age where headers are allowed in youth soccer.

  • @HighEliteMajor ESPN doesn’t care about Colin Caepernick. Whether he is loved or hated matters not to ESPN, only that he is either one or the other by their entire audience. Don’t be fooled, ESPN never has a legitimate opinion, they’re only in it for their ratings. They sow the seeds of discord to keep their audience in heated debate.

  • @HighEliteMajor False, signed someone who played football and soccer growing up.

    @approxinfinity There’s still plenty of places around the world where headers aren’t banned at any age and there’s plenty of headers going on during pick up games in the US from 13 year olds and younger.

    I received more concussions playing 4 years of youth soccer than I did in 8 years of football, all of which were spent on the O and DLines.

  • So many interesting thoughts and comments from the community.

    I agree with many of the observations and the insights.

    I think I should clarify that my reason for posting is not to predict the demise of the NFL. I think the NFL will find ways to drive consumption of their product for years to come. There’s too much money behind this – it employs too many people and generates too much revenue to simply go away without a fight. And the stadiums… what to do with those stadiums?

    But Someone mentioned tobacco as a analogous industry… That’s probably fair in the sense that football is as synonymous with American culture today as smoking was to American culture in the 40s and 50s. The NFL will resist and it may take time for the demand to wane… But the NFL will decline primarily because of the quality of the product – the talent will be depleted.

    And that leads to the main reason I posted this: because I believe the medical evidence will lead to 1) a reduction of kids who want to play the game, and 2) a chilling effect on the funding sources to public institutions such as public high schools and state universities. These constitute the pipeline for talent to the NFL.

    State funds – taxpayer’s money – cannot support actives that are known to harm students. The threat of lawsuits against the institutions could move up the chain to the states that are funding / supporting the sport. To continue to fund football would be akin to using state funds to put cigarette vending machines in schools and campuses.

    Private schools and academies may continue to support football programs, and perhaps they will surge as a source of talent to professional football as the traditional sources dwindle. But that won’t be enough to keep the sport at it’s current level of prominence /dominance.

    As Football declines, a void will be created. Basketball is already poised take it’s place at every level. And when basketball becomes #1 in popularity (in College Athletics), it will also replace football as the #1 source for fund-raising a the collegiate level from alumni and donors.

    Take THAT conference realignment! KU looks pretty good in this context.

    @mayjay you are right that Soccer is the #1 sport worldwide. My point is that basketball has more global popularity than football and is poised to become increasingly popular around the world (see olympic sport, the number of foreign players in College and NBA… etc.)

    If I was an investor, I would sell football and buy basketball.

  • Banned

    @mayjay says : I would like catastrophic injury insurance to be mandated at HS and above, so the choices people make can at least be adequately treated when the odds go sour.

    Why? I knew as a young man that football was full of danger. I had know doubt that I could be hurt at anytime. Football is Football. This isn’t like smoking cigs in the turn of the century. Where you didn’t know that it could cause a life ending cancer.

    It’s football. It’s not rocket science. If you go slamming into some one multiple times there’s a good chance you’ll get hurt. Duh? And yes there are those that think they know what’s best for you, and feel it’s their right to enforce that upon you.

    Dude if I want to drink a 64oz soda then that’s might right. I don’t need some left leaning liberal thinking they know what’s best for me and enforcing their beliefs on me. (see New York)

    If a person wants to play football then let them. Geez. Next thing you’ll be telling me is I can’t drink beer and play poker. Or tell me that I can’t load up a shot gun and go out into the timber with my champion Weimaraner for fear of my safety. For the record we got attacked by a pack of coyotes one time. She killed two right were they stood, and injured another. The rest ran like scared cartoons. I didn’t even have to fire a shot. Yet you will tell me how cruel I am to dogs, and how my life could’ve ended. And how hunting with dogs and carrying a fire arm is just plain bad.

    Just keep drinking your expenses tea and believing you no better than those around you. As for me I’m drinking playing cards. Hunting with dogs, and yes if it comes up. I’ll still play some tackle football.

  • @DoubleDD Yep, that football insurance idea is a leftist plot designed to interfere with your hunting rights.

    If you would stay on topic, you would understand that I was proposing insurance as a way to save football, not ban it.

  • @DoubleDD come on man. Please don’t load up your comment shotgun with birdshot. Let’s take down the topic at hand, not people’s tea drinking habits.

  • @approxinfinity For the record, I am an avid cofee drinker. Black. After all night study sessions in school, there was never creamer around, so we got used to it. Sure makes availability better.

  • We need BASKETBALL …NOW. Too much time on our hands points out our differences. Man oh man, our front line looks skinnier than a one toothed man in a corn on the cob eating contest.

  • @KUSTEVE I love colorful analogies!

    “Busier than a 1-armed paperhanger.”

    “Uglier than the north end of a south-bound mule.”

    “Dumber than a bag of rocks.”

  • KUSTEVE said:

    We need BASKETBALL …NOW. Too much time on our hands points out our differences. Man oh man, our front line looks skinnier than a one toothed man in a corn on the cob eating contest.

    That’s 2 great one’s this week.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 It is absolutely absurd to compare head trauma in a football game to a soccer game. Nearly every football play, multiple players are creating contact with their head. A common tackling/blocking technique, to avoid use of the top of the helmet, is to lead with the facemask. Keep the head up. Still, multiple aggressive contacts with the head on every football play.

    That said, there are clearly links to CTE and soccer. It’s just a matter of degree, and football is a far more violent game.

    @approxinfinity It obvious that the ESPN has a leftist agenda. It was interesting how the poll result was buried. I only found because it was linked from another site. I can give you multiple liberal commentators on ESPN that offer social commentary, but how many offer a counter opinion? That’s the MSM. Cursory attempts at balance. Sage Steele gets demoted, Michele Beadle promoted. Obvious.

  • Banned


    Here is the problem with insurance. On paper is sounds like someone cares and it’s great. Yet the problem is insurance costs money.

    Yes at first it would be free of course but at some point it would become mandatory.

    So somebody has to pay. One or Two things are going to happen. You will eliminate the “poor” from being able to play the game. Or you will add even more taxes to the middle class.

    Why can’t we just leave it alone? If you don’t like football don’t watch it. People always want to tweak and changed something they don’t like.

    Just don’t watch.

  • @DoubleDD I love watching football. I don’t love watching families with paralyzed or brain-injured kids going into bankruptcy because they cannot afford hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care. I don’t like taxpayers having to support the family when they lose their jobs because they have to stay home to care for their injured. I don’t like watching the cost of medical care going up because hospitals end up with uninsured patients arriving in trauma centers. And I don’t like watching other kids in a family not being able to have opportunities because the family was wiped out by a single catastrophic injury.

    Why oppose insurance for catastrophic injury as a condition to play a dangerous sport? Banks require insurance for businesses to prevent foreseeable losses that might result in bad loans. Medical professionals get insurance because mistakes can have drastic consequences. Mortgage and car loans require insurance to protect the collateral from being destroyed by accident. Carnivals need insurance–yes, getting on a ride might be dangerous, but the reality is that riders still go on them and some get injured and die. Why should the rider bear all the costs of that? Mandating insurance protects the rider, the business, and society.

    When an organization, say the NFL or the NCAA or even a state high school league, benefits from putting on entertainment that puts participants at major risk, it is fair to expect them to foot the bill. Stadiums and their spectacles galore require investment, even HS football coaches routinely get huge salaries, and that money seems readily available.

    In any event, your comment led me to this article discussing how some college sports organizations are moving toward mandated coverage but many gaps remain:

    I don’t see why HS sports should be different.

  • @mayjay Catastrophic insurance is a great idea. In fact, school districts could take out policy that covers all of its athletes. It would of course be a secondary policy that covers costs above what primary insurance would, thus not as expensive. It would be a big budget cost, though.Personally, I think it would be worth it.

    Simply having insurance doesn’t substantially change the risk assessment for parents. My youngest is a senior and heading into his last season of high school football. He loves it, learns from it, and it is a part of his life. But I hold me breath on every tackle he makes, and every play he’s involved in. Varsity high school football is a man’s game.

  • @HighEliteMajor I honestly don’t believe there is a liberal media bias from ESPN because I consider them to be shameless opportunists. Their voiced opinions align with liberal bias because they believe that deliberately biased content will maximize their profits. Just as I don’t believe they give a poop about Duke, but use strongly pro Duke language and selection of topics, I believed they handled Caepernick in a similar manner. So yes, I have no doubt that their garbage can have the appearance of a bias of any rediculous flavor on any given day, and I’m sure it’s possible to find trends. However, they don’t believe a word they are saying, they want you polarized and they want you enraged. If you deeply disagree then they have you on the hook just as much as if you strongly agree.

  • Regarding ESPN’s leanings: I don’t know if they lean left or right. But they do have a conflict of interest when it comes to issues like CTE that threaten the #1 revenue-generating sport.

    Don’t expect them to become a source of information on the topic or a critic of the sport.

  • @approxinfinity @HighEliteMajor

    I actually never watch any opinion content on ESPN and filter out comments during broadcasts that wander into political subjects.

    Incidentally, the article cited about the “CK effect” on fb viewing didn’t say anything at all about the overall effect on NFL viewership. In fact, it said that of respondents who reported that they watched fewer games, 26% cited CK as the reason, 24% cited off-field stuff, and 20% said too many commercials.

    Here is the kicker: That group, the ones who watched less, was only 12% of the >9,000 poll respondents. More than twice as many, 27%, reported watching more NFL games than before, and over 60% reported no change.

    So, the poll showed more viewership in total, and only a quarter of the decliners cited CK & Co. Hard to see this as a huge threat.

    The study is pretty flawed, anyway, because it is a select group of fans who responded, i.e., people “who attended either one football, basketball or hockey game” (without any indication whether those were amateur or pro events). That certainly cannot be considered a poll of NFL viewers, which would be more interesting. How they obtained their sample is also a big question–going to the gates at a number of games? Questionnaire to ticket buyers? Phone survey, rejecting people who didn’t?

    I would speculate that people who go to games might be more resentful of CK because such fans experience the anthem ritual routinely. On the other hand, maybe nonattendees would be more likely to see the broadcast of the protests as interfering with tuning in, so they might switch away. To HGTV or somewhere.

    I agree the issue was made more of than it deserved. Another protest–big deal, let it go. Protest against the protest–big deal, let it go.

    I just want to watch football and then turn off ESPN when the talk shows begin.

  • @mayjay The “poll” will always reach the conclusion the pollster wishes. Those in charge of the poll make sure of it.

  • @KUSTEVE JD Power is about the most reputable poll out there. As noted, this one is essentially not probative of anything except what we might have guessed: some viewers were turned off, and most didn’t care. It probably wasn’t even a poll focused on CK. Might well have been a minor statistical sidelight from a poll designed to find out trends regarding viewership of NFL games among people who attend sports vs those who don’t.

  • @KUSTEVE I don’t agree. Polls on ESPN are meant to incite debate. The result is arbitrary.

  • People still smoke today, true enough. But look at the age of the people that smoke. It’s usually not younger people. It’s actually somewhat surprising to see someone under 30 smoking now. The TV campaigns and awareness have worked, not so much with older demographics, but for kids born in the 1990’s, they generally think smoking cigarettes is gross.

    The same thing is going to happen with football. It won’t happen overnight, because football is still very popular right now. But the 20-somethings right now that are going to have kids may not let their sons play football, so instead of having 90 kids trying out for varsity in 15 years, there may only be 60. Instead of having 12 teams in a youth league in eight years, there may only be 8 or 10. Numbers have already slipped a bit for youth participation. Not by a large degree, but ever so slightly.

    It’s a slow erosion.

  • @approxinfinity It took me a long while to realize that practically every poll you read is an engineered narrative. Kaep kneels…the NFL viewership drops 25%, period. No amount of dishonest polls will change that.

  • @KUSTEVE I don’t know where you got that number, but all other sources say it was down 8% last year, and Forbes (a conservative publication, by any measure) did not mention CK in its analysis:

    Most sources cite the election as a factor, noting it went down 11% in 2000 and 6% in 1996. Debates, and the Cubs in the World Series, really cut into prime-time games. After the election, viewership went back up, to within 1% of 2015.

  • @bskeet

    I am so glad to see you post this.

    From the moment I saw the results of the brain scanning research ten years ago that even minor traumas accrue into long term brain damage, especially alzheimers, etc., I believed football should be ended.

    Next, once brain research reputedly focused somewhat more specifically on football some years back (someone fill me in here if and what the findings actually have been) and reputedly showed that even minor helmet impacts rocked the brain in its cranial hammock enough to create the minor traumas that would accrue to brain damage in middle and old age, I was even more confident football was done, even though the massive revenues and sunk costs would create an inertia that would prevent it from being quickly marginalized and then ended.

    I have been writing about the hope for the end of football for years now.

    So: how, what and when will end it?

    It will never end completely, same as boxing, cock fighting and dog fighting will never end completely.

    It will largely end, when we decide to raise the costs of engaging in the production of it to the point that the net benefits diminish enough that the producers look to other actitivies to produce.

    That means that to save large numbers of our young from becoming punch drunk old fools for the sake of generating entertainment and entertainment revenues, we have to:

    a.) educate the kids, and especially their parents, about how the sport injures them;

    b.) find a better sport for them to engage in that vents the aggression that football does;

    c.) find other ways for universities to make money;

    d.) encourage legislation and court precedents that spike up the damages in class action suits to be paid by those producing the sport;

    e.) encourage coverage of other less harmful sports to redirect the amoral TV outfits;

    f.) find the amoral petroshoeco outfits a new market for petro shoes and petro athletic equipment uniforms.

    Fail to do all of the above, just ensures that football will take longer than it needs to to disappear.

    One other possibility would be to get the universities, petroshoecos, and Pentagon to lobby to start D1 robo-football as part of a testbed and R&D subsidy for developing T-2 terminators platoons to replace bio–soldiers with robots-soldiers.

    But I’m against this approach, because very shortly rob-armies would slaughter most of humanity except for the private oligarchy.

    Alas, this may be the most likely scenario.

  • Post Script: As a layman, I have no idea, what level the neuroscience is at regarding explaining and quantifying the extent and risk of loss of brain function due to repetitive impacts players receive in football. But I suspect there may be enough research amassed to make certain kinds of scientifically based remarks on the risks.

    So: one small place to start would be to require a warning label be placed on every item of football equipment, and on every ticket, and be run on every TV screen when football is being shown that reads some thing like the warning for cigarettes, only directed to football and brain damage.

    To reiterate, I am only imagining here. I don’t know what the actual stats would indicate.

    Nevertheless, televisions and television content are reputedly designed to induce our brains to produce an alpha wave-dominated state wherein we are increasingly receptive to suggestions in the visuals and the content. I am therefore optimistic that overtime something like the following might have positive impact. Imagine this fictionalized surgeon general’s warning…

    Surgeon General’s Warning: Football is bad for your health. Scientific research indicates that sufficient brain damage can occur from even minor repetitive impacts typically encountered by all that play the game to significantly increase a player’s risk of experiencing significant loss of brain function later in life.

    Don’t know if it could be scientifically supported, or not, but what if it could be?

  • @jaybate-1.0 If TVs and Facebook, both of which are horrible for our brains, can go without warning labels, fb may be in the clear…

  • @mayjay

    Nope. Football appears to be a goner. You of all persons, redirecting with face book and the internet, or not, should recognize this. Economies of scale as TV and internet content first Balkanize nationally and then converge globally will get it sooner or later, even if brain damage doesn’t.

    Oh, what the heck. Nothing is set in stone. It might be in the clear. It might not be. Rock Chalk!

    I am really trying to get better at this self-doubting and qualification. 😉

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