I think it's also accurate, his analysis makes very good sense. Once HS football collapses-- and is there any doubt that lawsuits over injuries will become more prevalent?-- colleges will lose their feeder teams.
The lawsuits and the loss of talent will force smaller programs to drop football first, until there are only a few big schools still playing it, and they will have to drop it for fear of looking more like gulags than universities.
Rather than fret, I think we would spend our time better thinking about where we should be investing resources now, so that if, or when, football goes away we will already be on track.
It could happen...but the chance of it happening in the next 50 or so years (I probably could have said 150 years) is not reality. When he compared the possible demise of football to that of fortune 500 companies, I could have stopped reading.
Best correlation is boxing. If you had told people 50 years ago boxing would be a marginalized sport they wouldn't have believed it either.
Boxer was NEVER like football is. Young kids don't start boxing at 5 years old in their local recreation park. And their aren't boxing teams in middle...junior high...and high schools in every town throughout the country. And college boxing doesn't make millions...billions...for colleges and the networks year in and year out.
It ain't the same.
Everything you just described was the case for boxing. Kids did start young and box all through high school. And it used to be a dominant professional sport, not on the scale of pro football now but that's a function of the size of the economy and rise of television. Boxing was huge in the first half of the century. Thats not my opinion it's a historical fact.
Boxing was in fact huge for the poor. It was seen as a ticket out of poverty. The big difference is in spite of high school, golden gloves, and a gym in every town boxing was never considered to be the same on the social sports as football, baseball, basketball, and all the rest. There were of course boxers in every social strata, but to get your brains beat out, your face deformed, well it just never clicked with the participants past the amatures for the most part.
I clearly recall going to high school boxing matches, the gyms were bursting at the seams, but for the most part it ended in high school in a different way than the other sports, people chose not to continue. With basketball, baseball, and football becoming sports that could move the poor out of their situation, boxing shrank on it's own.
Look I don't think it's likely, nor do I hope it occurs, but to think it can't is ignoring history.
Rugby is the answer my friends. If football ever goes away (and I sincerely hope that day never comes), Rugby is the answer.
I fear that there is little that equipment, rules and/or modification (short of radical) of the sport itself can do to limit brain injury. If modern science and data starts to prove that not only do concussions create instant and permanent irreversable brain damage but even successive head blows are part of the suspected damage being studied... football could be in for a near instantaneous ending. Medical evidence is on the cusp of substantiating these claims. If substantiated, responsible parenting will kick in (just kidding)... lawsuits will ensue... and football will be knocked out overnight.
This is being given significant attention in the neurological medical community. We shall see where it goes.
Never happen... ever.
Boxing built their popularity on waiting for a knockout.. not the nuances of the sport. Football has built itself on both being there live.. and watching it on TV. To think that it would disappear because of litigation is silly.
I have never understood why rugby isn't a big deal down here in the south. If football ever went away (God forbid), I would think that rugby may be an excellent alternative.
I just read what is reported. I don't get into the hysteria. I hope that medical science continues to improve and is able to either substantiate or eliminate the pairing... and provide effective treatment if necessary... or possible. I may need it.
Boxers... before neurology could prove the correlation... in very large numbers... exhibit vastly degrading neurological function years after they've left the sport... way above any other segment of the population. You've heard the term "punch drunk". That phrase was coined on the streets long before medical science validated the cause and effect. It applied, mostly, to older gentelmen that has previously boxed.
Concussions are a serious matter. There's a retired boxer in Lafayette that immediately gave up the sport due to the fact that he fought a guy in South Africa many years ago that ended up dying the next day after the fight. Brain swelling after fights is not a myth... it is a fact. If you knock someone out that has been "knocked out" recently... you stand a good chance of ending their life... or permanently damaging their brain.
I think the huge money everyone's making on the sport would prevent its demise like boxing. I can see a player getting a private health insurance policy against brain damage, and I can see addendum 2 on the standard Team X contract saying "the NFL recognizes that initial or repeated hits to the head can/may cause permanent brain damage and severely limit your life expectancy and quality of life"
............. here's your 5 mil.