I disagree with Hightower.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

American Football

Two things about American football.

Personal perspective declaration:  I never played anything except backyard football and I was very bad at that.  But I am a fair weather fan of the Dallas Cowboys.

1.  There have been a number of stories in the news the last few years about how football head damage usually results, not from one jarring hit, but from the accumulation of little hits and little concussions over the years.  As this becomes more and more well known I would expect a long term decline in the sport among the very young where it is most dangerous.  Whether that will move up the ladder and lead to a long term decline in the sport I, of course, don't know.  I would speculate that it might, if long term means in a century or so.
I think that that would not be inappropriate. Because of an attitude that prevails in the NFL and elsewhere which is well represented by a story I once heard (perhaps apocryphal) of a defensive back (A player who tries to keep the pass receivers from catching the ball and stopping them if they do catch it.) who told a reporter that his objective was to "hit the receivers in the middle of their back so hard that when the next pass came in they would think more about the coming hit that the spiraling football."  That is not a sport, that is Rollerball.

2.  The NCAA imposed an appropriately harsh sentence on Penn State.  However, there is one part of it that I think may be ill advised.
 "The NCAA also erased 14 years of victories..."  

a.    What does that mean?  
Do the teams that lost now get declared to have been the victors?

b.    This would seem much more appropriate if the crimes had been related to "the winning of games" such as recruiting violations.  But they were not.

c.  Also, this rewriting of history sounds more than a little bit Orwellian.

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