Economists: Head injuries will destroy NFL

The following economists say head injuries might eventually transform football, if not the entire sports landscape, in the United States. Within 10 to 15 years, they argue, the NFL might slip below the NHL’s popularity. Is that possible? Had you asked Americans in the 1930s about horse racing, they’d have said you’re nuts, that horses like Sea Biscuit and War Admiral would be remembered forever. Americans in the 1950s would have mocked any suggestion that boxingwould be marginalized within a few decades. In fact, Americans in the 1950s would have rolled their eyes had you suggested football would grow so strongly that Super Bowl Sunday would essentially become a national holiday.

The authors chronicle a doomsday scenario where CTE fears will prompt football to slowly lose its economic, social and entertainment values, eventually rendering it less popular than rugby in the United States. The argument is a hybrid column, really. Like any good column, this one is alarmingly logical and specific evidence supports all claims. Check it out – even if afterward you’ll probably need to leave the light on in order to sleep. Sweet dreams.


About jgisondi

I covered sports and worked as a sports copy editor for more than 20 years at several newspapers in Florida, including the Fort Myers News-Press, Clearwater Sun, Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. I started writing for a weekly sports publication in Coral Springs, Fla., at age 15. I have been hooked on sports journalism ever since. I was fortunate to have worked with some amazing editors along the way, journalists who took the time to help me even when my copy was not top-notch. Now, I teach journalism at Eastern Illinois University and work as an editor for, a vertical that focuses on Big Ten athletics. A second edition of the "Field Guide To Covering Sports" will be available sometime in February 2017. The book is a practical guide to preparing, observing, interviewing and writing about 20 different sports, from auto racing to wrestling. Chapters also address ways to cover high school sports, fantasy sports, to develop sports blogs. You can also learn how to cover games, to write features and to interview better. Fans can also learn basic rules of these sports, along with ways to better observe the action. New chapters in the second edition will address social media, advanced analytics, fantasy sports coverage and revised, expanded chapters address game coverage, features and columns, among other new sections.
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