Watching Football, Feeling Guilty

That is American and Canadian football.  Given that this is the healthy memory blog, a post on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is in order.  An earlier post mentioned CTE, but not in the context of football.  CTE produces a loss in memory or failures of memory to function correctly.  Its prevalence has been linked to football.  There is  a definite link, and the strength of this link remains under investigation.  The NFL has taken actions in an attempt to reduce the occurrence of CTE, and I am sure that equipment manufacturers are working to develop means of safeguarding players from CTE.

So I watch football, and I feel guilty about it.  Are these men damaging their brains for my enjoyment?  If I had children I would strongly discourage them from playing football.

It will be interesting to see how this issue plays out.  Football is such a popular game and generates enormous revenues, so it is unlikely that it will be outlawed, at least in the short term.  Rules will be formulated to minimize the dangers from hits.  Protective equipment will be improved.  Perhaps there will even be size limits put on players.  Actually, a game consisting of smaller, faster players might be more interesting.

It will take a long time to play out.  Research takes time.  And the damage from CTE can take many years to manifest itself.  Early in the twentieth century the public became enraged by the injuries that were being incurred in college football, and changes were made to reduce injuries.  But CTE takes time to emerge, and unless it is being looked for, the link between playing football and CTE might be missed.  Now extreme scrutiny will be exercised in finding that link.  And it will take time to see changes in the rules and improvements in equipment are beneficial.  Of course, claims will be made that they do, and it will take time and improved diagnostic techniques to see if they are having the desired effect.

© Douglas Griffith and, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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One Response to “Watching Football, Feeling Guilty”

  1. dave springer Says:
    Research conducted by the University of Villanova found that public taxpayers end up shouldering the tax burden of new stadium construction. A city issues municipal bonds to fund a private stadium, and the residents of the city generally pay back the bonds through a sales tax, according to Tim Kianka, a staff member of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal. “Ultimately, the question is, should taxpayers have to subsidize America’s wealthiest people, the billionaires who own professional sports franchises,” Kianka asked in his article, Subsidizing Billionaires.
    “Take whatever number the sports promoter says and move the decimal one place to the left. Divide it by ten. That’s a pretty good estimate of the actual economic impact.”
    However, according to leading sports economists, stadiums and arenas rarely bring about the promised prosperity, and instead leave cities and states mired in debt that they can’t pay back before the franchise comes calling for more.

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