Concussions Could Take Down Pro Sports

The articles below talk about a worst case scenario with an alarming aspect to them and bring up the idea that concussions could bring down professional sports empires and have a severe impact on cities that host teams.  Concussions aren’t anything new in sports, they’ve always happened.  The difference is advances in medicine in diagnosing them and really understanding their impact on humans, especially athletes.

Both of these articles specifically target football but it’s possible to think of it in the world of hockey as well.  I’m sure someone somewhere is planning for a doomsday scenario and some lawyer somewhere is attempting to plan a massive law suit.

They’re worth reading and thinking about.

The sickness will be rooted in football’s tragic flaw, which is that it inflicts concussions on its players with devastating frequency. Although estimates vary, several studies suggest that up to 15 percent of football players suffer a mild traumatic brain injury during the season. (The odds are significantly worse for student athletes — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 2 million brain injuries are suffered by teenage players every year.) In fact, the chances of getting a concussion while playing high school football are approximately three times higher than the second most dangerous sport, which is girls’ soccer. While such head injuries have long been ignored — until recently, players were resuscitated with smelling salts so they could re-enter the game — it’s now clear that these blows have lasting consequences.

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The article below talks about the possible economic impact if high school, college and professional football were brought down:

Before you say that football is far too big to ever disappear, consider the history: If you look at the stocks in the Fortune 500 from 1983, for example, 40 percent of those companies no longer exist. The original version of Napster no longer exists, largely because of lawsuits. No matter how well a business matches economic conditions at one point in time, it’s not a lock to be a leader in the future, and that is true for the NFL too. Sports are not immune to these pressures. In the first half of the 20th century, the three big sports were baseball, boxing, and horse racing, and today only one of those is still a marquee attraction.

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Again, doomsday worst case scenarios but interesting to think about how sever the fall out could be.