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Bob Costas on the Future of Football

baadbill : 11/8/2017 3:57 pm
USA Today: Bob Costas on the future of football: 'This game destroys people's brains'

Quote:
As far as longtime sports broadcaster Bob Costas is concerned, the future of football in the United States is clear ó and bleak.

ďThe reality is that this game destroys peopleís brains," he said Tuesday night.

Bob Costas on the future of football: 'This game destroys people's brains' - ( New Window )
I think football  
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 11/8/2017 3:58 pm : link
will go the way of boxing.
I watched some of the symposium  
AnnapolisMike : 11/8/2017 4:06 pm : link
They are right. Youth programs will eventually disband and that will be the beginning of the end. The game as it is played now is not sustainable long term. 20-30 years from now football will go the way of boxing.

I think eventually...  
Jim in Tampa : 11/8/2017 4:08 pm : link
We will see something resembling flag football, which would all but eliminate concussions caused by tacking. I just don't know how they could eliminate concussions caused by blocking.
Football  
AcidTest : 11/8/2017 4:08 pm : link
has two problems: (1) increased societal knowledge of how it damages brains, and (2) a plethora of other activities and forms of entertainment. It's entrenched nature means it will still be around for a long time, but it looks like a balloon with a slow but steady leak.
It's still our #1 sport.....  
BillKo : 11/8/2017 4:10 pm : link
but I have thought about the game becoming extinct in 25 years.

One thing I threw out years ago....weight limits on players. However, I'm not sure if that would actually help.

You'd still have guys flying around and jolting each other.........
Anyone happen to catch  
Emil : 11/8/2017 4:16 pm : link
the piece on MMQB on Brett Favre partnering with a pharmaceutical company on drugs to treat concussions.

I don't think anyone under the age of 12 should be playing tackle football, but I've always had that view. I understand how everyone feels, and understand how everyone points the latest CTE studies as the sign that football will go the way of the DoDo, but I would caution everyone that we are all still dealing with incomplete information. This slate article from July does a good job of outlining what we know, don't know, and where our gaps are. Simply listing the latest study showing evidence of CTE in X number of donated brains does not by itself answer the questions.

Also, Bob Costas is a great broadcaster, but he frequently has a habit of delivering his opinion as fact.
Inflategate - ( New Window )
think of how many people on this site alone  
UConn4523 : 11/8/2017 4:28 pm : link
have talked about watching almost no football outside of the Giants. 5 years ago that wasn't the case - myself included. The last few years I've stopped caring about the NFL and its also extended into my group of friends as well as many of my family members. Add in the fact that its a horrible sport to follow for the younger generation that wants non-stop action and you have a sport that has likely peaked and will be in damage control soon (I believe its happened already).
RE: It's still our #1 sport.....  
Jim in Tampa : 11/8/2017 4:44 pm : link
In comment 13682559 BillKo said:
Quote:
but I have thought about the game becoming extinct in 25 years.

One thing I threw out years ago....weight limits on players. However, I'm not sure if that would actually help.

You'd still have guys flying around and jolting each other.........


Not sure weight limits will help that much. Just Google "concussions girls high school soccer" and you'll see that it's a big problem with ANY contact sport, no matter what size the participants.
RE: RE: It's still our #1 sport.....  
Emil : 11/8/2017 5:04 pm : link
In comment 13682655 Jim in Tampa said:
Quote:
In comment 13682559 BillKo said:


Quote:


but I have thought about the game becoming extinct in 25 years.

One thing I threw out years ago....weight limits on players. However, I'm not sure if that would actually help.

You'd still have guys flying around and jolting each other.........



Not sure weight limits will help that much. Just Google "concussions girls high school soccer" and you'll see that it's a big problem with ANY contact sport, no matter what size the participants.


Really good point. So my honest question to all of America is, what do we do with contact sports then?

There is so much we don't know. If you tell me that the majority of people suffering from CTE live the long productive life of Frank Gifford then I'll say, ok then. If you tell me that the majority end up like former Bills LB Daryl Talley, then we have a problem.
"This game destroys people's brains"  
Giants_ROK : 11/8/2017 5:24 pm : link
No shit.

Watching the Giants this season has destroyed my brain.
RE:  
mrvax : 11/8/2017 5:32 pm : link
In comment 13682724 Giants_ROK said:
Quote:
No shit.

Watching the Giants this season has destroyed my brain.


It can explain OBJ's behavior.
RE: RE: RE: It's still our #1 sport.....  
BlackLight : 11/8/2017 5:43 pm : link
In comment 13682698 Emil said:
Quote:
In comment 13682655 Jim in Tampa said:


Quote:


In comment 13682559 BillKo said:


Quote:


but I have thought about the game becoming extinct in 25 years.

One thing I threw out years ago....weight limits on players. However, I'm not sure if that would actually help.

You'd still have guys flying around and jolting each other.........



Not sure weight limits will help that much. Just Google "concussions girls high school soccer" and you'll see that it's a big problem with ANY contact sport, no matter what size the participants.



Really good point. So my honest question to all of America is, what do we do with contact sports then?

There is so much we don't know. If you tell me that the majority of people suffering from CTE live the long productive life of Frank Gifford then I'll say, ok then. If you tell me that the majority end up like former Bills LB Daryl Talley, then we have a problem.


I think well-informed adults should be allowed to play contact sports that bring with them the risk of long-term brain damage. If we can eliminate that risk with better equipment, we should do that, but eventually, I think we need to step back and let grown men do what they're going to do.

What we do with kids is a different question.
As a physician  
Painless62 : 11/8/2017 6:18 pm : link
Here is a perspective from a medical professional. The number one cause of death is living. I have treated numerous horrible injuries from people doing regular jobs. People have life changing injuries doing what we would consider safe jobs. So yes , probably there is a greater chance of neurological damage from contact sports. So these guys can go work on a loading dock and get crushed when a pallet falls on them. While they are making 5% if the money they would in football. Go look at fatalities in logging, police work, firefighting, what have you . Also, it is an absolute fact that radiologic imaging doesnít always translate to expression in people. Do you know how many people are running around in middle age with herniated discs but have no symptoms. How many people at 55 in the general population have CTE radiologically but are asymptomatic? There are plenty of people who are forgetful or get Alzheimerís or whatever who have never played football. The best way to look at this is that there is risk in almost everything we do. The question is how bad is the risk and is it worth it. Shoot , there is plenty of risk in what some people eat that can lead to arterial disease and dementia. You donít need contact sports to get demented or have neuro problems
Costas is a Baseball guy  
Manning10 : 11/8/2017 6:42 pm : link
so I take his comment as wishful thinking on his part.

There will be some form Of Football in the future, too many young men depend on it for a possible big payday. And as you can see In the current NFL there are players from other countries and are actively being recruited from Africa and Eastern Europe.

Lets see if High Schools start to drop Football and Big Urban areas and States all together Ban it...Politics will get involved.


One word:  
Adam G in Big D : 11/8/2017 6:56 pm : link
Robot Football.
RE: As a physician  
Britt in VA : 11/8/2017 7:18 pm : link
In comment 13682792 Painless62 said:
Quote:
Here is a perspective from a medical professional. The number one cause of death is living. I have treated numerous horrible injuries from people doing regular jobs. People have life changing injuries doing what we would consider safe jobs. So yes , probably there is a greater chance of neurological damage from contact sports. So these guys can go work on a loading dock and get crushed when a pallet falls on them. While they are making 5% if the money they would in football. Go look at fatalities in logging, police work, firefighting, what have you . Also, it is an absolute fact that radiologic imaging doesnít always translate to expression in people. Do you know how many people are running around in middle age with herniated discs but have no symptoms. How many people at 55 in the general population have CTE radiologically but are asymptomatic? There are plenty of people who are forgetful or get Alzheimerís or whatever who have never played football. The best way to look at this is that there is risk in almost everything we do. The question is how bad is the risk and is it worth it. Shoot , there is plenty of risk in what some people eat that can lead to arterial disease and dementia. You donít need contact sports to get demented or have neuro problems


Interesting take, here's my counter: That philosophy may make sense for players already entrenched, or on the verge of entering the NFL.

However, in the big picture, the public awareness of CTE is in it's infancy. How many people will now think twice about letting their kids play football?

The issue isn't so much about the current players, it's about the future talent pool

There are only 1600 players play in the NFL. 30,000 play in Division I and II college football. 1.1 million play high school football.

How many parents like those odds considering whether to let their kid play high school football in the future, as we learn more and more about the long term effects of concussions and CTE?
I really feel for the NFL on this issue..  
Sean : 11/8/2017 7:29 pm : link
On one hand, when they try to cut down practice and adjust the rules to be mindful on concusssions/CTE, everyone here says the product sucks.

If they did nothing, the lawsuits would continue to mount, so which is it?

All of these reporters almost sound happy to report the demise of the NFL, including Costas who has made millions off it.

The left get on the NFL regarding the violence while the right gets on it for the protests. They are in a brutal spot.

With that said, Goodell has been excellent at bringing in revenue, but lousy at PR. The sport wonít go away, but it has plateaued, which probably is a good thing.
mr pink eye Costas  
mdc1 : 11/8/2017 7:44 pm : link
always the dbag with a political angle. Wish that fucker would just go away.
If Costas feels this way, that the game "damages peoples' brains" then  
Tom in NY : 11/8/2017 7:49 pm : link
he should refuse to be involved in the broadcast of the games on moral grounds.

You can't collect a big $ salary for broadcasting the games, while claiming that it is too dangerous to be played.

Cocoon  
Painless62 : 11/8/2017 8:43 pm : link
My point is there is risk in so many things. We donít even realize the risk in so many aspects of our daily lives and professions. Football is no different. There is no where near a 100% risk of clinically significant neurological injury. Notice I️ said clinically significant. To quantify the risk you need to examine most 55 to or so ex football players and compare them to the general public.
Btw  
Painless62 : 11/8/2017 8:44 pm : link
I️ phones stink. It is creating weird characters whenever I️ write an I️
RE: I think football  
LauderdaleMatty : 11/8/2017 8:46 pm : link
In comment 13682524 SFGFNCGiantsFan said:
Quote:
will go the way of boxing.


MMA says ok.

And as an aside if Costas feels that way he shouldnít be involved with it at all. Heís willing to make money being involvdd while it does what he says it does? Love the hypocrisy.
RE: As a physician  
LauderdaleMatty : 11/8/2017 8:50 pm : link
In comment 13682792 Painless62 said:
Quote:
Here is a perspective from a medical professional. The number one cause of death is living. I have treated numerous horrible injuries from people doing regular jobs. People have life changing injuries doing what we would consider safe jobs. So yes , probably there is a greater chance of neurological damage from contact sports. So these guys can go work on a loading dock and get crushed when a pallet falls on them. While they are making 5% if the money they would in football. Go look at fatalities in logging, police work, firefighting, what have you . Also, it is an absolute fact that radiologic imaging doesnít always translate to expression in people. Do you know how many people are running around in middle age with herniated discs but have no symptoms. How many people at 55 in the general population have CTE radiologically but are asymptomatic? There are plenty of people who are forgetful or get Alzheimerís or whatever who have never played football. The best way to look at this is that there is risk in almost everything we do. The question is how bad is the risk and is it worth it. Shoot , there is plenty of risk in what some people eat that can lead to arterial disease and dementia. You donít need contact sports to get demented or have neuro problems


Sorry. Common sense and actual medical information do not belong in this discusssion.
RE: As a physician  
baadbill : 11/8/2017 9:07 pm : link
In comment 13682792 Painless62 said:
Quote:
Here is a perspective from a medical professional. The number one cause of death is living. I have treated numerous horrible injuries from people doing regular jobs. People have life changing injuries doing what we would consider safe jobs. So yes , probably there is a greater chance of neurological damage from contact sports. So these guys can go work on a loading dock and get crushed when a pallet falls on them. While they are making 5% if the money they would in football. Go look at fatalities in logging, police work, firefighting, what have you . Also, it is an absolute fact that radiologic imaging doesnít always translate to expression in people. Do you know how many people are running around in middle age with herniated discs but have no symptoms. How many people at 55 in the general population have CTE radiologically but are asymptomatic? There are plenty of people who are forgetful or get Alzheimerís or whatever who have never played football. The best way to look at this is that there is risk in almost everything we do. The question is how bad is the risk and is it worth it. Shoot , there is plenty of risk in what some people eat that can lead to arterial disease and dementia. You donít need contact sports to get demented or have neuro problems


That's fine for adults. But I don't think there are many parents prepared to make the decision to voluntarily subject their children to a lifetime of increased risk for brain trauma when it is a completely unnecessary risk to take.
Fine  
Painless62 : 11/8/2017 9:29 pm : link
Then stop playing hockey. Maybe soccer. For goodness sake
what about downhill skiing. Ski jumping. Forget about spear fishing. You do realize just breathing the air in a major city leads to a certain amount of lung issues including cancer. So if you really love your kids move to
Montana. Where they will get eaten by a bear. The main reason why CTE has gotten to the forefront is money and visibility . Iím by no mans saying there isnít a risk in playing football. Just that ife is full of risks, Many we donít realize.íGo read the book freakonomics. Sort of covers what Iím saying.í We are scared of some things when there are other things we donít even think of which are actually worse.
RE: Fine  
baadbill : 11/8/2017 9:37 pm : link
In comment 13682985 Painless62 said:
Quote:
Then stop playing hockey. Maybe soccer. For goodness sake
what about downhill skiing. Ski jumping. Forget about spear fishing. You do realize just breathing the air in a major city leads to a certain amount of lung issues including cancer. So if you really love your kids move to
Montana. Where they will get eaten by a bear. The main reason why CTE has gotten to the forefront is money and visibility . Iím by no mans saying there isnít a risk in playing football. Just that ife is full of risks, Many we donít realize.íGo read the book freakonomics. Sort of covers what Iím saying.í We are scared of some things when there are other things we donít even think of which are actually worse.


Sure there are risks. Life is all about taking measured risks. Maybe you'd sign your son up for boxing starting at age 5 continuing through 18. After all, "life is full of risks" But I'd say doing having a 5 year old engage in boxing for the next 13 years of his life would be pretty damn reckless. The point? Some risks aren't worth taking.
RE: As a physician  
Knineteen : 11/8/2017 11:57 pm : link
In comment 13682792 Painless62 said:
Quote:
How many people at 55 in the general population have CTE radiologically but are asymptomatic?

I thought CTE could only be diagnosed via physical examination of the brain after death?

How is it possible to correlate CTE to symptoms in the living if CTE can't be diagnosed in the living?
RE: As a physician  
81_Great_Dane : 11/9/2017 12:18 am : link
In comment 13682792 Painless62 said:

Serious question, not trying to be dickish:
Quote:
How many people at 55 in the general population have CTE radiologically but are asymptomatic?


Since there's no way to run a controlled experiment on a single individual, how can we establish a baseline for that person's mental acuity and performance? And without a baseline, how can we know if someone is "asymptomatic" with CTE?

How can we know their brain function is unaffected by their condition? That their higher reasoning, emotions, memory and motor coordination are all exactly the same as they would have been if they'd never had CTE?

I don't think we can. Can we? We can gauge a lot with statistics but can we establish that?
Everybody is missing the point  
Ron from Ninerland : 11/9/2017 12:47 am : link
I'm not going to get into the debate of whether football is more dangerous than other sports or other hazardous professions. I'm also not going to get into the debate whether its ethical to pay football players, boxers or others lots of money to work in a hazardous sport when they may also be injured working in some menial job for a fraction of the money.

What is important is that the hazards of football are perceived as real. As a result fewer young athletes will be playing football. They themselves or their parents won't allow it. As a result the pool of talent that is available for the NFL will be greatly diminished. Unlike baseball, basketball and hockey, the NFL cannot recruit overseas. This is the only place American football is played. We've seen that football games with untalented players is boring and won't attract an audience. We saw that in the brief existence of the XFL and we are seeing the beginning of it in the NFL. Can any of us say that the crap we are seeing now on Sundays in any way compares to what football was 15 or 20 years ago ? Did we see this number of injuries ? Did we see the inept offensive line play ? Did we see the lack of discipline ? Now a handful of teams have superstar quarterbacks and some competent receivers and backs to take advantage of them. If one of those superstars get hurt, its a league wide catastrophe and their team is done ( unless its the Patriots ). Fifteen or twenty years ago any contending team would have a competent backup(except the Jets).

This is what will kill football and this is what the owners can't easily solve. You can complain about kneeling or commercials but at worst, they are the straw that broke the camel's back. The hard truth is that football is no longer entertaining . The reason its not entertaining is because of a lack of talented players. The lack of talented players is because fewer and fewer athletes want to play football
Studies  
Painless62 : 11/9/2017 7:35 am : link
Agree. That is why studies need to be done to quantify the actual risk. Wha if they study and compare all ex nfl players to a similar age specific cohort and find only a minimal neurological risk. Maybe they will find some benefit to playing football such as lower cardiac disease. How about they look at other aspects such as socioeconomic status? Iím not sure what they will find, but it might not be all bad . This would change the narrative again
Painless  
Moondawg : 11/9/2017 9:07 am : link
thanks for bringing your insights to this discussion.
I don't see how those insights could possibly belong  
jcn56 : 11/9/2017 9:10 am : link
to a medical professional. I'm still waiting to hear how many people who were deceased at 55 and not professional football players were found to have CTE.

And I'm pretty sure we'll be waiting for that answer for quite some time.
25 Years of Practice  
Painless62 : 11/9/2017 9:30 am : link
Just food for thought. Remember when coffee was bad for you? Now it's good. It's better to have a glass of wine than a piece of pie. Eggs? Really good for you. Probably much better than cereal which causes blood sugar spikes. I deal everyday with pain pt's. Some MRI's look horrible
yet the pt doesn't have much pain. It's entirely possible that there is greater radio-logical incidence of CTE in ex NFL players but much less expression clinically than the evidence would suggest. Ultimately, as a physician, I really care about clinical expression, not a radiology finding.
RE: 25 Years of Practice  
baadbill : 11/9/2017 9:42 am : link
In comment 13683242 Painless62 said:
Quote:
Just food for thought. Remember when coffee was bad for you? Now it's good. It's better to have a glass of wine than a piece of pie. Eggs? Really good for you. Probably much better than cereal which causes blood sugar spikes. I deal everyday with pain pt's. Some MRI's look horrible
yet the pt doesn't have much pain. It's entirely possible that there is greater radio-logical incidence of CTE in ex NFL players but much less expression clinically than the evidence would suggest. Ultimately, as a physician, I really care about clinical expression, not a radiology finding.


So, as a parent, you would have no problem encouraging your children to begin boxing on a regular basis starting at 10 years old or so? No concerns at all subjecting your child to repetitive jarring of his brain inside his skull?
We're walking backwards here, aren't we?  
jcn56 : 11/9/2017 9:46 am : link
Up above, you suggested that there was some evidence that supported the incidence of CTE being higher in individuals who had non-contact jobs, but now you're relying on 'it's entirely possible'?

Lots of things are possible - but doctors have pointed out a causal relationship between contact sports and CTE, and so far there's nothing factual to refute it. And that's doctors being paid good money by teams with billions at stake to find some shred of evidence to discredit that link.
Media trending away  
idiotsavant : 11/9/2017 10:42 am : link
From self appointed moralising 'experts' like Bob Costas. He's like a Paris Hilton character. As in, what the fuck do you actually do and why are we all looking at you?
RE: 25 Years of Practice  
Knineteen : 11/9/2017 11:29 am : link
In comment 13683242 Painless62 said:
Quote:
Just food for thought. Remember when coffee was bad for you? Now it's good. It's better to have a glass of wine than a piece of pie. Eggs? Really good for you. Probably much better than cereal which causes blood sugar spikes. I deal everyday with pain pt's. Some MRI's look horrible
yet the pt doesn't have much pain. It's entirely possible that there is greater radio-logical incidence of CTE in ex NFL players but much less expression clinically than the evidence would suggest. Ultimately, as a physician, I really care about clinical expression, not a radiology finding.

I guess I would counter with....under what context is ANY head trauma beneficial to the human body? And I'm not talking about trauma leading to CTE; I mean any head impact, regardless of severity.
While I don't believe this to be a fair comparison...at least coffee, alcohol and eggs had some inherent benefit even when the negatives weren't fully known.
I can't imagine any medical professional affixing their name in confirmation that head trauma has a benefit.
RE: Everybody is missing the point  
81_Great_Dane : 11/9/2017 5:18 pm : link
In comment 13683057 Ron from Ninerland said:
I agree with almost everything you say. But:
Quote:
The hard truth is that football is no longer entertaining . The reason its not entertaining is because of a lack of talented players. The lack of talented players is because fewer and fewer athletes want to play football
I don't think we're there yet. I don't think the quality of play on the field is yet suffering because athletes are choosing other sports. I think there are huge problems with injured stars, pace of play, replay, etc. that are making the game a bad TV show. That's a bigger problem right now than athletes shying away from gridiron football in favor of other pursuits.

And to be fair, while the NFL's ratings are off a little, they still dwarf any other TV franchise. It's still very popular.
Regarding CTE  
Dave in PA : 11/9/2017 5:43 pm : link
I havenít read the thread so maybe somebody touched on this, but I would honestly be shocked if the majority of people that played high school football did not develop some degree of directly linked CTE in their life. HS football is brutal. Thereís no way this stuff starts in college, let alone at the pro level.
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