Thursday, November 05, 2015

Why Does Anybody Play Football Anymore?

From the Nation:

Given all we have learned in the last decade about the dangers of brain damage and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, why would anyone play? On one level it goes back to LeBron’s quote about why he won’t let his sons take the field, but that’s of course not the only reason. There are thousands of kids who involve themselves in football not because they dream of a way out of poverty (they know they’re not making the pros) but because they want other things that the sport brings—community, status, popularity, a sense of inclusion. This is certainly true of other sports as well, but there is nothing in this country that builds a cult of localized hero worship quite like football. And there is nothing as irrationally rational as teenage boys risking their own mental and physical health to feel special amidst the most awkward—and seemingly interminable—time of their lives.

More here.

I fear that short of some dramatic changes to the fundamental elements of the sport, football will fade away over the next three decades or so. Because that's very likely the way it has to be. Did you know that seven high school kids have died on the field in this season alone?