In re: Football, dogfighting, and brain damage

Football, dogfighting, and brain damage : The New Yorker.

Interesting article by Malcolm Gladwell about head injuries in football.  One of the interesting things that he raised when I saw him on PTI and before I read the article was his comparison to boxing that after an acknowledgement of the huge physical/mental toll boxers will have to deal with the sport declined significantly from its height as a main stream sport to its status now.  The NFL is clearly at the top of the US charts right now, but it could be headed for demise as scientists learn more about the brain damage it causes.  While talking about this article with some people many of them didn’t think the comparison or at least juxtaposition to dog fighting was warranted and was probably just a  grab to get in the all things Vick.  I disagree to a point and think that the point Gladwell makes is that inherently dog fighting is cruel and inhumane to dogs and that one cannot have a dog fight without those components, similarly he makes the point that football is inherently going to cause brain damage (studies at UNC football practices showed damaging impacts even in soft drills).  For comparison Gladwell points to Nascar that in the wake of several deaths was able to change the safety of the sport and continue, but he says technology won’t help the NFL.

So enjoy it while we got it, someday when we know the full extent of the damages more clearly (and it seems that day is near) what parents will let their kids play football?  The same ones who sign up for boxing most likely and that means probably it will decline in popularity.


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