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NFL in trouble?


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#1 Slidemaster

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:49 AM

http://www.chicagotr...7.column?page=1

A pretty interesting article out of the Chicago Tribune. Obviously this is just one guy's opinion, and it's an extreme one, but I've thought about this recently too. With as much negative press as football is getting regarding the violence of the game, is it in danger of falling from grace with the American people? Certainly it's still a wildly popular sport, but I can't help but wonder if another few years of bad press and sad stories like Seau, or scandals like the Saints Bounty program will cause a noticeable dip in popularity. I don't think the sport will ever be in danger of not having enough players willing to play it as the author of the article does, but I do think that all of the negative press, and possible slew of lawsuits from players could result in fans being turned off from the game.

It's certainly not close to happening yet, but everything starts somewhere.
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#2 classea5

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 05:26 PM

Parents won't allow their kids to play football, or at least steer them in a different direction. I did with my son ten years ago when he was 6 feet at age 14 walking through his new high school and coaches asking if he ever played. Will football go the way of professional boxing? It just may!

#3 Eastside Terp

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:02 PM

Will football go the way of professional boxing? It just may!


only if there is another outlet for the biggest and strongest to make that kind of money .......

all the heavyweights are in the NFL and NBA .......

the NFL isn't going anywhere .....

too violent? :rolleyes: they have been feminizing it for years and women are jumping on board in droves ......
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#4 mythoughts

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:02 PM

IMO its more tan the NFL

"We are seeing the end of the sport of football"
I said this about 9 months ago.

We need to look beyond the NFL, if this was just about the NFL then I don't think the sport would be in jeopardy.
But what is going to happen is Colleges and High Schools are going to start worrying about lawsuit.
Yes, College Football is big for major Conferences and schools like Florida, Texas, Notre Dame and so forth but the fact is most colleges LOSE money on football. Div II and Div III schools as well as smaller Div I schools will be dropping the sport.
High Schools will start dropping football as well. Same with Parks+Rec and other Youth Programs - too much risk of lawsuits. They are their insurance companies won't support the sport much longer.
And if kids aren't going to play football in Youth Leagues, High School and College where is the NFL going to get its players? And the ones they can get, what is going to be the quality of the game .

I see no way football survives this
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#5 AVATAR

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:11 PM

Violence is the norm in American culture and football is viewed as an acceptable form of it. Boxing went down because of proven corruption that tainted the sport throughout the sport. 2 teams took risk and got caught. The penalties for being dishonest will serve as a reminder but the risk will remain the same as some people will think they can out wit the powers that be. Next step in any proceedings will warrant expulsion from the league and probably legal ramifications. I don't think football will ever founder because it has both sexes hooked with kids to boot. It's fast paced which also helps thee attention span. America has to root for something and somebody. The underdog needs a gladiator. And just like most employment, it's at well for all parties. I believe the only way football goes down is if we the fans start hating the high prices and and hating on the players that make and squander it all in a matter of months. I'm not a fan of watching a sports player on MTV cribs whom can't/won't use proper English, riding down the street in Bentley, that a fire fighter or blue collar worker who has worked many years or had saved/served lives of many can't afford, ever.

That is the really the issue.

#6 johnpolitics

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:33 PM

Football will always be popular but more parents will suggest other sports for their kids.

#7 cprenegade

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:17 PM

If football is in danger of losing it's popularity it is more so because of Roger Goodell's taking hits out of the game than it is because of the violence. Football has always been a violent sport. When you have people in pads and helmets running full speed to nail one another, it is going to be violent. NFL history is littered with people who have suffered career ending injuries, and even paralysis on the field. Daryl Stingley and Mike Utley. Nick Bonniconti's son and Eric Legrand were paralyzed playing football in college. It is understood that there are risks associated with the game. Boxing suffered a loss of popularity because of the various conferences that all recognized a different champion and because of the pay per view events that ended in a ridiculous farce like the Tyson/Holyfield fight. The corruption in boxing and belief that some of it was scripted like wrestling led to it's downfall. As long as the NFL recognizes player safety, but doesn't go to far over the edge and take the toughness out of the game, it will be ok. Right now, the NFL is the model for professional sports. It has a blueprint that keeps the league competitive for all but the most terrible of franchises, and has the perfect television model. What other sport has one entire day of every week dedicated to it from before noon until midnight? None. No other sport attracts the advertising dollars or the wagering public the way the NFL does. It's final game of the season is usually the most watched event of the TV year. As long as the NFL doesn't screw around with it's game so much that it loses the above qualities of toughness and competitive balance, it will be ok.
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#8 mythoughts

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:46 PM

Football will always be popular but more parents will suggest other sports for their kids.


The problem with football isn't going to be the parents, it's going to be the organizations where the kids growing up play football. Rec Leagues, High Schools and most colleges are going to fear lawsuits. With so many former NFL players dying in their 40s and 50s and many many more suffering from long term devastating brain injuries it will be very difficult to defend from lawsuits.

The fact is most people really do not understand the risk. And the risk they take on be themselves is minimal - maybe 1%. But the organizations that sponsor football know that their risk, when they have hundreds or thousands of players go through their organization know that their risk is nearly 100%.

If I own a pool and I put up a sign in water 3 foot deep "Dive at Own Risk" if someone gets injured guess what I'm liable. I had a duty a try to prevent diving in that area not just warn people (that is I had an obligation to put up a "No Diving" sign, not a "Dive at Own Risk" sign.)

I think within 2 years you're going to see entire Counties eliminating High School football. There just isn't any incentive for them to continue with the sport. And as that grows, if kids aren't playing football in High School, there won't be kids playing in College, and if players are playing in College where is the NFL going to gets its players.

Personally, I think that sheer training and perhaps steroids/perfomance enhancing drugs are playing a big part of this. Players have literally gotten too big and too fast to make the game safe to play anymore. And to a certain extent better field conditions and NFL rules that have encouraged a faster game are causing more violent collison and lingering injuries. The game is probably safer to play in grass and mud, or in snow, and with rules that allow more bumping. The game would be slower and less violent.
The human body was not designed to take continuous pounding from 300 pound players running and 25 mph.

I said last year that I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the Law Office of Peter G Angelos itself was looking into a class-action lawsuit against the NFL. Perhaps the NFL could survive a $3 billion lawsuit (or what ever the amount would be) but certainly Harford or Howard County Public Schools, or Loyola or Calvert Hall couldn't.
2009 is the International Year of Astronomy
Have you looked through a telescope this year ?

Saturday October 24, 2009 is Astronomy Day.
Consider visiting a local astronomy club/astronomical society, planetarium, or observatory to take a look at the sky through a telescope.

http://www.astroleag...y/astroday.html

#9 agentorange

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:16 AM

http://www.chicagotr...7.column?page=1

A pretty interesting article out of the Chicago Tribune. Obviously this is just one guy's opinion, and it's an extreme one, but I've thought about this recently too. With as much negative press as football is getting regarding the violence of the game, is it in danger of falling from grace with the American people? Certainly it's still a wildly popular sport, but I can't help but wonder if another few years of bad press and sad stories like Seau, or scandals like the Saints Bounty program will cause a noticeable dip in popularity. I don't think the sport will ever be in danger of not having enough players willing to play it as the author of the article does, but I do think that all of the negative press, and possible slew of lawsuits from players could result in fans being turned off from the game.certainly not close to happening yet, but everything starts somewhere.



The NFL is just fine and has not seen its better days yet...history has shown that the fans will pack the stadium as long as there is no strike,case closed. Football is tightly woven into the very fabric of the American way of life from sea to shining sea, and border to border. The collective Bargaining agreement all but promises that there won't be any strikes for at least another 6 years or so. All the while, advancements in weight training and nutrition is producing bigger, faster and stronger athletes each and every year. The high competitive level of the game insures that the game will only become more violent and exciting year in and year out. There used to be a time where a qb like Micheal Vick or rb like Adrian Peterson would only come along every 6 to 10 years or so, now you see these type of phenominal Athletes each and every year. (See Cam Newton 2011 and RG3 2012) Such a trend only insures
that fans will pay to see such players because they offer hope for glory and wins.

There are really no more lawsuits going on now then as compared to any other time in the history of the NFL. the popularity of the internet and the media only makes it appear that there are more lawsuits. Its all good man.

#10 Underseige

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:53 AM

Parents won't allow their kids to play football, or at least steer them in a different direction. I did with my son ten years ago when he was 6 feet at age 14 walking through his new high school and coaches asking if he ever played. Will football go the way of professional boxing? It just may!

Boxing has died because there are no great American fighters in the heavy weight division. Simple as that. CC or Muhammad Ali was the last great entertainer the public could get to know. He was a fighter with a dream but also one that Americans could enjoy in real life as well. Today there are no great American heavyweights that the American people can get their teeth into. No fighter since Ray Leonard has been as open to the public. Without the Heavy Weights the boxing game will always be considered as the equivalent of AAA in baseball. You need the big boys and home grown hero's to represent the USA in the Olympics and then create a bond with the public.

#11 DColeman

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:45 PM

Boxing has died because there are no great American fighters in the heavy weight division. Simple as that. CC or Muhammad Ali was the last great entertainer the public could get to know. He was a fighter with a dream but also one that Americans could enjoy in real life as well. Today there are no great American heavyweights that the American people can get their teeth into. No fighter since Ray Leonard has been as open to the public. Without the Heavy Weights the boxing game will always be considered as the equivalent of AAA in baseball. You need the big boys and home grown hero's to represent the USA in the Olympics and then create a bond with the public.


Very true. But did you think Flacco was that good today? ;)
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#12 Peej7245

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:42 PM

Boxing has died because there are no great American fighters in the heavy weight division. Simple as that. CC or Muhammad Ali was the last great entertainer the public could get to know. He was a fighter with a dream but also one that Americans could enjoy in real life as well. Today there are no great American heavyweights that the American people can get their teeth into. No fighter since Ray Leonard has been as open to the public. Without the Heavy Weights the boxing game will always be considered as the equivalent of AAA in baseball. You need the big boys and home grown hero's to represent the USA in the Olympics and then create a bond with the public.


Another problem with professional boxing (I boxed Golden Gloves only, but have followed the sport for decades) was the idiotic promoters. You had guys like Arum and King who each wanted to be the big dog on the block and tried to set up fights under their conditions and theirs only.

They established boxing organizations to enforce their desires. That's why you would see a champion in one league HAVE TO fight the Nbr 1 contender, who was not the best fighter available, or "lose his belt".

The NFL has become a 9 Billion a year business precisely because each team has to play everyone on its schedule - and the schedule is designed to help the lower ranked teams and make it harder on the higher ranked ones.

Over the years, the fact of life in the NFL is that, with very few exceptions, any team can believe reasonably that they can win at the start of the season.

#13 Ravens2006

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:43 PM

Boxing has died because there are no great American fighters in the heavy weight division. Simple as that. CC or Muhammad Ali was the last great entertainer the public could get to know. He was a fighter with a dream but also one that Americans could enjoy in real life as well. Today there are no great American heavyweights that the American people can get their teeth into. No fighter since Ray Leonard has been as open to the public. Without the Heavy Weights the boxing game will always be considered as the equivalent of AAA in baseball. You need the big boys and home grown hero's to represent the USA in the Olympics and then create a bond with the public.


Boxing has died more because of the fact that I haven't seen a remotely noteworthy title fight since my father took me to a bar to watch a Tyson fight on their pay-per-view (and I was way under age). I like boxing, but I'm not paying PPV money to watch the fights that matter.
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#14 Fang

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:56 AM

As long as the NFL has a salary cap it isn't going any where anytime soon. It seems to be stil growing in popularity every year. The Junior Seau death while tragic, will have no bearing on the fan's desire to watch.

I would even argue the Saints' bounty program makes people want to watch even more. Negative advertising sometimes helps and I think this one of those cases.

#15 Ravens2006

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:57 AM

The NFL and football in general isn't going to struggle anytime soon. They'll just gradually legislative more of the brute force out of the game. I think that while "purists" still like the aspect of the ground and pound side of the game, it will eventually evolve to something more along the lines of arena football in offensive theory, with simple stopping / slowing progress (without even tackling) bringing the play to an end. And as silly as that sounds, I think we're decades away from that foolishness. But it will still play well with the majority of fans now, who already think the entire game is summarized by the TD pass highlights they see on SportsCenter.

Personally, I think there HAS to be a better way to protect the head in terms of helmet technology. I'd be very interested to see the results of some "crash test dummy" style study where they use shells that aren't rock-solid, but actually give a little and absorb more of the impacts. But another part of me says that if it was possible, it would already be in use... :confused:

Maybe I'll build a prototype of my styrofoam / memory foam hybrid idea and pitch it on Shark Tank...
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#16 mythoughts

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:28 PM

The NFL and football in general isn't going to struggle anytime soon. They'll just gradually legislative more of the brute force out of the game. I think that while "purists" still like the aspect of the ground and pound side of the game, it will eventually evolve to something more along the lines of arena football in offensive theory, with simple stopping / slowing progress (without even tackling) bringing the play to an end. And as silly as that sounds, I think we're decades away from that foolishness. But it will still play well with the majority of fans now, who already think the entire game is summarized by the TD pass highlights they see on SportsCenter.

Personally, I think there HAS to be a better way to protect the head in terms of helmet technology. I'd be very interested to see the results of some "crash test dummy" style study where they use shells that aren't rock-solid, but actually give a little and absorb more of the impacts. But another part of me says that if it was possible, it would already be in use... :confused:

Maybe I'll build a prototype of my styrofoam / memory foam hybrid idea and pitch it on Shark Tank...


Don't just look at the NFL.
You need to look at the entire sport of football.
The NFL is just the apex of the sport.
But it's not just NFL players that are developing traumatic brain injuries while in their 40s from the concussions they suffered in High School and College. The NFL players are the only ones you hear about.
The NFL has the money to keep going but what's going to happen is that High Schools and Colleges are going to eliminate the sport. They are going to fear lawsuits based on medical studies. I think we will start seeing this in about 2 years. Youth organization too will be dropping (tackle) football too. You will probably continue to see youth flag football, which by the way, is becoming hugely popular in some areas of the country. Colleges will follow shortly by dropping the sport. Most Colleges will save a lot of money by dropping football programs. And as I've said, if kids aren't playing football as a youth and in High School where are the schools that would like to continue with football, like your Floridas, Alabamas, USCs going to get their players? And if players aren't playing football in College where is the NFL going to get it players? And is that a game you will what to watch? The quality will be even lower than strike/replacement games.
2009 is the International Year of Astronomy
Have you looked through a telescope this year ?

Saturday October 24, 2009 is Astronomy Day.
Consider visiting a local astronomy club/astronomical society, planetarium, or observatory to take a look at the sky through a telescope.

http://www.astroleag...y/astroday.html

#17 Ravens2006

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:07 PM

I get the whole trickle-down aspect of it. Maybe I'm oversimplifying it, but I think a lot of the legal (thus monetary) risk from a team / school's perspective can be avoided by fairly standard "waivers" that release them from responsibility. You add a few lines or a couple of paragraphs to a legal waiver that parents and/or the athletes sign off on... improve the equipment... and legislate out all head-to-head contact (I think that WILL happen at some point).

But I don't think most kids have the self-restraint to walk away from the game because of the dangers, nor do most parents have the will-power to say "no" to their kids for the same reason. Football as it stands now is the most popular spectator sport in the country. That also means huge ratings, advertising revenue, and enormous amounts of money. The networks, the league, and the colleges all stand to lose too much (money) in the big picture to let the sport die (even if that means pay-offs to smaller schools that might not always be in the black). And I think that trickle down effect will put money in to the rec leagues and high-schools to keep the sport going if need be. Call me cynical, but I put more stock in the power of entertainment and money than I do in the idea that more people will do what's best for their health. :o
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#18 mythoughts

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:57 PM

A waiver would be less than useless.
And insurance companies aren't going to insure the schools and organizations that wish to sponsor football programs.
2009 is the International Year of Astronomy
Have you looked through a telescope this year ?

Saturday October 24, 2009 is Astronomy Day.
Consider visiting a local astronomy club/astronomical society, planetarium, or observatory to take a look at the sky through a telescope.

http://www.astroleag...y/astroday.html

#19 johnpolitics

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 05:08 PM

The problem with football isn't going to be the parents, it's going to be the organizations where the kids growing up play football. Rec Leagues, High Schools and most colleges are going to fear lawsuits. With so many former NFL players dying in their 40s and 50s and many many more suffering from long term devastating brain injuries it will be very difficult to defend from lawsuits.

The fact is most people really do not understand the risk. And the risk they take on be themselves is minimal - maybe 1%. But the organizations that sponsor football know that their risk, when they have hundreds or thousands of players go through their organization know that their risk is nearly 100%.

If I own a pool and I put up a sign in water 3 foot deep "Dive at Own Risk" if someone gets injured guess what I'm liable. I had a duty a try to prevent diving in that area not just warn people (that is I had an obligation to put up a "No Diving" sign, not a "Dive at Own Risk" sign.)

I think within 2 years you're going to see entire Counties eliminating High School football. There just isn't any incentive for them to continue with the sport. And as that grows, if kids aren't playing football in High School, there won't be kids playing in College, and if players are playing in College where is the NFL going to gets its players.

Personally, I think that sheer training and perhaps steroids/perfomance enhancing drugs are playing a big part of this. Players have literally gotten too big and too fast to make the game safe to play anymore. And to a certain extent better field conditions and NFL rules that have encouraged a faster game are causing more violent collison and lingering injuries. The game is probably safer to play in grass and mud, or in snow, and with rules that allow more bumping. The game would be slower and less violent.
The human body was not designed to take continuous pounding from 300 pound players running and 25 mph.

I said last year that I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the Law Office of Peter G Angelos itself was looking into a class-action lawsuit against the NFL. Perhaps the NFL could survive a $3 billion lawsuit (or what ever the amount would be) but certainly Harford or Howard County Public Schools, or Loyola or Calvert Hall couldn't.


Won't be banned in Texas. I saw 10,000 seat studuim in Texas for football and it was a MIDDLE SCHOOL!

#20 Ravens2006

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 05:48 PM

To be contrary... :)

You can get people to sign away their right to pursue legal action pretty easily, and I don't think it's a useless exercise. Waivers and consent forms are typically written for the express purpose of releasing one party of legal responsibility for certain events. A quick, catastrophic event is a tall order to pursue legally when you've signed away certain rights. Something that is typically based on long-term, repeated, cumulative effects is hard enough to prove even without an up-front acknowledgment of risk. Philip Morris is still a thriving business, despite the bad publicity, known health risks, countless lawsuits, and increased insurance rates. Alcohol in and of itself is potentially dangerous to not only those using it, but EVERYONE around them. Nobody seems to give a crud about that. It's not driving people to change for the better.

We could go further and assume that a fraction of the schools / programs that exist now will exist 15 or 20 years from now. The sport's popularity world-wide is growing. Who's to say that the NFL of the year 2030 doesn't look more like the NHL or MLB does today (with a heavy dose of international talent)? And if high schools drop the sport en masse, you can bet the farm that an alternate system for young talent to participate in will pop up quickly. More rec leagues, more private leagues, the equivalent of "AAU" ball, you name it... something will fill the void.

I think the ultimate answer for decades to come will be improved safety equipment and new rules to limit helmet-to-anything contact at all levels.
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