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View Diary: UPDATED (with thanks) Another Take on Football's Future: A Response (84 comments)

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  •  Don't forget soccer -- which has already been (5+ / 0-)

    rising in popularity over the last 20 years, especially among youth leagues.

    As for the high-paying aspect, the fact that only a very small minority of athletes ever make it to that level will prevent that much of a draw, except for the most gifted athletes, and increasingly mean that football will be a class-based sport, with only those who have few other career options playing it.

    That is, it will be like boxing, which primarily draws working class and poor athletes these days.

    That said... never underestimate the power of financial incentive (the $100s of millions in revenue) of the NFL, when forced, to pay for development of far better football helmets. And if they do, the unit price for such helmets may drop enough to be affordable for high school and college teams.

    But until then, the writing's on the wall, as B o o notes.

    "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by Kombema on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:27:53 PM PDT

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    •  Boxing and football (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kpardue, Kombema

      Might indeed have similar arcs-- boxing is still pretty popular, as evidenced by the recent Mayweather v Alvarez bout, and the huge imbroglio about a potential Mayweather v Pacquiao fight a few years ago. But boxing has been marginalized for the reasons you mentioned, and it's not a cultural touchstone like it used to be. Football could be headed toward a similar result (although, as I note below, they might take very different paths -- I think football will become almost non-contact)

      "How much wisdom is lost in knowledge? And how much knowledge is lost in information" -Juhani Pallasmaa

      by B o o on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:37:34 PM PDT

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    •  Aren't there more injuries in youth soccer? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, Kombema, melo

      Blown knees being the primary injury?

      Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

      by Helpless on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 03:37:20 PM PDT

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    •  soccer's not all that safe... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      B o o, sawgrass727, LordMike, sturunner

      Soccer is not all that safe.  Aside from the fact there are plenty of collisions between players, heading the ball takes a significant toll on the brain and the neck.     It is very rare indeed to see  a pro soccer player older than his mid-30s, even moreso than in the NFL.

      American football does need to rethink its rules to reduce the number of catastrophic injuries, and also to reduce the need for young men to bulk up way past their normal size.  And in fact, the people in charge of the pro and amateur leagues, whatever their other foibles, do seem to recognize the need to change the rules to protect their players.

      •  fun though not very informative comparison (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sawgrass727

        Soccer great David Beckham's career followed a similar trajectory in its later phases to that of gridiron great Bret Favre.  Both athletes kept retiring and unretiring, bouncing from one random gig to another.  Beckham was considered extraordinarily ancient at the ripe old age of 34 years old when he was fired from the English national team in 2009. He was already very old 3 years earlier, when he left Real Madrid to play club soccer at a significantly lower level for the Los Angeles Galaxy.  He was only 38 when he finally reached the end of the road with Paris Saint-Germain.

        Brett Favre's decline didn't even start till he was 38 years old, retiring for the first time.  He kept on retiring and unretiring till he was 42.

        Both those guys are pikers compared to baseball's Roger Clemens, who kept retiring and unretiring till he was 49, and would still be retiring and unretiring were it not for steroids and sex scandals. He attempted a minor-league comeback as recently as 2012, when he was 49.

      •  Good point re: headers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kombema

        I've seen the issue raised before. But the risks seem, at this early date, to be less dramatic than the every-play pounding that football linemen and running backs receive at the line of scrimmage.

        "How much wisdom is lost in knowledge? And how much knowledge is lost in information" -Juhani Pallasmaa

        by B o o on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 06:29:34 PM PDT

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      •  I don't think you can change the rules... (0+ / 0-)

        ...to make it safer.  The essence of the game is blocking and hard tackling.  The two lines are always goignt ob e bashing heads, whether they are wearing leather helmets playing by the old rules or the modern game.  And the goal of football tackling is to prevent a gain of yardage or strip the ball, which makes it that much harder on the head.  Rugby tackling is gentler, since there is no "line to gain", yet there are plenty of concussions in Rugby.

        GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

        by LordMike on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:54:05 PM PDT

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    •  Soccer isn't entirely clean on the CTE (0+ / 0-)

      issue.

      I'll always be...King of Bain...I'll always be...King of Bain

      by AZphilosopher on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 09:13:10 AM PDT

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