…at a time when the Saints seem to have become the symbol of all that is wrong with the game of football, there are other players on other teams saying and doing very similar things.
So, there are, now, more than 50 lawsuits against the N.F.L. related to head injuries, which takes in more than 800 defendants. Which is not yet 10 percent of the pool of retired players. Which means more lawsuits are sure to come.
From this, it is obvious that, if it is not already happening, insurance liability is going to become an onerous financial constraint for organized football. These pressures are sure to have a crippling effect, beginning with youth programs, extending through all levels and leading eventually, inexorably, to the N.F.L; the result will eventually be fewer teams, fewer players and fewer great performances.
I read a comment the other day in which someone said the former Saints assistant Gregg Williams was “done” in the N.F.L. That may only be partly right.
Maybe football only regresses to a level of popularity akin to the N.H.L. of the past decade. The real game changer will be the bloodthirsty American sports fan. I ask, How popular is the N.F.L. going to be if, in the future, “60 Minutes” starts doing news features on Hall of Famers like, say, Tom Brady, who sit glumly in rooms full of trophies and vacantly gum their oatmeal?
Theres money in injuring star players, and money will always win.
- Tape Reveals Saints’ Williams Singling Out 49ers for Injury (nytimes.com)
- “Kill the Head”: Gregg Williams, Joe Paterno, and Football’s Future (newyorker.com)