There Is No Plan

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The NFL’s Days Are Numbered

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In a great NPR story, two journalists debated the threat posed to the NFL by the growing epidemic of CTE, and the only conclusion one can readily draw from the debate is that football’s days are numbered.

In the opinion of Thereisnoplan, that wouldn’t be a bad thing. It’s a pervasive and backward part of American Culture, too full of bravado, lies, rampant commercialism, and the brutality of failure to be of much use in a modern civilized nation. It holds back the average American from getting beyond that seam of rather pathetic unreconstructed individualism that’s frankly a sickness.

The latest – likely – addition to the litany of tragedy was the recent death by suicide ( to the chest ) of Junior Seau, Hall of Famer Linebacker who spent most of his career with the Chargers. As soon as Thereisnoplan heard about Seau’s death, it became clear that this could be a turning point. Reason; just about everyone who knows anything about Football knows Seau.

The NFL is trying to make changes that will reduce major impact concussions, like reducing the number of hard-charging kick-off returns, but there’s one fundamental problem that the NFL can’t fix, and that’s the fact that it’s the ‘ordinary’ hits, game after game that are the ones that cause CTE. And football without ordinary hits would quite simply not be football.

The likely outcome is clear. Over time, more and more players will develop symptoms of CTE and will die. And as they do, the sport will have to gut itself of its gladiatorial attractions, or become tainted, just like boxing became tainted as a brutal, life-destroying sport, a few decades before. (The discussion in the NPR piece makes an excellent cultural linkage between boxing and the NFL).

In either case it loses. I give it 25 years.


Written by coolrebel

August 7, 2012 at 9:59 am

Posted in Washington

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