Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Football: too dangerous to watch?
Maybe you spotted this item on Slate.com yesterday: Malcolm Gladwell thinks we should ban college football.
I'm not a football fan—heck, I have trouble keeping track of the sports seasons, is it time for hockey yet?—so I wouldn't care one way or the other. Maybe you care…check out Gladwell's line of argument, here's the link.
His scenario: colleges "maim and exploit" their football players without paying them, colleges will end up in court, insurance companies will stop insuring the collegiate football programs, colleges will stop offering football programs and the feeder system for professional football will start to dry up.
Hold off on buying those season tickets for the Steelers….
Now, my personal counselor wisely says, fuggeddaboudit, college football ain't gonna disappear anytime soon. She's right. Alumni everywhere will resist, highly paid coaches haven't finished building their legends, and the TV rights for the Orange Bowl are very persuasive….
Gladwell notes that pro boxing is very dangerous unless you think getting punched in the head a few thousand times is a healthy choice….and pro boxing used to be much more popular, think "Friday Night Fights," I remember watching them…Malcolm presses his point: boxing has persisted, but is slowly and irreversibly declining.
Anyway, he says, banning college football because it's dangerous to amateur players is one question. "A better question is whether it is ethical to WATCH football."
Might take a while for Penn State Nittany Lions fans to chew on that one…..