By Eric Schmidt

I spend about 12 hours a day on the computer and in the last two weeks, I’ve seen a disturbing trend in the subject of articles I’ve seen about professional football. Numerous articles have been written, all with the same twist. It’s time to stop the game of pro football. It’s inhumane, it’s barbaric, how can a normal person watch this game without being disturbed?

Whether football fans want to admit it or not, the game that we love is under serious attack and the lapdogs in the media are predictably falling right in line. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, like him or not, needs to start focusing more on his upcoming concussion lawsuit and less on placing a team in London, because that case could be the first domino to fall in a line that leads right to the eventual end of the game as we know it.

In recent weeks, writers from institutions such as the Washington Post and New York Times have penned columns instructing those of us, the great unwashed, what we should believe about the game of football. Those columns plead with the football fan to become introspective and reassess the game and ourselves.

Today comes another column, this time from the Boston Globe. Bob Ryan asks, “Would we be better off without football?”

I’ve linked the column above and you can read it on your own time, but let me just pull a few quotes from this piece. Predictably, the article asks the football fan to look deep inside ones self and question how you can support this game.

I believe that millions of American football fans live in denial. There are disturbing facts about football at their disposal they choose to ignore. Football maims people. Football can cause severe neurological damage.

I speak not of theory. I speak of fact.

This being true, how can any serious person support such an activity?,” writes Mr. Ryan.

I used to be a commercial fisherman. Per capita, the most dangerous occupation in the country. Just as football players do, I entered into my occupation knowing full well the dangers associated with my profession. Fishing maims people. People die in the commercial fishing profession, yet Deadliest Catch is one of the highest rated reality shows on television. I wonder if Mr. Ryan smokes or has an occasional adult beverage? I wonder if he drives or rides in an automobile. Do you know how many people are killed each day in automobile accidents? Far more than those playing football.

Football has never been safe. It never will be safe. Let’s table that discussion right now,” Mr. Ryan opines.

Nothing in life is safe. Nothing. Life comes with inherent risks associated with it. No one has ever said that football is safe. Mr. Ryan claims to be a baseball fan. Does he think that getting plunked in the head with a 99 mph fastball while wearing a joke of a batting helmet is safe?

Then Mr. Ryan turns the tone of his article to the typical, elitist, I know better than you so listen to what I have to say, part of the article.

“But let’s get back to the fans. Much like boxing, football is a very, very difficult game to support on a moral basis. How callous, or stupid, must one be in order to select as one’s favorite sport an activity that is guaranteed to have an adverse effect on the overall physical and neurological health of a disproportionate number of its participants?”

There you have it football fans- you are callous and/or stupid. Mr. Ryan finished his article by stating that he watches the game but if it were to disappear, it wouldn’t bother him in the least.

Make no mistake about it football fans, this game is under attack. Trial attorneys in the impending concussion lawsuit see a money grab with the NFL pulling in about $9 billion a year. This isn’t about player safety, it’s all about the money just as the tobacco lawsuit spearheaded by Peter Angelos wasn’t about smoking, it was about the money.

Members of the media are going to do all they can to support this movement to bring down the game of football. These scribes and talking heads on political based television shows feel a sense of responsibility to help shape public opinion. They feel the need to help us see things differently, for we know not what we do.

I’ve never seen the all out media push against football as I’ve seen this year and it’s not going away. While the attorneys and the media might not be able to crumble the monolith known as the NFL, but they can start to erode the base by cutting off the supply of talent. I believe the overall agenda by the media here is to get moms and dads right now to change their mind about little Johnny playing football this year or next year. He should play soccer instead. Start getting enough parents prohibiting their children from playing football and eventually high schools don’t have enough players to field teams. That trickles into the college level and you see the eventual progression of the talent level decreasing. In their minds, hopefully ending the game altogether.

Granted, this is not going to be something that happens overnight, but these folks in the media don’t want it to happen overnight. They are patient. They want it ongoing, it’s job security. It will be an endless, relentless push and football fans and the NFL are going to have to push back.

After all it’s about player safety. Or is it the money…..






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Readers Comments (3)

  1. avatar BOBO

    I was born in New York and grew up in Boston, and having spent most of my life there you are either a Boston Globe reader or a Boston Herald reader. Mr. Ryan has made a career writing his crap in a crap newspaper while passing himself off as a sportswriter analyst on television. Everyone in the world has an opinion about Boston sports fans.I,like so many others from that region, have learned not to pay very much attention to most of the Boston sports writers.Any of the “good” ones we had over the years left Boston and achieved national prominence on a much larger scale than the politically correct ESPN bum smoochers we have to endure every afternoon. I’d rather watch Maury Povitch reruns on Fox. As soon as you mentioned Mr. Ryan’s name I knew the article you refered to wasn’t worth the time to read it or the ultra soft charmin it was written on. Congrats to Mr. Ryan for making a living out of being just another Boston “go with the flow” bullcrap artist while the newspaper he writes for circles the bowl.


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