Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Football's Problematic Future

Mark Yost argues that former NFL players who now have permanent, severely disabling injuries do not merit sympathy from the public at large. The Oracle agrees in part and disagrees in part. Yost is correct that these players chose their occupations with their eyes wide open as to the risks of injury. He is also correct that even players from eras of much lower salaries (such as the 1970's) than today nevertheless made considerably more than the average working stiff. That being said, it should be noted that football players, even more so than other young adults, often consider themselves to be somewhat invincible, and on that basis they are perhaps not positioned to make the best long term decisions in that regard.

It is also concerning that as football players continue to get larger -- a 320 pound lineman was considered enormous 20 years ago but is average today -- these problems will worsen. NFL football is currently the most popular sport in America, but there are no easy solutions to the problems faced by injuries that inevitably result when fast men of ever increasing size engage in an occupation that requires frequent and violent collisions.


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