EP 652 Football: No Pain, No Game

: This year’s Super Bowl was one of the most watched in history.  This follows the release of new research from the NFL showing a dramatic increase in concussions, even after lawsuits and new ‘safety protocols.’  Football used to be thought of as a game that kept orthopedists in business.  Today, it’s the domain of many more specialists including neurologists and trauma specialists.  And while the popularity of the game has never been higher the brutality of the current form is more punishing for those who play it consistently and at a high level.  With linemen weighing in at over 300 pounds and experiencing mini- concussive events on most plays, it has become a gladiatorial sport.  Do you care what it says about us as a society that we watch it, despite the personal damage it is inflicting on the players?  I have stopped watching the game, not wanting to support the enterprise.  I was convinced to do so by an interview with Steve Almond, author of “Against Football.” A devotee of the game, he swore it off after realizing that his support, along with millions of others, was the sustaining force behind a life shortening, crippling and diminishing sport.  He may not convince you to do the same, but you’ll never watch another football game without remembering his words.