Is Football As Bad As Dogfighting?

In the new New Yorker Malcolm Gladwell takes a look at the strong link between playing organized football and brain damage, and suggests that the sport is comparable to dogfighting in its brutal destruction of its participant’ bodies for the sake of money and entertainment. Pros sometimes suffer from dementia shortly after their careers end:

Mike Webster, the longtime Pittsburgh Steeler and one of the greatest players in N.F.L. history, ended his life a recluse, sleeping on the floor of the Pittsburgh Amtrak station. Another former Pittsburgh Steeler, Terry Long, drifted into chaos and killed himself four years ago by drinking antifreeze. Andre Waters, a former defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles, sank into depression and pleaded with his girlfriend—“I need help, somebody help me”—before shooting himself in the head. [Their] problem was with their heads, the one part of their body that got hit over and over again.

6 Comments on "Is Football As Bad As Dogfighting?"

  1. FootballFan | Oct 19, 2009 at 12:03 pm |

    I definitely think that American Football is brutality as entertainment, akin to the Romans and their gladiators. That study about football players being 19x more likely to suffer Alzheimers or other brain damage should be enough for any parent to stop their kids playing football.

  2. wont change anything, parents will either be reliving their glory days through their children, or hoping their kid is good enough to be a meal ticket, people love brutality, it's what makes us feel alive, we are at our most creative and productive when we are trying to destroy each other, some study isn't going top change that any more than the latest study about the effects of obesity will change peoples eating habits.

  3. We have football now to replace the fact that in Europe your village was at war with the other village a few miles away on a near continual basis. We don't go to war against other city-states in the same country like the Greeks did, so we have sports teams, especially Uhmurkan football, in which your team of warriors goes to meet with their team of warriors and they hurt each other while conquering each other's territory. How well the football team is doing that represents your city-state is very very important to many people's self-esteem because it goes back to your warrior class defending your city-state against that other city-state full of boy lovers. We just let a few people bash their brains into tapioca while making celebrities of them as they commit acts against each other that would be crimes outside the arena. This way we can go back to a job in which we ride a desk and in which you can't drive your head into someone's stomach if they're between you and success.

    In Europe and most elsewhere, Football is in some ways just as violent and just tonight on the Fox Soccer Channel an ugly Uhmurkan commentator explained to the audience why stamping on someone with your cleat wasn't that big a deal. Because it beats cleaving your opponent in two with a claymore any day.

  4. Thanks!!! I got info 4 my project

  5. I think all pro football teams should be forced to dress as their mascots.

  6. screw u man football is amazing and americans loveit

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