Is Football Dying?

FLICKR | PHOTO COURTESY Washington Tight End Jordan Reed lays on the ground after an injury last fall.
Washington Tight End Jordan Reed lays on the ground after an injury last fall.

I know now what I didn’t in high school.

I see the other side. Love of the game, and of course the financial possibilities.

With recent studies coming out though it is hard to ignore the reality. Football is dangerous, and can be deadly.

While the focus of the damages of football centers on the NFL, all high school players should take note.

The more evidence we find, the more shocked I am.

Ninety-six percent of deceased NFL players test positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative disease often found in athletes. In this study they also tested the minds of football players at the pro, college, and high school level and found that almost 80 percent tested positive for CTE. So even the casual high school football player is at risk.

It is hard because I love football. I dedicate time to watching football. I dedicated a large amount of time to playing football.

As a nation, this holds true as well. People care about this sport, and it inundates our culture. Football is as American as apple pie.

I am not saying you should hate football by any means. What I am saying is that this sport is dying.

Players retiring early. Players publicly coming out and talking about living with brain damage. Players voicing regrets — it is all too common.

When are we going to reach the point where players just simply pass up the sport?

Though it might be years away, it is easy to see this as a possibility at least.

This is so hard, because right now we are addicted to this sport. People spend a large amount of money in the simple act of consuming this game. People spend hundreds of dollars to go watch a game or wear a jersey with someone else’s name on it. We are ready, and willing to supply this league.

That is now, though.

How many potential future NFL players are being born into homes where the parents are going to try their hardest to avoid football for their children?

How many NDSU graduates are going to listen to the studies and forbid their children from playing the sport?

I think we are reaching a tipping point. The point where players decide against playing. The point where health is simply more important.

I am for sure the thought of high school football brings memories back to you, the reader. Whether you were a player or a fan, it doesn’t matter.

Health is important. So is longevity, and from these studies it looks like football does nothing to help those. Whether or not you love football is up to you. The truth is out, and we must wonder if football’s best days are coming to an end.

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