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02-29-2012, 12:39 PM
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Location: Rhode Island
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CTE is a game changer. It's a fundamental problem that all physical sports are going to have to deal with if they want to have players in the next generation.

It's really simple. Sports isn't important. It's not required. It's not all that helpful for future employment. Sports is, for most people, recreation. Your kid plays high-school football or local hockey and it's for all those other things in life. Teamwork, fun, maybe some discipline. NHL/NFL dreams just aren't all that realistic or even a consideration for most parents. Sports at those lower levels is simply a part of life but not a requirement. So all parents weight the risks. Play and maybe something bad happens. The likelihood matters. Most soccer players I know are running around on new ACLs. I've not meet a football player who doesn't have something wrong, and most problems are minor. So the risks are limited. Fun, teamwork, discipline, and reasonably limited long-term problems. An ACL isn't a brain.

CTE changes the dynamic. Now you're a high-school player and you could have degenerative brain damage for life? It's not like this is some sorta "he knew the risks" issue. He didn't know it was that risky. And that's the point. It's not like you HAVE to play football or hockey. Soccer's sitting around or Basketball or even Lacrosse. Problem for the pros is the moment you don't have kids signing up in elemetery school is the moment talent no longer shows up in high-school, college, and then drafts.

Talent has more to do with numbers then anything else.

Schools are going to start to have a problem. Sports is suppose to do something positive. That basic argument, no matter how ignored in many places, is still clear. You have sports because it's a benefit to the kids (high-school + College). If you can show that it's not or that the costs are far higher then originally thought people are going to have a little rethink and in a time of massive budget cuts to education sports isn't going to be able to make as good an argument in general.

Major Juniors has that strange combination of education and semi-professionalism. Yet, at the same time it's going to have to explain why exactly it's ok to watch 16 year old kids beat each other for someone elses revenue. Pros don't really come into this argument... What you do with an adult isn't or shouldn't be what you do with a Kid...

Hockey isn't about fighting. That's not the game. Hockey can decrease the risks reasonably easy. Fighting is just increasing risk without much of a reason. The idea that fighitng and hitting are somehow connected is nothing but propaganda. People just makeup that argument because they can't think of a better one. Football probably can't. NFL is going to have an actual problem. Hockey can still fix it before we wake up and the sports gone.

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