General Sportsball thread

But I wasn’t addressing this latest impact. I was instead addressing more generally, as you yourself put it, “the impact of the sport.” And that impact is horrific, as with boxing or MMA.

Yes, most sports are indeed risky, but comparing injuries in baseball to those in US football is oddly ridiculous.


You might be surprised. Now, there are a million qualifiers there like adjusting for player’s age and frequency of play time, but the overall thrust is that higher levels of “excellent training and nutrition, a good salary, top-quality medical care, and so on (fta)” mean that NFL players generally have longer life expectancy than us mere mortals. Of course, it’s also not touching on quality of life because this study was done at the inception of the discussion around CTE, but the progress that has been made in that realm is light years beyond 2012 and constantly improving to the degree that players are openly upset with the league for what they feel is over-compensation. I can’t say the same of really any other sport. Hell, the NHL all but encourages bare-knuckle fist-fighting and has people whose sole job is to beat the shit out of guys, for which they receive a five minute time-out.

But I think that’s missing the point, honestly. And I think the question of why people love sport is missing the point as well. The question to me is why does football, and the NFL in particular, draw so much attention to the subject of player health and safety when other, more violent sports are virtually ignored in public discourse? I think it has to do with the special place that NFL football holds compared to any other sport. It is the ultimate manifestation of racial inequality, the use of Black bodies for entertainment and profit, the command of white men over often poor minorities’ lives, the appropriation of oppressed peoples’ cultures, the extraordinary “waste” of resources (scare quotes because one person’s waste is another’s investment), the visceral nature of the violence on display (even though they’re better protected than many other sports) and the fact that it is our national sport and therefore a reflection of our culture. But having said all of that, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single one of those players who would be willing to walk off the field forever.

Again, this wasn’t a particularly remarkable impact. And I’m not saying that to exonerate the violence, but point out that the conversation around NFL football is disproportionate to that of other circumstances when a person actually dies while playing or performing (Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR, Reggie Lewis in the NBA, Hank Gathers in NCAA Basketball). And I’m happy that it’s disproportionate. It needs to be to prompt change. But it does also mean that the NFL faces significantly more criticism than other sports, even seemingly innocuous ones like baseball that still take a significant toll.

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Morons. Have they been frozen in a glacier? Even with mandatory cardiac screening of young athletes, this happens often enough to be on any non-moron’s awareness and has been the case long before COVID. One of my high school peers died of sudden cardiac death during practice decades ago.


I think because they are the king of the heap. You don’t change large scale issues by boycotting the local corner store, for example, you do it by boycotting a big chain or brand. Same goes for changes in sports safety, I’d presume. The other sports you mention don’t even make this list:


I hope it is well recieved. Flag football is a much more fast-paced and entertaining sport, frankly. I might actually start watching football again if the NFL made that shift.


You know, I didn’t address this above, but it’s a point that bears discussion. There’s no denying that this has been a major factor in football for a long time, but I don’t really think it is so much these days. Some of the players who were considered the greatest of all time were notorious for hits, tackles and blocks that are illegal today and the audience and broadcasters absolutely relished is. However, I think a lot has changed over the past few decades. For one, they don’t show brutal hits over and over and over again on broadcasts any more. They’ll show the replay of what happened, but I mean they used to just hit repeat the entire rest of the game. The announcers also immediately go to concern for the injured player now as opposed to relishing the brutality; they used to sound gleeful at times. A lot has changed to the degree that a lot of older people think the game is too soft now, but the overall tone of the game left them behind 20 years ago and, honestly, most of those older players would get handily defeated in today’s league.

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Your lips to God’s (Or Roger Goodell’s) ears, man.


Yeah, who would have ever thought the NFL would come up with a great solution that makes everyone happy? This will be the first exciting pro bowl ever.

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Then you haven’t been paying attention. That’s maybe a bigger draw now than ever.


How do you mean? I’m not the biggest sports fan and definitely don’t watch every game, but the tone and culture is massively different than when I was a kid. Maybe I don’t hang out with enough assholes?

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Thing is, physics is a pretty unbreakable set of laws. In the 70’s, the “Steel Curtain” of the Pittsburgh Steelers was known as “Half a ton of trouble.” 4 guys at ~250# each. Playing the defensive line. Now, there are precious few linemen under 300#, and they run like RB’s used to. F=m*a is a basic rule. More mass, more speed, more force. Problem is, these are still bog-standard human body tissues being subjected to these ever-increasing forces. And ligaments, neural tissue, cardiac conduction tissues, were never meant to be subject to these sorts of accelerations once, let alone over and over and over. To my knowledge, football is one of the very few professions that feature 100% injury rates. (Boxing, MMA and other combat sports probably do as well, but I don’t have those figures to hand.) And the severity of those injuries can be horrific, even if the plays themselves don’t look that bad. As I said, I see no way forward for this sport in it’s current form.


Meme Reaction GIF by Robert E Blackmon

But hey… white people need to be entertained, so it’s worth subjecting Black men to violence for their edification! /s :roll_eyes:

Sometimes I have living in this stupid world where people’s safety and humanity are less valuable than some people’s pleasure…


Now now, let’s all just shut up and eat our bread and circuses.

High Five White Bread GIF

/s obvs


I don’t think this can be overemphasized. I just looked up the Purple People Eaters from around the same time, same thing- they were all around 250. Besides exploring flag football, I wish they would explore simply instituting a weight limit. Linemen generally have to intentionally overeat to maintain an extra large size anyway.


I mean, we all enjoy entertainment, but at this point I don’t see how anyone can defend the NFL. Between the physical toll the game takes on players, and just how white ownership/management/coaching is skewed vs. the players… It’s just an exploitative institution, and anyone who can’t see that is willfully blind.


Apparently I do. The NFL has been cracking down on dangerous hits in the last several years, but when players get penalized/ejected/fined for it, a lot of fans complain. I don’t pay a ton of attention to football, but it crosses my attention when it overlaps healthcare. The comments from fans after Tua Tagovailoa’s consecutive concussions offer a gruesome counter to your assertion.


That’s a great explainer, thanks!
It got me wondering if the risk is higher when the heart rate is faster. Like, for example, baseball fielders probably have lower heart rates, so that t-wave is less frequent, and if they get hit by a ball, it’s likely a very short duration hit.
Versus footballers, whose hearts are pounding faster, so they’re having more frequent t-wave, so if they experience a hit like the one in the video which is at least 1/4 of a second of trauma, would it be more likely that the hit would coincide with the window where it could cause the heart attack?


Editing to clarify based on private conversations that this is not a personal or direct attack on @mindysan, but rather a critique of this often-used rhetorical argument.

Every time the subject of football comes up, especially around tragic circumstances, people trot out this tired old argument. They think they’re defending the players, but in reality it’s just another form of fetishization and weaponization of Black men.

Do you think that this young man is a victim? That he was “subjected” to something? Do you think that he was ignorant and didn’t understand the risks involved? Do you think that this degree-holding, charitable, mother-loving son was duped by Roger Goodell? Or the University of Pittsburgh?

Do you even know his name without looking it up? Because I promise you the entire city of Buffalo spent all last night and all of today with his name on their lips in prayer. And so did Cincinnati. In fact, they held vigil all night at his hospital. And donated over 4 million dollars to the charity he founded before he even got drafted. Before he even got a single dime from the NFL, he was giving it away so that poor kids would have something to open at Christmas.

He and every other NFL player that you so blithely dismiss as victims or suckers spent their entire lives training for their moment. They put extraordinary work in on the field, in the locker room and in the classroom ensuring they could be their best self. They spend their entire lives looking up to amazing athletes like Derek Thomas and Jerry Rice in hopes of one day accomplishing something even remotely close to what they did.

And you know what; they’re fucking proud of it. They love this game with all its flaws and know the risks. These aren’t suckers and dupes, they’re athletes with more dedication than can be mustered spending hours and hours on BBS. And so many of their friends didn’t make it. And they’re painfully aware of that fact.

L’Jarius Sneed’s brother was murdered last season; his only male role model, the last of his lineage to spend time in prison. He was the last because L’Jarius is the generational change and football is his ticket to be that. It is totally fucked that Black men have so few options in America, but I’m not about to shit on their dreams because I project my hangups onto their dreams.

I’d encourage everyone on this thread to actually go and read about this extraordinary young man. Look at his proud, strong face and dare to think of him as a sucker or a victim. Because I promise you he is not and your concern isn’t helping him heal one single bit. He’s not an abstraction, he’s a real human living his dream. I’m sorry it’s not yours, but I doubt that he and his family care much right now.

DB Damar Hamlin #3 with his momma who is very, very proud of him and by his bedside as we speak.

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It’s me who is really exploiting young Black working class men by pointing out the problems with racism in the NFL… /s

Sure Jan GIF

Sure. It’s all in my head. /s


… the only thing that stops a bad guy with a concussion is a good guy with a concussion :face_with_monocle: