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OT: Football's "death spiral"

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Old
02-03-2013, 01:34 PM
  #26
TheDevilMadeMe
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I don't particularly like some of the rhetoric in the article, but if parents are refusing to let their kids play Pop Warner (and for good reasons, it definitely causes a huge hit to the talent pool.

But would a reduced talent pool actually hurt the sport's popularity?

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02-03-2013, 01:45 PM
  #27
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I never understood why anyone would find football entertaining. If there's a sport with a greater "overall duration of game/something exciting actually happening" ratio, I'd like to know what it is. They even have to multiply the score by seven to make it seem higher scoring.

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02-03-2013, 02:24 PM
  #28
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I never understood why anyone would find football entertaining. If there's a sport with a greater "overall duration of game/something exciting actually happening" ratio, I'd like to know what it is. They even have to multiply the score by seven to make it seem higher scoring.
Baseball, due in large part to MLB's perennial refusal to actually address matters related to the length of the games themselves.

With two minor adjustments, MLB could shorten every game by 45-60 minutes without detracting from the game itself.

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02-03-2013, 02:36 PM
  #29
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There's a simple equivalent in hockey; full face masks. In any league that runs them, you'll find that players are more careless with their sticks.
Out of curiosity, what hockey leagues are there that have full face masks, other than juniors/women? At least semi-pro?

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02-03-2013, 02:37 PM
  #30
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Boxing is unpopular for a long list of reasons, but boxers getting hurt is pretty low on the list.
That's a fair point, given the issues it's had with corruption (which is also an epidemic in college football). Still, I'd say injuries are the primary reason that you don't see kids getting into boxing anymore.

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I don't really buy the argument that the NFL is 'too violent.'
I don't think that's exactly what is being argued.

Look, I'm from North Carolina. I can clearly remember when the studies came out conclusively linking smoking with lung cancer, and the revelation that the industry knew about it but promoted the product anyway. I can remember the broad sentiment that it would blow over because "common sense" had always told people that smoking was harmful, and people would smoke voluntarily no matter what the government had to say. And that sentiment lasted a little while, until the class-action suits were successful and the PR tide turned and all of a sudden it was a product that no politician or corporation would stand behind. Once the ball dropped, it never stopped rolling.

That is the sort of outlook the article predicts for football. Not that it will completely go away, but that it will eventually have to face some demons that have been propping it up all along. A deal with the devil, if you will, that will eventually bring it down the way steroids did with baseball.

A huge X-factor in all of this is the outcome of lawsuits like the one Junior Seau's family just filed. Did the NFL know of the danger of brain injury, or should they have known, and did they look the other way? If not, then they have a chance to be pro-active in solving the problem. If so... look out, they're in tobacco/Sandusky/abusive priest territory. There will be class action suits, at which point all the laundry gets aired. It could be ugly.

I'm not sure all of that is a necessary outcome, but it's not an invalid prediction either. Seems to me the NFL is at a bit of a crossroads, and it's future as the 800-pound gorilla will depend on how it reacts to these issues. And to some extent, it depends on the number of unknown skeletons in their closet regarding head injuries.

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02-03-2013, 02:48 PM
  #31
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I dunno... Perhaps the seeds that could lead to a future gradual or even rapid decline of football's popularity have been planted but from looking at things from a distance (all the way up in Canada ) at present it seems football is still increasing the gap between itself and all other sports in the American hierarchy. Not saying the sport shouldn't be and isn't concerned about the problems mentioned in the article ... I mean it's not like the NFL can really look to leagues overseas for talent if particapation in the US continues to decline... I just can't see these issues leading to a decline in my life time (hopefully I still have another 50+ years left in me) but I will say it would also be foolish to say it could/will never happen.

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Rugby doesn't garner the same excitement level to Americans as football

They're not even on the same universe
Not really a fan of either but if I had to choose between the two of them I think I rather watch rugby... So I guess they are in the same (boring ) universe.

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02-03-2013, 03:10 PM
  #32
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I just don't see it. Even though the demographics of the country are changing, violence and ultra-masculine things still appeal to Americans on a broad spectrum. Besides, if football goes away because of its violent content and injuries, that isn't going to be some magical windfall for hockey; on the contrary, hockey would be next.

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02-03-2013, 03:13 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't particularly like some of the rhetoric in the article, but if parents are refusing to let their kids play Pop Warner (and for good reasons, it definitely causes a huge hit to the talent pool.

But would a reduced talent pool actually hurt the sport's popularity?
It depends on the kids. If that kid is only good at playing football, the options are limited. If a young kid can play another sport well though, parents would probably steer the kids into that other sport. If there is a ten year old kid who plays football and yet can also hit a baseball or dunk a basketball well, odds are that his parents may want to steer him in another sport.

However, one of the things the NFL has done a fantastic job at is the "Play 60" program that combats childhood obesity. The objective is for kids to go outside and play for 60 minutes. It's a program that will most likely maintain the popularity of the sport. While I am sure that the NBA, NHL and MLB have similar programs, Play 60 is the most visible due to the sport's popularity.

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02-03-2013, 03:41 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDAWG
One of the reasons is because of the demographic and makeup of football players. A large majority of football players are African American. Outside of basketball, football has heavy participation among African Americans. Football goes away, African American boys aren't going to all of a sudden pick up a hockey stick.
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Originally Posted by worstfaceoffmanever View Post
I just don't see it. Even though the demographics of the country are changing, violence and ultra-masculine things still appeal to Americans on a broad spectrum. Besides, if football goes away because of its violent content and injuries, that isn't going to be some magical windfall for hockey; on the contrary, hockey would be next.
I don't think anyone, including the article, has suggested that the decline of football would mean an increase in hockey participation. Viewership could potentially be another matter, but frankly the NHL has enough long-term issues to worry about just getting in front of the general public.

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02-03-2013, 03:42 PM
  #35
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I could definitely see the NFL's popularity peaking and then dipping a bit (because really.... it can't keep growing forever), but dying? Hell no. Cricket in India and soccer in the UK have about as much of a chance going away in the next century as football does in the United States.

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02-03-2013, 04:25 PM
  #36
Kimota
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The language must change, instead of becoming a guilt issue for Football and other contact sports about this concussion obsession, they must go ahead and blantanly say:"if you do a violent sport like this were people are crashing into one another, guess what will happen, you're gonna have concussions at point or another. It will happen". People are not stopping driving cars because there's accidents and deaths, they made it safer but at the end of the day, people will continue to do what they want to do.

In fact it should in the players' contract: "you accept that you may get hurt during the practicing of this sport".

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02-03-2013, 04:55 PM
  #37
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Oh, and boxing's unpopular because they screwed the pooch with a good thing. They split into way too many different weight classes and have too many organizing bodies. If pro football was split into multiple weight classes and had four major professional leagues, there'd probably be major overload and drop in interest, too.

Does boxing need 17 weight classes and four different title belts in each class? I don't think so. Sorry, don't see the need for there to be five weight classes between 105 and 118 pounds, and especially don't see the need for there to theoretically be as many as 68 different world champions at a given moment.

Not to mention that all the pre-fight nonsense between promoters, the obvious corruption, and the fact that the vast majority of people don't want to do PPV took a lot away from the sport.

If they reduced the number of weight classes even down to 12 and had only a single governing body, then the popularity of the sport would probably increase just for the simple fact that it'd be easier to follow and there'd be more competition in the lower classes that got combined.

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02-03-2013, 05:01 PM
  #38
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I don't think it will die, and I will support the game in the future. My kids though aren't coming close to playing football until 17-18.

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02-03-2013, 05:09 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Kimota View Post
In fact it should in the players' contract: "you accept that you may get hurt during the practicing of this sport".
That's only going to work as protection if they pre-empitvely go full disclosure on the risks. That means simple waivers get replaced with sitting parents down and making them watch the dissection of Junior Seau's brain before there kids are allowed to play pop warner.

I'm fairly confident that would have a negative effect on player enrolment...

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02-03-2013, 07:31 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Baseball, due in large part to MLB's perennial refusal to actually address matters related to the length of the games themselves.

With two minor adjustments, MLB could shorten every game by 45-60 minutes without detracting from the game itself.
I'll bite what are your two minor adjustments?

As for the topic itself, at least here football is way more popular with kids than it ever was when I was kid. When I was a kid, I didn't know anyone who played football before high school. A friend of mine decided we should play when I was in Grade 7 and I discovered I was too big to play as I was over the 150 pound weight limit.

Fast forward to 6 years later when my little brother was that age. The minor football program had expanded into three age groups with football starting at Grade 4 (when I looked into it Grade 7 was the first year). A good half of my little brother's class played football. From what I understand now, football registration is at an all time high. They needed to add another team (as it was set up like minor hockey except only had one team per area) and redesign the boundaries to accommodate the rise in registration. There are also two programs from small towns around Saskatoon in the league.

What is dying off at least in the Saskatoon area is hockey and baseball. Both of those are seeing reduced numbers in registration. Baseball I believe has even dropped the neighborhood "regions" as numbers in some areas meant there wasn't even enough teams.

Yes football has some issues with concussions, but I doubt it will disappear. As long as things like UFC and boxing exist, football will survive. I expect MMA and boxing to be the first things to disappear. Getting repeatedly punched in the face is much more damaging than say 10 hits to the head in football. Besides, if football were in a death spiral, I'd expect hockey to be swiftly behind them. If anything, hockey is the one that needs to look at football now and do something about the head protection, why hockey players don't wear football style helmets is beyond me.

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02-03-2013, 07:36 PM
  #41
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I'm not saying the author is right... but use your heads.

Some parent is going to get all lawyered up and sue a high school and their state for their brain damaged kid...

Before you know it, class action...

Concussions could kill high school football

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02-03-2013, 07:52 PM
  #42
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The only thing dying about football are the lights.

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02-03-2013, 09:31 PM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimota View Post
The language must change, instead of becoming a guilt issue for Football and other contact sports about this concussion obsession, they must go ahead and blantanly say:"if you do a violent sport like this were people are crashing into one another, guess what will happen, you're gonna have concussions at point or another. It will happen". People are not stopping driving cars because there's accidents and deaths, they made it safer but at the end of the day, people will continue to do what they want to do.

In fact it should in the players' contract: "you accept that you may get hurt during the practicing of this sport".
Unfortunately the legal world doesn't work that way. You can't legally sign someone to get repeated exposure to head trauma no more than you can sign someone up to die.

The problem is as long as the league isn't taking serious action to decrease the amount of head trauma, their gonna be wide open from law suits on behalf of the players.

Granted this wouldn't happen in any other industries but when theirs billions of dollars on the line you'll be surprised on how much money the players can get.

So Football isn't gonna disappear, but it's gonna face continual and repeated demands for the sport to actively avoid head trauma.

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02-03-2013, 10:14 PM
  #44
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Kind of interesting to see the tone of the NFL's commercials for nflevolution.com during the Super Bowl. Playing up football as a tradition, and pushing the NFL's proactive stance toward safety.

Check out the website. It's clear the NFL sees the writing on the wall and is trying to get ahead of the news cycle. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it proves the seriousness of the threat.

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02-03-2013, 10:26 PM
  #45
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I'll bite what are your two minor adjustments?
Put a clock on the time between pitches.....much like basketball has a shot-clock.

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02-03-2013, 10:28 PM
  #46
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The biggest threat might be the drying-up of the talent pool. Growing up, I maybe knew one or two kids in my immediate circle of friends who played football, compared with many who played baseball or soccer or lacrosse or basketball. About half of my high school football team did not play organized football before high school. Many were track & field athletes or basketball players who the coach convinced to play football in the fall.

This might be different in other parts of the country, but in North Jersey where I am from, with regards to participation, soccer is king in both suburban and urban areas, followed by baseball. Lacrosse is third-place in the suburbs, with basketball taking its place in the city. Football falls after those, even though it still draws the largest audiences for games.
Honestly, and I don't know if you can speak on this, but the Northeast does not produce athletes anymore, why? All the big athletes come from the south, cali or the midwest.

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02-03-2013, 10:34 PM
  #47
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Rugby is an extremely hard hitting game of similar form, and it doesn't seem (?) to have the same issues. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but perhaps the answer is to strip away the body armor and go back to leather helmets etc that turn hitting into a serious physical commitment on the hitters part, too.
Rugby is a slower sport though. What makes the NFL popular is the physicality and the speed it is played.

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02-03-2013, 10:40 PM
  #48
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Quote:
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I'll bite what are your two minor adjustments?
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
Put a clock on the time between pitches.....much like basketball has a shot-clock.
There actually is one; it's 20 seconds, but it's never enforced.

The first rule would be that once a batter steps into the box, his at-bat starts. Once the at-bat starts, he is not allowed to call for time or to exist the batter's box. No more stepping out between pitches to do 30 seconds of gyrations, followed by digging in, getting set, then calling for time as the pitcher is about to begin his delivery. Mike Hargrove was really the first guy to do this (he was called "The Human Rain Delay", an indication of how uncommon it was), and his career started in 1974.

The second one would be to reduce the amount of time on advertising between innings and during half-innings. The quickened pace of the game and the reduction in ad time would actually create more revenue. The faster game would limit the tendency that people have of using baseball games on TV as background noise, which would allow for more eyes on the game and less changing out laundry loads. The increased scarcity of ad time, and the increased effect of the ads with shorter breaks, would allow for much more to be charged.

I won't claim credit for either of these, by the way. Bill Jame suggested it as part of a sweeping change to help speed up the game, which also included limits on mid-inning pitching changes and on the number of times the pitcher can throw to first.

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02-03-2013, 10:45 PM
  #49
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Football won't disappear. But let's get something straight, you can claim whant ever time period, but for most the MLB screwed itself in 1994. And with the steroids that is still ongoing, the Selig era has been a massive joke and will not be remembered fondly other than teams make money on a bubble as my friend KINGS17 so eloquently put it. But despite all that what Mayor Bee says rings true: Baseball only needs minor adjustments. Football does not have that The concussions are a big deal, and if the don't deal with the we could see Baseball become number one again. Why put your kids in Football soccer and baseball are much safer and much more healthier for the brain.

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02-03-2013, 10:46 PM
  #50
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There actually is one; it's 20 seconds, but it's never enforced.

The first rule would be that once a batter steps into the box, his at-bat starts. Once the at-bat starts, he is not allowed to call for time or to exist the batter's box. No more stepping out between pitches to do 30 seconds of gyrations, followed by digging in, getting set, then calling for time as the pitcher is about to begin his delivery. Mike Hargrove was really the first guy to do this (he was called "The Human Rain Delay", an indication of how uncommon it was), and his career started in 1974.

The second one would be to reduce the amount of time on advertising between innings and during half-innings. The quickened pace of the game and the reduction in ad time would actually create more revenue. The faster game would limit the tendency that people have of using baseball games on TV as background noise, which would allow for more eyes on the game and less changing out laundry loads. The increased scarcity of ad time, and the increased effect of the ads with shorter breaks, would allow for much more to be charged.

I won't claim credit for either of these, by the way. Bill Jame suggested it as part of a sweeping change to help speed up the game, which also included limits on mid-inning pitching changes and on the number of times the pitcher can throw to first.
Frankly the national and american leagues should be gone, it's not 1885 anymore and they don't even have presidents. East and west conferences

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