Nothing is too Big to Fail
Ever since the sport came around, it has captivated audiences in ways that fascinate and amaze psychologists and sociologists. The NFL has nurtured and grown into one of the largest industries in the world, expecting to bring in over $13 Billion in 2016. The sport has grown so rapidly, with talent spiking over the last 10 or so years, that the NFL is primed to be what the nation wants to watch for a very long time. Unfortunately for all of us, that won’t happen, as nothing is too big to fail.
I mean really though, football is the best. Only 16 games a year makes it very easy to be very dedication to a team. It’s pretty much just the fall and into winter, if your team is good. It’s almost like they own the same day of the week the church used to own, with the way so many people prioritize football and their team.
Those guys go to war every weak and get incredibly banged up every week, but this isn’t anything new to them. They’ve been doing this their whole life most of them—pop warner, high school college, college, NFL. That’s a lot of hits, bruises, injuries, and concussions. As much as it pains me to say this, and it does because I love this sport, football will not be a sport within the next two to three decades. I don’t care how much money it makes. I don’t care how popular and glorified it is in every young kid’s eyes, it will cease to exist.
This statement usually comes as a shock to people, and many disagree, but I say just take a look at the league right now. These guys are beating the hell out of each other, with absolutely no regard for any safety or sense of prolonging the sport. The first game of the year set the ball rolling, when the Broncos absolutely annihilated Cam Newton. There were at least four over the line helmet-to-helmet hits, and only one flag was thrown by Gene Steratore and his crew. Players are getting stronger, bigger, and faster causing them to become more aggressive. The game is speeding up at a dangerous pace, and players aren’t adapting to their strength. Football has always been about going all out — you can’t change that. And now that the game has elevated to this level, it is seriously dangerous.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, know more commonly has CTE, has become a serious problem in the NFL, and I believe it will ultimately be the death of the football. In 2013, The NFL imposed a ban that forbid players of tackling using the crown of their helmet. So, it makes sense that the number of concussions went down the next two years, but in 2015 those numbers were back up and they were as high as they’ve ever been, reporting a 25% increase over the average from 2012–2014 in the 2016 NFL Health and Safety Report.
I don’t mean to say that football is just going to exist one day then cease to exist the next. I believe that it will begin with concerned mothers. This news about CTE isn’t made up, it’s real, and it’s here. What mother is going to let her young kid play football when she knows that the longer her kid plays the better chance he has of dying young. There are so many other sports out there that it isn’t like it’s football or bust. I believe over time we will see a serious decrease from the younger levels in both quality and quantity of players. This will eventually translate into high school, then college, and finally the NFL will be the last to go.
Additionally, the referees aren’t doing anything to help the players or the NFL’s case. A report came out that the referees missed 16 game-changing calls in the Jaguars-Packers game. These missed calls are translating over into missed helmet-to-helmet calls as well, which is creating a serious problem for the NFL. Similarly, Newton faced another helmet-to-helmet hit, which was not called, against the Falcons — this one causing him to miss time due to concussion protocol. I truly believe the referees missed this call; however, regardless of whether they did or didn’t that doesn’t change the fact that the players aren’t doing anything to help their case and they are only perpetuating this problem the NFL cannot seem to stay away from.
According to their 2016 Health and Safety Report, the NFL has done things like moving the ball out to the 25 rather than the 20 yard line to incentivize touchbacks and reduce injury on a return and expanding protections related to the horse collar tackle. However, these things won’t help. If the game is on the line and you need a big return, players are still going to take the ball out of the end zone because they believe in their ability, that’s why they’re there in the first place. Similarly, there will still be horse collar tackles, that’s something you just cannot change.
Nothing is too big to fail. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. The NFL is a phenomenal industry that has dominated our country for a long time now. It is a massive source of revenue and generates tons of revenue and business for other people. However, when a sport is so dangerous that it is literally killing its players, that is not a sustainable business practice and it will eventually come crashing down. Aside from the M*A*S*H finale, the other 19 of the top 20 most viewed television events in US history are super bowls. But regardless of all this, football won’t last because eventually people will realize it isn’t worth dying for. I’m sure some players would argue that statement, but young kids and mothers don’t think that way. And when you cut off the supply of future NFL players, overtime the NFL will cease to exist.