Jump to content

"League of Denial" documentary


CS85

Recommended Posts

Aired tonight and can be viewed in full at the official PBS website. Contains some graphic imagery mostly of a scientific nature and some kinda unsettling autopsy photos of a former Steeler, but is otherwise good to go.

Just finished it and for those who have watched it I'd like to know your thoughts. It's really no wonder the NFL shut down an ESPN presentation of this doc because they are absolutely torched in it. PBS isn't pulling any punches with their "Concussion Watch" website either.

If you haven't seen "Head Games" it's another stellar look at sports, including hockey, and the ramifications of life after the game.

Football is something we all love and there's clearly correlation between brain trauma and any sport where players routinely hit their heads. Let's discuss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 86
  • Created
  • Last Reply

You've given me something to watch on my flight this weekend. Thank you, sir.

That sounds like a good idea... but I'm way too cheap to buy the in-flight Internet connection. Is that what you're doing, or do you have another method?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely a little sobering to hear 45 of 46 former players examined had some form of CTE. And the some of the experts think almost all players have CTE to some extent. If true you have to really start wondering about the long term viability of the NFL and football in general.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely a little sobering to hear 45 of 46 former players examined had some form of CTE. And the some of the experts think almost all players have CTE to some extent. If true you have to really start wondering about the long term viability of the NFL and football in general.

I've been wondering that for a while. In fact, it's a big part of the reason I was against a taxpayer-funded Vikings stadium.

Meanwhile, the NFL is concerned with expanding the game. I really hope they are also looking into saving the game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question is can it be saved and still be 'football'. I mean even the CFL with its apparently safer style of play still produces a fair number of CTE style injuries. Admittedly it appears to be closer to half of players rather than almost all players like in the NFL, but is 40-50% any more acceptable than 97%?

Short term though transitioning to CFL rules might be one way to at least preserve some of the current game while halving the traumatic brain injury load. Long term though fans may have to adjust to a game that looks nothing like American football today or historically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've given me something to watch on my flight this weekend. Thank you, sir.

That sounds like a good idea... but I'm way too cheap to buy the in-flight Internet connection. Is that what you're doing, or do you have another method?

If you have an outdated version of RealPlayer and go through Internet Explorer, you can download streaming video.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one thinks it will change overnight. What will change however is that less and less kids will play over time and eventually the NCAAF and NFL's talent pool will dry up. Some would argue they have a similar fan problem with the increasing perception of violence or just plain violence at stadiums and less and less kids being brought to games. Neither will kill the NFL quickly but together over a long period if a generation or two are raised not giving a crap about football it will die out like boxing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been predicting the demise or massive change of the sport for a while now. I just can't see it existing in its current form in 20 years.

I just don't believe parents will keep allowing their kids to play a sport that is both increasingly dangerous and that we are becoming increasingly aware of its dangers. And as that becomes the predominant opinion, the number of participants and the level of talent will decline.

Meanwhile, I have to think at least some of those parents who are also fans will become less and less excited about watching relatively young men have near death experiences on the field. And maybe people will even develop a conscience about watching the "minor" hits that add up to life-changing injuries and diseases down the line.

I'm in that group somewhere, but I haven't lost my full enjoyment of football yet. It's a weird spot to be, knowing that I'll never let me kids play it and knowing that I don't support what's happening, but still wanting to watch.

There is a way to save the game, though, and that's to make drastic changes. But right now the NFL isn't really on that path. The changes they've been making are largely just to paint the image that they care while doing the minimum. Sometimes they're not even effective changes at all. And as minor as the changes are, you still have fans screaming bloody murder over the "wussification" of football.

I don't know what the future holds for football, but I tend to think it's bleak.

I should admit that hand-in-hand with this goes the absolute hatred I have for the football/NFL culture in America these days. I can't stand the "too big to fail" and "we're better than everything else" and "other sports exists?" attitude given off by a large portion of football fans.

Still, I'm not hoping football fails, I'm hoping it drastically evolves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the thing... I don't care.

While I'm not opposed to player safety, getting better equipment, or changing some structural parts of the game, but I have a hard time feigning sympathy for football players. Everyone has known for some time that football is a violent and physical game (even though they are just now finding out the degree), so it's almost a "Hey, smoking leads to cancer" revelation. And as I've considered this topic, there are 3 sticking points that I just can't get over:

1) There are other people in this world who work much more dangerous and essential jobs for a sliver of the money football players make. Police officers, firefighters, soldiers, fisherman, truckers, coal miners, etc... Having a job that puts your body into peril is not a new invention and there are others out there who put themselves into more peril for much less fame and money.

2) No one is forcing them to play. They are not gladiators who either fight or die. 95% of NFL players could retire today and live a comfortable life without working another day of their life. It's a choice.

3) Football players don't care about their own health. As these reports are coming out, you don't see current players suddenly retiring. Instead, you see players lying about concussion tests to get back on the field like Isaac Redman. Heck, look at Jahvid Best. He tried everything in his power to get back on the field, even though he was the poster child for the "new" NFL. Do you honestly believe that if the choice were up to him (as he is basically banned from the NFL) that he wouldn't be playing football on Sundays?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think painting the players as victims is the point. The issue is that the NFL fought way too hard to shroud an obvious truth in order to save money and their image.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're going to paint the NFL as the bad guys, don't the players immediately become the victims? I feel like there is a correlation between the two. Regardless of what the NFL has said or tried to cover up, you only have to watch a few NFL games to see how violent of a sport it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're going to paint the NFL as the bad guys, don't the players immediately become the victims? I feel like there is a correlation between the two. Regardless of what the NFL has said or tried to cover up, you only have to watch a few NFL games to see how violent of a sport it is.

This isn't as clear cut as good guys and bad guys. This is a matter of a sort-of-workman's-compensation. The players obviously play a violent sport willingly, but when you have a corrupt medical board and biased team medical staffs making decisions that put the long-term livelihood of these men at risk, it's a real problem. The NFL isn't solely to blame here, but the analogy of the NFL to Big Tobacco is a fairly accurate one.

Things ARE getting better but things need to change from the top to the bottom to make parents and young potential players aware, FULLY aware that this game can have long-lasting effects and there should be mandatory education about it prior to participation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's less about the current victims than it is about the future victims. And it's also less about the big time and obvious violence than it is about the little ones.

Offensive lineman who sustain tiny tiny concussions on damn near every play by knocking their helmet into their opponents. Those add up. Defensive players who experience frequent head trauma by tackling with their helmet. That adds up.

Things like that.

By the way, to that last point, the fact that the NFL still doesn't enforce spearing is one reason I don't buy into any of their efforts. You haven't been allowed to lead with your helmet since just about forever, but it's never been called. With the new focus on concussions and the slightly less new focus on protecting QBs, it has been called when you drive your helmet into another players helmet or into just about any part of the QB.

But if you tackle the RB with your helmet to their chest, that's supposed to be a penalty. Originally, I presume, to protect the ball carrier. The league apparently wasn't interested in doing so. But now it needs to be enforced to protect the tackler and teach safer tackling. It still isn't.

It's a theory, and not one I have a lot of evidence to back up (or refute), but I still believe the best thing the NFL could do to promote player safety is to eliminate the hardshell helmet.

Take away the power of the helmet to be a weapon. And take away the power of the helmet to make a player feel invincible. I think it would immediately make the game safer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should admit that hand-in-hand with this goes the absolute hatred I have for the football/NFL culture in America these days. I can't stand the "too big to fail" and "we're better than everything else" and "other sports exists?" attitude given off by a large portion of football fans.

Yes. Thank you. I finally got sick and tired of the NFL being so all-consuming and above the law that, when combined with the moral dilemma of being part of its commerce machine, it was easy to pull the plug. The tidal wave of outrage that a postseason A's game would dare to move a regular-season Raiders game to Sunday night on the West Coast was the last straw or last straws. Just so ridiculous. Life does not stop and start at the NFL's convenience, to borrow a chestnut.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.