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(ESPN)   When ESPN backed out of its collaboration with PBS on a program about the NFL and its history with brain injuries, was it naive? Sloppy? Compromised? According to ESPN's ombudsman... yes   (espn.go.com) divider line 44
    More: Followup, ESPN, NFL, PBS, John Skipper, ongoing conflicts, Jason Whitlock, Junior Seau, profit motive  
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1301 clicks; posted to Sports » on 25 Aug 2013 at 5:44 PM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



44 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-08-25 04:48:19 PM
ESPN is about the dollar signs, not hard hitting journalism.  I'm sure the NFL leaned on them and they immediately folded.
 
2013-08-25 05:21:26 PM

Klippoklondike: ESPN Television is about the dollar signs, not hard hitting journalism.  I'm sure the NFL advertisers/owners/program suppliers leaned on them networks and they immediately folded.


/FTF all television
 
2013-08-25 05:25:17 PM
It sounds like ESPN had legitimate complaints.  They worked with PBS on the piece, but then the final cut was produced without their input and they felt it was sensationalist and spin-heavy.  There's nothing wrong with them not wanting to be associated with a report that they don't feel accurately reflects the issue.
 
2013-08-25 05:59:43 PM

TuteTibiImperes: It sounds like ESPN had legitimate complaints.  They worked with PBS on the piece, but then the final cut was produced without their input and they felt it was sensationalist and spin-heavy.  There's nothing wrong with them not wanting to be associated with a report that they don't feel accurately reflects the issue.


Plus they didn't include any video or interviews with Tim Tebow or Manti Te'o, so ESPN was no longer interested in it.
 
2013-08-25 06:03:06 PM

TuteTibiImperes: They worked with PBS on the piece, but then the final cut was produced without their input and they felt it was sensationalist and spin-heavy. There's nothing wrong with them not wanting to be associated with a report that they don't feel accurately reflects the issue.


yeah but that is unfortunately the unspoken byproduct of a documentary:  you shoot anywhere from 30 hours to god knows what, distill it into 90 minutes, and there's your end product.  of course there is a narrative.  while i don;t doubt for a second that the NFL pressured ESPN, are we to be surprised?

the voice of "Bender" from Futurama was on Jay Mohr podcast the other day (holy god, how farking funny was it) and he mentioned a doc he paid for, something like "I Know That Voice" or something, about the people that have voiced X number of cartoons.  he said they shot something like 190 hours of interveiews and burned it down to 94 minutes.  Cartoon voices aren't public access tv docs, but....the theme is the same.  ESPN probably said some things they later realized didn't fit the company narrative.  shiat happens.

and everyone loooks bad in retrospect.  the NFL will be held to account for killing hte doc - if in fact that's true - and ESPN looks neutered once again.  PBS can take the relatively high road and say, "hey man, wasn't us, we were ready for air, go ask ESPN why this isn't happening..."
 
2013-08-25 06:05:49 PM

stilted: Klippoklondike: ESPN Television is about the dollar signs, not hard hitting journalism.  I'm sure the NFL advertisers/owners/program suppliers leaned on them networks and they immediately folded.

/FTF all television


But but ESPN! Hate hate hate, that's how we roll.

Maybe Fox Sports 1 will pick it up, they really seem interested in journalism and fact driven reporting. That Regis Philbin, he gets to the bottom of things.
 
2013-08-25 06:20:06 PM

TuteTibiImperes: It sounds like ESPN had legitimate complaints.  They worked with PBS on the piece, but then the final cut was produced without their input and they felt it was sensationalist and spin-heavy.  There's nothing wrong with them not wanting to be associated with a report that they don't feel accurately reflects the issue.


ESPN or PBS more prone to be sensationalist?  Wow, I'll have to ponder that for at least .00248 picoseconds.
 
2013-08-25 06:28:01 PM

js34603: stilted: Klippoklondike: ESPN Television is about the dollar signs, not hard hitting journalism.  I'm sure the NFL advertisers/owners/program suppliers leaned on them networks and they immediately folded.

/FTF all television

But but ESPN! Hate hate hate, that's how we roll.

Maybe Fox Sports 1 will pick it up, they really seem interested in journalism and fact driven reporting. That Regis Philbin, he gets to the bottom of things.


A Murdoch-owned company is not going to enter the debate between corporate behemoths and university researchers on the side of the researchers (and PBS!). Expect the same sorts of slander that they use for climate scientists and lung cancer researchers.
 
2013-08-25 06:34:10 PM
The thing is, most sports fans wouldn't have even heard about the Frontline piece, if Goodell hadn't strong-armed ESPN into removing their name. Now that it's a story, 20x more football fans are going to see it.

Dumb move, Roger.
 
2013-08-25 06:37:01 PM
Why does it require debate?   The evidence is pretty clear that playing football can cause head injuries, and the players have been aware of it for decades, that's why they wear the helmets, to help reduce the trauma.

If the NFL was aware that putting guys back in the game following particularly hard hits could lead to long term damage and did nothing to stop it, sure, those guys probably deserve some compensation.

Moving forward the NFL has clearly shown that they're trying to protect the players through improved helmet designs and changes to the rules to limit head injuries. Have the players sign something g stating that they realize concussions can occur from playing football and that they'll hold the NFL and teams harmless, and let's just put the mess behind us and see if we can get through a game without the announcers going on for several minutes about concussions.
 
2013-08-25 06:50:50 PM
Again, will PBS dare to report how a second helmet was approved for use to reduce concussions but not enough players used it because "it didn't look good".

At least half the blame lies on the players and the NFLPA.
 
2013-08-25 06:53:36 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Why does it require debate?   The evidence is pretty clear that playing football can cause head injuries, and the players have been aware of it for decades, that's why they wear the helmets, to help reduce the trauma.

If the NFL was aware that putting guys back in the game following particularly hard hits could lead to long term damage and did nothing to stop it, sure, those guys probably deserve some compensation.

Moving forward the NFL has clearly shown that they're trying to protect the players through improved helmet designs and changes to the rules to limit head injuries. Have the players sign something g stating that they realize concussions can occur from playing football and that they'll hold the NFL and teams harmless, and let's just put the mess behind us and see if we can get through a game without the announcers going on for several minutes about concussions.


Problem is concussions were treated seriously until the past 15-20 years by anyone, there are better tests now to gauge how badly someone is injured so that's why they stay out longer. They reduced hitting in practices after knowing that can lead to long term damage but its still just the owners fault.
 
2013-08-25 06:54:47 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Moving forward the NFL has clearly shown that they're trying to protect the players through improved helmet designs and changes to the rules to limit head injuries. Have the players sign something g stating that they realize concussions can occur from playing football and that they'll hold the NFL and teams harmless, and let's just put the mess behind us and see if we can get through a game without the announcers going on for several minutes about concussions.


I don't know if you've been following football for a short time or you just got here from an alien planet but... no.
 
2013-08-25 07:01:01 PM

FishyFred: TuteTibiImperes: Moving forward the NFL has clearly shown that they're trying to protect the players through improved helmet designs and changes to the rules to limit head injuries. Have the players sign something g stating that they realize concussions can occur from playing football and that they'll hold the NFL and teams harmless, and let's just put the mess behind us and see if we can get through a game without the announcers going on for several minutes about concussions.

I don't know if you've been following football for a short time or you just got here from an alien planet but... no.


The NFL tried a couple of decades ago, the players didn't think the helmets looked cool so they didn't wear them, those that did were allowed to keep wearing them and had no more concussions and attributed that to their helmets.
 
2013-08-25 07:09:20 PM

FishyFred: TuteTibiImperes: Moving forward the NFL has clearly shown that they're trying to protect the players through improved helmet designs and changes to the rules to limit head injuries. Have the players sign something g stating that they realize concussions can occur from playing football and that they'll hold the NFL and teams harmless, and let's just put the mess behind us and see if we can get through a game without the announcers going on for several minutes about concussions.

I don't know if you've been following football for a short time or you just got here from an alien planet but... no.


They've placed additional restrictions on hits, changed the rules on kickoffs, changed the rules regarding when a player can come back into the game after losing a helmet, etc, they're obviously trying to address the situation to reduce head injuries while still keeping the spirit of the game as intact as possible.
 
2013-08-25 07:25:40 PM

TuteTibiImperes: FishyFred: TuteTibiImperes: Moving forward the NFL has clearly shown that they're trying to protect the players through improved helmet designs and changes to the rules to limit head injuries. Have the players sign something g stating that they realize concussions can occur from playing football and that they'll hold the NFL and teams harmless, and let's just put the mess behind us and see if we can get through a game without the announcers going on for several minutes about concussions.

I don't know if you've been following football for a short time or you just got here from an alien planet but... no.

They've placed additional restrictions on hits, changed the rules on kickoffs, changed the rules regarding when a player can come back into the game after losing a helmet, etc, they're obviously trying to address the situation to reduce head injuries while still keeping the spirit of the game as intact as possible.


And yet they tried to go to an 18-game season while denying the link to CTE. They appear to be fighting the class-action lawsuit. They're not doing nothing, but it behooves them to shove this whole thing under the rug for as long as possible.
 
2013-08-25 07:26:03 PM

TuteTibiImperes: They've placed additional restrictions on hits, changed the rules on kickoffs, changed the rules regarding when a player can come back into the game after losing a helmet, etc, they're obviously trying to address the situation to reduce head injuries while still keeping the spirit of the game as intact as possible.


None of which does shiat all to deal with CTE. But hey, CTE overwhelmingly impacts linemen, and nobody puts linemen on the cover of Madden, so fark those guys, am I right?
 
2013-08-25 07:38:43 PM
Also see:
upload.wikimedia.org
 
rka
2013-08-25 08:56:51 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Why does it require debate?   The evidence is pretty clear that playing football can cause head injuries, and the players have been aware of it for decades, that's why they wear the helmets, to help reduce the trauma.


Head injuries for most of us in the last 50 years has meant literally breaking your skull, ie bone damage, tissue damage. That's why you wore a helmet. Just like you wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. You could break your leg, your knees were shot, your shoulder hurt...and you wore a helmet so stuff like that didn't happen to your head.

Head injuries sure as shiat did NOT mean a 40 year old former athlete drooling uncontrollably, no longer able to control any motor skills, and needing his poor wife to wipe his ass for the next 30 years. It did not mean entering your 30s with your brain tissue looking more like you were a 80 year old dementia patient. It did not mean shooting yourself because severe depression got the better of you.

If you grew up in the last 50 years and thought "head injuries" could include those outcomes (and you're not a PhD in brain trauma) I'm calling you a NFL shill and farking liar.
 
2013-08-25 09:24:47 PM

rka: TuteTibiImperes: Why does it require debate?   The evidence is pretty clear that playing football can cause head injuries, and the players have been aware of it for decades, that's why they wear the helmets, to help reduce the trauma.

Head injuries for most of us in the last 50 years has meant literally breaking your skull, ie bone damage, tissue damage. That's why you wore a helmet. Just like you wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. You could break your leg, your knees were shot, your shoulder hurt...and you wore a helmet so stuff like that didn't happen to your head.

Head injuries sure as shiat did NOT mean a 40 year old former athlete drooling uncontrollably, no longer able to control any motor skills, and needing his poor wife to wipe his ass for the next 30 years. It did not mean entering your 30s with your brain tissue looking more like you were a 80 year old dementia patient. It did not mean shooting yourself because severe depression got the better of you.

If you grew up in the last 50 years and thought "head injuries" could include those outcomes (and you're not a PhD in brain trauma) I'm calling you a NFL shill and farking liar.


It makes sense that as medical technology improved we'd get a better idea about what's going on.  What percentage of players end up with debilitating or serious brain damage, 1%, 5%, 50%?

I suppose that's worth discussing, but what do we do about it?  Would there be a way to eliminate those injuries without fundamentally changing the game?  Is it worth changing the game to eliminate the injuries?

It's good to have the data I suppose, if for no other reason than to make sure the guys know what the potential risks are and can make an informed decision about whether taking an NFL contract is worth it for them.
 
rka
2013-08-25 09:45:14 PM

TuteTibiImperes: I suppose that's worth discussing, but what do we do about it?  Would there be a way to eliminate those injuries without fundamentally changing the game?  Is it worth changing the game to eliminate the injuries?


What do we do? Well, first we stop pretending that American football is some sort of inviolate human endeavor that has to endure. It's a game. It's a game that has been popular for a very short amount of time. It could dry up and go the way of Flag Pole sitting and the human race would be none the worse for it.

Is there a way to eliminate the injuries without fundamentally changing the game? No.

Is it worth changing the game to eliminate the injuries? The NFL is trying, but ultimately they aren't the ones controlling the narrative here. When their pipeline of talent running from PopWarner to the college ranks dries up it isn't going to matter one bit what the NFL does.

So it doesn't matter if you can find some desperate NFL rookie willing to sign his long term health away. He's grown up in the old world. It's what he knows. We've probably got a generation, maybe two of those guys left. What's going to matter is continually finding parents that are ignorant enough to sign their *child's* health away way back in grade school. That pool is going to rapidly shrink as the NFL gets hit with these lawsuits.
 
2013-08-25 10:01:58 PM

rka: It's a game that has been popular for a very short amount of time.


Roughly a century, at this point. And, roughly a century ago, Teddy Roosevelt was threatening to force colleges to stop playing unless they did something about the deaths from the game. Their response was to invent the forward pass.
 
2013-08-25 10:11:10 PM

rka: So it doesn't matter if you can find some desperate NFL rookie willing to sign his long term health away. He's grown up in the old world. It's what he knows. We've probably got a generation, maybe two of those guys left. What's going to matter is continually finding parents that are ignorant enough to sign their *child's* health away way back in grade school. That pool is going to rapidly shrink as the NFL gets hit with these lawsuits.


Yup.  That's what the end result of law suits / NFLPA getting long term care / prominent suicides etc. is going to be, and that scares the NFL much more than a class action lawsuit that they have to pay up.
 
2013-08-25 11:08:29 PM

cendojr: rka: So it doesn't matter if you can find some desperate NFL rookie willing to sign his long term health away. He's grown up in the old world. It's what he knows. We've probably got a generation, maybe two of those guys left. What's going to matter is continually finding parents that are ignorant enough to sign their *child's* health away way back in grade school. That pool is going to rapidly shrink as the NFL gets hit with these lawsuits.

Yup.  That's what the end result of law suits / NFLPA getting long term care / prominent suicides etc. is going to be, and that scares the NFL much more than a class action lawsuit that they have to pay up.


The NFLPA is just as at fault in this scenario as the league, it has been brought up before and their own union hasn't fought for player safety. Those details will kill this lawsuit and show how their union is the most selfish around, they provide no benefits for older players and is why nobody took their side in the strike. They wanted a 50/50 split in salaries but didn't want to put aside money for players long term care, that's like saying GM or Ford is to pay in case accidents happen to an employee.
 
2013-08-25 11:20:12 PM

rka: TuteTibiImperes: I suppose that's worth discussing, but what do we do about it?  Would there be a way to eliminate those injuries without fundamentally changing the game?  Is it worth changing the game to eliminate the injuries?

What do we do? Well, first we stop pretending that American football is some sort of inviolate human endeavor that has to endure. It's a game. It's a game that has been popular for a very short amount of time. It could dry up and go the way of Flag Pole sitting and the human race would be none the worse for it.

Is there a way to eliminate the injuries without fundamentally changing the game? No.

Is it worth changing the game to eliminate the injuries? The NFL is trying, but ultimately they aren't the ones controlling the narrative here. When their pipeline of talent running from PopWarner to the college ranks dries up it isn't going to matter one bit what the NFL does.

So it doesn't matter if you can find some desperate NFL rookie willing to sign his long term health away. He's grown up in the old world. It's what he knows. We've probably got a generation, maybe two of those guys left. What's going to matter is continually finding parents that are ignorant enough to sign their *child's* health away way back in grade school. That pool is going to rapidly shrink as the NFL gets hit with these lawsuits.


Yeah, I don't see that happening at all.

Again, if the long term injury rate is still fairly low percentage-wise (and I'd be interested in seeing data on how many players suffer serious permanent damage) it'll be written off as acceptable risk.

Pop warner through college the hits aren't nearly as powerful as in the NFL, is there data showing the dangers there?

Some particularly histrionic parents may pull their kids out or forbid it, but there will be plenty who understand that a potential for injury is part of the game.

You might not particularly like football, but millions of people do.  It's by far the most popular sport in the USA, and some bad press about potential head injuries that most people already realized were possible isn't going to change that.
 
2013-08-25 11:44:30 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Yeah, I don't see that happening at all.


Really? How many parents do you know? The ones I've asked have ranged from conflicted to dead-set against allowing their sons to play football.

And why would they allow them? The long term injury rate is NOT fairly low. It is ridiculously high, especially among linemen and running backs.

I don't consider myself histrionic and I would not allow my hypothetical future sons to play football. It's not about potential risk of catastrophic injury; it's about accumulated trauma over time. The longer they play, the more damage they will accumulate, and there's no telling when that will start to show.
 
2013-08-25 11:50:36 PM

FishyFred: TuteTibiImperes: Yeah, I don't see that happening at all.

Really? How many parents do you know? The ones I've asked have ranged from conflicted to dead-set against allowing their sons to play football.

And why would they allow them? The long term injury rate is NOT fairly low. It is ridiculously high, especially among linemen and running backs.

I don't consider myself histrionic and I would not allow my hypothetical future sons to play football. It's not about potential risk of catastrophic injury; it's about accumulated trauma over time. The longer they play, the more damage they will accumulate, and there's no telling when that will start to show.


I'd let my hypothetical sons play football if they wanted to.  Life is full of risks, and vast majority of players stop playing before they suffer permanent serious injury.

There have been some studies that link CTE to football, and others that show that football players don't have a highly elevated risk.  I'd love to see hard numbers on the percentage of players effected, their position, and how many years and at what level they played presented in a nonbiased fashion.
 
2013-08-26 12:04:00 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Life is full of risks, and vast majority of players stop playing before they suffer permanent serious injury.


But they can't know when they have suffered that permanent injury. The ideal amount of head trauma is no head trauma. I said it's not about risk because there is no risk. There is certainty. Nearly everyone who takes repeated hits to the head receives brain damage. They only vary by degrees.

TuteTibiImperes: There have been some studies that link CTE to football, and others that show that football players don't have a highly elevated risk. I'd love to see hard numbers on the percentage of players effected, their position, and how many years and at what level they played presented in a nonbiased fashion.


A truly expansive study would require many more brains donated to science. Still, did you not read the link? The evidence we have is very strong in one direction, even though the NFL actively tried to discredit the link for years.

I mean... are you expecting research to come out that says repeated head trauma has no effect on football players? The mechanisms are known. You just sound like a climate change denialist claiming that releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will not trigger the greenhouse effect.
 
2013-08-26 12:28:37 AM

FishyFred: TuteTibiImperes: Life is full of risks, and vast majority of players stop playing before they suffer permanent serious injury.

But they can't know when they have suffered that permanent injury. The ideal amount of head trauma is no head trauma. I said it's not about risk because there is no risk. There is certainty. Nearly everyone who takes repeated hits to the head receives brain damage. They only vary by degrees.

TuteTibiImperes: There have been some studies that link CTE to football, and others that show that football players don't have a highly elevated risk. I'd love to see hard numbers on the percentage of players effected, their position, and how many years and at what level they played presented in a nonbiased fashion.

A truly expansive study would require many more brains donated to science. Still, did you not read the link? The evidence we have is very strong in one direction, even though the NFL actively tried to discredit the link for years.

I mean... are you expecting research to come out that says repeated head trauma has no effect on football players? The mechanisms are known. You just sound like a climate change denialist claiming that releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will not trigger the greenhouse effect.


I'm not saying that it has no effect or doubting that it's caused serious injuries.  The big question is frequency and severity.  If most players receive minor trauma that doesn't result in any long term cognitive loss, I wouldn't consider that a big deal, even if some players suffer more serious damage.  It all comes down to what percentage of players suffer serious damage as a result, and whether the policies that are in place now have had an effect of reducing that amount.

NASCAR drivers risk a fiery death in a crash, basketball and soccer players can end up with permanently debilitating bone and muscle damage, sports can be dangerous, especially at the upper levels.

Just because football carries the risk of concussion, or even an almost certainty of some form of brain trauma doesn't mean that we should suddenly stop playing football.
 
2013-08-26 01:30:53 AM
The NFL needs to be in ESPN's good graces a lot more than ESPN has any need to be in the NFL's good graces. If the NFL was whining about the doc, ESPN should've just told them to go deal with the issue and STFU.
 
2013-08-26 02:54:15 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Some particularly histrionic parents may pull their kids out or forbid it, but there will be plenty who understand that a potential for injury is part of the game.


It's not because of any legitimate risk of serious injury that parents don't let their kid play football, it's histrionics.  Sure.

Why don't you just say what you feel and call them spineless pussies or something?  That's basically what you're saying.  No reason to sugar-coat it.
 
2013-08-26 07:39:15 AM

rka: When their pipeline of talent running from PopWarner to the college ranks dries up it isn't going to matter one bit what the NFL does. So it doesn't matter if you can find some desperate NFL rookie willing to sign his long term health away. He's grown up in the old world. It's what he knows. We've probably got a generation, maybe two of those guys left. What's going to matter is continually finding parents that are ignorant enough to sign their *child's* health away way back in grade school. That pool is going to rapidly shrink as the NFL gets hit with these lawsuits.


There is no shortage of parents willing to let their kid take major risks for a lottery ticket to millions.  Though the demographics have clearly changed.  It's not the kids of bankers from well-to-do suburbs (and their Frontline-watching lawyer wives) who are playing football at the college and pro level.  Hell, in Texas, where prep football is a religion, it's not kids from those Friday Night Temple wealthy suburbs playing most of the line positions.  It's kids they bus in from poorer areas.  Schools are even importing Samoans, etc.  At the high school level.
 
2013-08-26 07:49:26 AM

steamingpile: The NFLPA is just as at fault in this scenario as the league, it has been brought up before and their own union hasn't fought for player safety. Those details will kill this lawsuit and show how their union is the most selfish around, they provide no benefits for older players and is why nobody took their side in the strike. They wanted a 50/50 split in salaries but didn't want to put aside money for players long term care, that's like saying GM or Ford is to pay in case accidents happen to an employee.


+1, would read again. If anything, the NFLPA has shown more disregard for player safety than the NFL has.
 
2013-08-26 07:58:07 AM

oh_please: steamingpile: The NFLPA is just as at fault in this scenario as the league, it has been brought up before and their own union hasn't fought for player safety. Those details will kill this lawsuit and show how their union is the most selfish around, they provide no benefits for older players and is why nobody took their side in the strike. They wanted a 50/50 split in salaries but didn't want to put aside money for players long term care, that's like saying GM or Ford is to pay in case accidents happen to an employee.

+1, would read again. If anything, the NFLPA has shown more disregard for player safety than the NFL has.


Good point.  I was trying to say that the NFLPA merely succeeding in getting long term care is a tacit acknowledgement that playing in the NFL does long term damage.  Whether they win a lawsuit or not it's tough to sell a job with an acknowledged high chance of long term mental injury.
 
2013-08-26 08:12:45 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Moving forward the NFL has clearly shown that they're trying to protect the players through improved helmet designs and changes to the rules to limit head injuries.


Only if the improved helmet is supplied by an NFL licensed manufacture.
 
2013-08-26 09:44:01 AM

TuteTibiImperes: I'm not saying that it has no effect or doubting that it's caused serious injuries. The big question is frequency and severity. If most players receive minor trauma that doesn't result in any long term cognitive loss, I wouldn't consider that a big deal, even if some players suffer more serious damage. It all comes down to what percentage of players suffer serious damage as a result, and whether the policies that are in place now have had an effect of reducing that amount.

NASCAR drivers risk a fiery death in a crash, basketball and soccer players can end up with permanently debilitating bone and muscle damage, sports can be dangerous, especially at the upper levels.


CTE (or similar head/brain trauma) can arise from repeated less-than-concussive hits to the head. Linemen, some of whom never missed a game due to injury, show CTE at the end of their careers not because of a "big" hit (or even 5), but from the thousands and thousands of smaller hits in the trenches on every play. These smaller hits cause damage to build up over time, and cause faster deterioration of brain-pieces once the aging process really takes over (40s, 50s).
 
rka
2013-08-26 11:59:42 AM

Lawnchair: There is no shortage of parents willing to let their kid take major risks for a lottery ticket to millions.


25-30 years ago no one thought twice about strapping toddlers in the back of a car with no child seats. Now you're liable to get CPS called on you by random strangers if they see it. Times change, attitudes change. Sometimes rather quickly.

There also  will be a shortage of cash strapped high schools willing to foot the liability insurance the first time some 20 year old with a brain like a 50 year old sues the school district. Doesn't matter what the parents will be willing to do if their school doesn't offer football in the first place.

Especially now that this information is becoming more and more public. No school will be able to craft a waiver air-tight enough. They won't be able to hide behind their own ignorance.
 
2013-08-26 12:58:00 PM

WhyteRaven74: The NFL needs to be in ESPN's good graces a lot more than ESPN has any need to be in the NFL's good graces. If the NFL was whining about the doc, ESPN should've just told them to go deal with the issue and STFU.


This might be true if ESPN was a NEWS organization but they aren't: Entertainment and Sports Programming Network no where in there does it say news.  NFL is one of ESPN's most important assets, it was a huge deal for them to get the Sunday night games years ago and it was a huge deal when MNF moved to cable.

I wonder what the bidding war is going to be like during the next NFL TV contract negotiations.  With Fox Sports 1 and NBCSN added to the mix?

Actually, based on the indifference to the Manti T'eo dead girlfriend story, (which a "reporter" would have investigated during the regular season), there is no such thing as 'sports journalism'.
 
2013-08-26 01:25:01 PM

rka: Lawnchair: There is no shortage of parents willing to let their kid take major risks for a lottery ticket to millions.

25-30 years ago no one thought twice about strapping toddlers in the back of a car with no child seats. Now you're liable to get CPS called on you by random strangers if they see it. Times change, attitudes change. Sometimes rather quickly.

There also  will be a shortage of cash strapped high schools willing to foot the liability insurance the first time some 20 year old with a brain like a 50 year old sues the school district. Doesn't matter what the parents will be willing to do if their school doesn't offer football in the first place.

Especially now that this information is becoming more and more public. No school will be able to craft a waiver air-tight enough. They won't be able to hide behind their own ignorance.


Wild Card to your theory:  The South.

They don't care of change in the South.
 
rka
2013-08-26 01:39:25 PM

chuggernaught: Wild Card to your theory:  The South.

They don't care of change in the South.


So the NFL becomes a bastion of the South only. Great business model. I'm sure it will continue to be the multi-billion dollar enterprise we know it today when it gets relegated to the same social level as backwoods cock-fighting in the swamps of Louisiana.
 
2013-08-26 01:58:57 PM

steamingpile: FishyFred: TuteTibiImperes: Moving forward the NFL has clearly shown that they're trying to protect the players through improved helmet designs and changes to the rules to limit head injuries. Have the players sign something g stating that they realize concussions can occur from playing football and that they'll hold the NFL and teams harmless, and let's just put the mess behind us and see if we can get through a game without the announcers going on for several minutes about concussions.

I don't know if you've been following football for a short time or you just got here from an alien planet but... no.

The NFL tried a couple of decades ago, the players didn't think the helmets looked cool so they didn't wear them, those that did were allowed to keep wearing them and had no more concussions and attributed that to their helmets.


brunoberry.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-08-26 02:20:32 PM

rka: 25-30 years ago no one thought twice about strapping toddlers in the back of a car with no child seats. Now you're liable to get CPS called on you by random strangers if they see it.


Ghetto black kids and trailer-park kids are standing on the back seats of their parents' cars to this very day, while mom chain-smokes her Slims in the front, without any CPS call. A powerful lot of 'not really my issue' when it comes to poor families. If there is a call, the CPS budget is tighter than ever. Not being beaten == ain't nobody gonna care.

That said, on your other point, you're probably right.  Two or three multimillion-dollar awards for conclusive prep-football-related TBIs and the whole thing becomes uninsurable.
 
2013-08-26 02:26:20 PM

chuggernaught: rka: Lawnchair: There is no shortage of parents willing to let their kid take major risks for a lottery ticket to millions.

25-30 years ago no one thought twice about strapping toddlers in the back of a car with no child seats. Now you're liable to get CPS called on you by random strangers if they see it. Times change, attitudes change. Sometimes rather quickly.

There also  will be a shortage of cash strapped high schools willing to foot the liability insurance the first time some 20 year old with a brain like a 50 year old sues the school district. Doesn't matter what the parents will be willing to do if their school doesn't offer football in the first place.

Especially now that this information is becoming more and more public. No school will be able to craft a waiver air-tight enough. They won't be able to hide behind their own ignorance.

Wild Card to your theory:  The South.

They don't care of change in the South.


The south has been more of a football hotbed, but it still has strong support in the northeast.  Do you think the Ivy League schools will ever give up their teams?  The big Ivy rivalries are one of the biggest fundraising opportunities for those schools, they bring back tons of alumni year after year and help foster a sense of community and an ongoing attachment between the alumni and their alma mater.  Plus, those schools have been playing football longer than anyone else.  Princeton was in the very first intercollegiate football game ever, and their opponent Rutgers is also in the northeast.

The longest running continuous rivalry in football is in the northeast between Lehigh and Lafayette, which has been going on for 129 years.

Talking Pro, Patriots fans are some of the most devoted in the NFL, and NYC is the only city in the country with two teams.

Football is ingrained in American culture.  Thinking that it would ever go away is like thinking the Brits or Brazilians would give up soccer.
 
2013-08-26 03:52:28 PM
Hehe, "ombudsman".
 
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