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Whither football?

Discussion in 'Football, Baseball, and Hockey' started by dba, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 2x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    This has been discussed before but the results of a new study were recently released.

    Question – will there be a sport of football in a decade or two?


    A new study released last week at an American Academy of Neurology conference shows pretty definitively that playing professional football is highly damaging to your brain. More than 40% of retired players have evidence of traumatic brain injury (seen via MRI scans). Prior studies have shown that 96% of deceased professional players have brain degeneration (from autopsy data). 79% of players across all levels - high school, college, and pro - have brain degeneration.

    I guess you could argue that professional players get paid a lot and can make their own decisions. But, the average player makes $1.9 million per season and has an average career length of 3.5 seasons, so $6.7 million before taxes and agent fees. 3.5 seasons gets you a 96% chance of brain injury. Take out the top 10% of contracts and the average dollars falls precipitously. High school players don’t get anything for risking, well, at these levels of injury you can’t call it a risk. High school and college players don’t get paid anything for injuring their brains.

    So, can football survive? Will parents continue to allow their children to risk lifelong debilitating injury knowing that the risk of some level of injury is well-nigh certain? If the pool of high school players dries up there will be no college players. If college players go away, who will play in the NFL?

    I saw that someone had suggested you could fix the problem simply by changing a few rules and getting rid of helmets. Or maybe going back to leather ones. Rugby players don’t wear helmets and as far as I can find, don’t have anywhere near the risk of brain injury. The basic skills and interest of the game would seem the same without helmets and the constant head pounding would by and large go away. Add in some serious concussion protocols and maybe you could bring the risk down to an acceptable level – though what that would be is hard to determine.

    Whither football?
     
    1989 likes this.
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Football will survive in some form. It may not be the vicious bloodsport it is today.

    I am wondering why we don't hear about Concussion issues from the CFL. Similar equipment, similar game. Maybe the CFL is much better or worse. I dunno.
     
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  3. coynejeremy

    coynejeremy All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Very important topic, dba. I've gotta think that if things don't change significantly, we're headed to a world where only impoverished kids play football. It feels like we're close to that already. And that is a terribly unethical place to be. It's getting to where I could much more easily defend the existence of Chinese sweatshops over the existence of the NFL.

    It doesn't help that the NFL is so freaking shady already about pretty much everything.
     
  4. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 5x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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  5. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    I am ok with men doing warrior stuff. I think it is necessary. I don't want to live in a world where men won't hit each other for sport.

    The NFL does need to come to some accommodation for legal purposes. Boxing probably has similar issues coming.
     
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  6. round

    round All-Star 1x Fantasy Champion

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    I am curious if there are studies about today's equipment and rules vs those of the 80's and such... There has been so much changed I wonder if its actually having an impact or not....
     
  7. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion

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    If I saw this written on a movie poster, I'd buy a ticket.
     
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  8. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 2x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Would be interesting to know. But while equipment has gotten better (I assume) the players have gotten bigger, faster, and stronger too. Could be a wash or even turn the other way. I remember seeing several years ago that the biggest member of the Washington Hogs in the 80s (Jacoby I think) was either just under or the same size as the average lineman now.
     
  9. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion

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    I have a 7 year old son and I'll admit that I'm steering him away from football.
     
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  10. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    The helmets are a double edged sword. They protect you from hits, but they also allow the defender to hit you like a missile.

    Does rugby have the same concussion rate?
     
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  11. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 2x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    "Overall, young athletes experienced an average of no more than one concussion for roughly every 5,000 minutes of participation time, according to the analysis of previous research on injuries in popular youth sports. That amounts to around one injury for every 67 hours of practice and competition.

    The concussion rate was about 18 times higher than average for rugby, five times greater for hockey, and roughly double for American football, the study found."


    Concussion rates highest for kids in rugby, hockey and football

    I'm having some problems believing this study which would suggest that a rugby player gets a concussion about every four hours of play or practice. Mostly you see from a google search that concussion hasn't been well studied in rugby but that the governing body has kicked off a big project. Sure, I'd believe the results of that.
     
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  12. round

    round All-Star 1x Fantasy Champion

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    You all have mentioned the helmets and the bigger faster players, but I think the testing and stopping the players from going back to play is also going to help them long term.... You were a wimp if you came out of the game even if you couldn't remember your own name. You listen to players talk about not remembering whole games after a hit in the first quarter. All that said I am glad my son seems to have gotten his size from me so will never be more then 5' 7'' an a buck 10 soaking wet in highschool so he'll hopefully follow my path of track and cross country.
     
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  13. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    it's a goon sport for a goon mentality.
    It's about time they realized they don't need to maim each other to keep it interesting.
     
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  14. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Also, maybe if they reduced steroids/ HGH a little, the speed of the hits would decrease. I'm working on a project with a guy who played several years for the Packers. He said that virtually every single player is taking and that the dumbest of the dumb are the ones that get caught.
     
  15. coynejeremy

    coynejeremy All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    TaS, there's a testing system in place. It's part of the collective bargaining agreement. None of that stuff is going on anymore.
     
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  16. The Panda

    The Panda Garbage Post All Star Forum Donor

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    I played rugby for 7 years and never got a concussion. At the professional level it may be different, but Rugby Union is fair express about the rules - no tackles above the neck. All the stupidly with the NFL with clotheslines and massive spear tackles is ridiculous.
     
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  17. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    It's all going virtual within 50 years anyway. We're the tail end of real world humans.
     
  18. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    *
    I believe if you've never been caught the summers are yours.
    If you have been caught they check more often.
     
  19. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 5x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I'm pretty sure several of the current forum members are actually robots.....bup bup....clickers...
     
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  20. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    sadly only Jr. may live to see that.
     
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