Signs of the Apocalypse: The End of (American) Football?
Tyler Cowen and Kevin Grier have a very fascinating article on Grantland about the possible end of football due to the increasing apparent risk of severe head injuries sustained by players (cred, as it often does, goes to Kottke for finding this first). While there are several points that could obviously be argued a lot in the article, it still is an interesting consideration. This is a look at a kind of plausible mini-apocalypse.
While within reason, the demise of football would certainly not spell the end of the world (though it may seem to be just that to some people) it certainly would have profound impacts. The most telling is how the sport’s popularity has basically created a satellite economy around it, that would be unsustainable without the huge draw that football currently has. A number of universities seem like they could be very hard hit (the article mentions Clemson, which is interesting 1. because it makes a strong case of the negative effects of the demise of football, and 2. because it is a bit of local interest for me and my friends here in Greenville).
It is hard to imagine a future where football is not the major national pastime that it currently is, but the arguments are compelling. It would be interesting to pull this article up again in twenty years to see how accurate the predictions turn out to be.