Dave Zirin's article in the nation states that this film should give the NFL Commissioner night sweats. Zirin states that this December release and even the casting is strategic. The December release date puts this issue back into the public thoughts when the NFL season is winding down, playoffs are starting and things are winding up for Super Bowl 50.
This film is not the one thing that should give Roger Goodell night sweats. Concussion will not blow a sucking chest wound into the NFL like Blackfish did with Sea World. After than documentary was shown on CNN, Sea World has seen 85% drop in profits. Now the NFL is a much bigger cultural and economic force. Like the film says, they own a day of the week. Sea World's revenue is from ticket sales from its parks it only has 3 of them. The NFL has 32 Teams, and revenue is not just ticket sales for games. There is broadcast rights with network cable tv, merchandise and licensing with a pro sports league that gets considerable tax breaks and handouts from the government itself.
NFL is such a force to be reckoned with, fearing the league's wrath Sony made changes to the film to lessen the blow. CTE is a problem that is not going to go away and their denial and foot dragging is making the problem worse for them. There are more and more stories each fall about High Schools cutting programs due to the lack of players.
Concussion will not be making Roger start chugging Pepto Bismol to stave off the ulcers.
Concussion will not be a mortal wound to the NFL instead it will be death by a thousand cuts. First there is the continued news coverage about CTE and concussions. Tragically there will be more new coverage of deaths from this disease, NFL suicides, High School and College players either sent to the hospital or the morgue.
The NFL can no longer bury, ignore or deny the issue, neither will it just go away like Goodell wishes it could. This film will not be the last Hollywood product dealing with this
issue. CTE will eventually show up in a network TV medical or crime drama.
Greys Anatomy or Law and Order: SVU will cover CTE as the writers rip their stories from the headlines.
We will one day see Detective
Olivia Benson investigate a Football Player rape case, the accused
player will die in custody and the coroner will find CTE in this brain. The
show will speculate a link between the on field violence and violent
behavior players commit off the field. Then we will
get the inevitable Lifetime TV Movie about CTE, a based on a true story tale of a grieving
mother who lost her teenage son to an on field head injury or a later CTE
caused suicide and will want answers. Even worse for the NFL we could possibly get a film about a CTE victim, a fictional one about a veteran player who is slowly sliding into dementia or a true story such as Junior Seau.
Even that is not going to be what gives DER KOMMISSAR acid reflux. Brain Damage with football also comes at a worse time for the sport as our cultural and economic climate is changing and it is becoming uninhabitable for this hyper masculine violent collision sport. Football was put into our schools in the 1930s to physically condition teens and teach them the values for hard physical work that our nation's industries required. "Tough Men for Tough Jobs" as it was said. It is now 2015 and those tough jobs are going away, outsourced overseas and just being rendered obsolete by the information age. The best paying jobs now require brains not brawn. Coding Computer languages, science and math skills. Something that you cannot be proficient at if you are getting your frontal lobe hammered.
The NERD is beginning its conquest of our society and culture, these skills are in such high demand that supermodel and Taylor Swift BFF Karlie Kloss is promoting computer science education with her Kode with Karlie program.
The hyper masculine culture of Football is clashing with these changes in our cultural and moral zeitgeist that is looking at the sport's macho behavior as regressive and destructive. The Public is becoming more and more appalled as the NFL, NCAA and High Schools care more about the protecting players who commit heinous crimes and will impede justice just to protect this sport at the expense of the victims. Then with concussions itself the NFL and NCAA appear give to their player's health the same concern as they do with the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
That cultural climate change is being caused by what should have Roger Goodell waking up in the dead of night in a puddle of his own sweat. Those changes are driven by the Affluent Blue States.
It is those parents who have incomes of $100,000 a year and over. They are college educated professionals who are informed on a myriad of issues than the rest of the public. These people tend to be concentrated in the New England states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey Rhode Island, Connecticut and the West Coast.
These were the people who were the driving force behind seatbelt laws, anti-smoking campaigns and drove corporal punishment out of our schools. What do be see now, the biggest drops in participation in this sport on the youth and High School Level are in New England and the West Coast. The more affluent liberal higher educated communities are moving away from this sport. They see it as violent, regressive and hazardous to your health. Concussion and any future movie or tv show that will feature CTE as a plot point is also a product of the Blue States, media centers in NYC and LA who are the ones driving this issue into the public consciousness.
It is they who are the real force shaping and directing our nation's cultural and moral zeitgeist. It is not organized religion and it is definitely not a major professional sports league.Why do you think we are seeing more and more violent and crazy behavior from fundamentalist religious groups, it is a desperate response of them being pushed more and more into cultural irrelevancy. Their decline is the subject of another article for another time.
These are the people who are Roger Goodell's worst nightmare.
It was no surprise that Roger Goodell himself recently went to Fairfield CT, the 6th wealthiest country in the USA to promote flag football. While he sells HEADS UP to lower income single mothers. It's simple Roger does not want these Connecticut Blue Bloods to become NFL players he wants them to become FANS, because rich kids do not need to be "toughened up" or build character the only way full tackle football can like those poor kids in America's small towns and inner cities.
Because affluent families do not need football but the NFL sure needs them. Recently Cordell Broadus made the news for quitting the UCLA Bruins football team to pursue film. Why? because he is the son of the Snoop Dogg. When you father is a grammy winning artist who redefined Hip Hop, just like those kids in Fairfield He does not NEED football.
In 2013 the elite Lawrenceville Boarding School in NJ ended their 100
year old House tackle football program and went flag as student
participation was dropping and this was an attempt
to save the tradition. Rush Limbaugh and other conservative media
commentators all whined about the liberal "War on Football" and the
"pussification" of boys.
Reality was the Affluent Blue
State Problem was affecting them, this is a boarding school where the
wealthy elite send their children. If some Senator, Fortune 500 CEO or a
corporate lawyer's son gets their brain damaged from this sport, the
won themselves a free one way ticket on the train to litigation hell.
Also the students themselves were just staying away as their parents
were not socializing them into the game because of safety reasons or the
sport was just too "low brow" for some of them.
Top 25% of America is not signing their children up with Pop Warner,
they do Tennis, Fencing, Lacrosse, or that Top Hat Wearing Horse Disco
you see on the olympics. In the documentary The United States of
Football, author Malcolm Gladwell predicted that the sport will become
"Ghettoized" as only the poorest and most desperate will take it up the
sport as a way out of poverty.
Gladwell's claim has gone from a prediction to an observation, if this becomes more like a real life Hunger Games where the poor kids desperately volunteer ravage their minds and bodies for the entertainment for the wealthy. The NFL will slide into a deeper cultural and moral gutter as more reasonable educated people move away from playing the sport.
The NFL and NCAA will have to draw from a talent pool of people with even lower moral and intellectual nature and we are already seeing this slide as Bill Maher recently mentioned that a High School in South
Bend Indiana lowered its academic eligibility requirements from 2.0 to
1.5. Think Michael Irvin, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson's behavior was bad it will get WORSE as the bar for who plays this sport lowers.
If a talent drain starts to affect the quality of the on field product as more and more players engage in morally degenerate behavior off the field. Then more Affluent Blue State Parents will go from "my son is not playing football" to "I do not want him even watching it."
Remember Corporal Punishment, HS Football could one day share the same fate, as that disciplinary practice was driven out of our schools except in 13 states, the conservative largely religious "red" states of the south such as Texas, Georgia and Louisiana and others. Those are the same states despite the CTE issue HS football is still seeing strong numbers. In 1962 the first scientific studies came out that stated the practice caused psychological and emotional harm. Did schools end the practice as the result of a new moral revelation? No, it was lawsuits or the fear of lawsuits from those Affluent Blue State parents who will use that 1962 study to take schools to court. So more and more states in the years after '62 just shut the whole thing down. We are now seeing that with schools over football, the NFL and NCAA got sued over concussions. Now lawsuits aimed and state High School athletic organizations and there is one even against Pop Warner.
Do not think that just because it is a deep rooted tradition that HS Football could not be taken down, remember Corporal Punishment was just as much of a deep rooted part of the school experience. Even in those 13 states where it is still legal the practice is fading away, because the south seems to be where America's cultural institutions go to die, just look at slavery. If Goodell loses those affluent north-easterners He will eventually lose America.
Q: Where did he abolition movement start?
A: New England.