Super Bowl LII Hype Muted By Football's Accelerating Participation Decline

From left, Former Chicago Bears linebacker Otis Wilson, Tregg Duerson, Illinois state Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills, and former Chicago Bears’ Mike Adamle poise for a print after a news discussion in support of a Dave Duerson Act to Prevent CTE Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Chicago. The Dave Duerson Act is named for a Chicago Bears defensive behind who was diagnosed with ongoing dire encephalopathy after he killed himself during a age of 50, would anathema orderly tackle football for Illinois children younger than 12 years old. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

On Feb. 1, a contributor asked thespian and actor Justin Timberlake if he would ever concede his 2-year-old son, Silas, to play football. His response: “Uh, he will never play football. No, no.”

Timberlake is frequency a initial primogenitor to give that answer. However, he is a initial to give that response during an NFL press discussion in allege of his Super Bowl halftime performance.

Maybe it’s only me and what we cover, though we can’t assistance though notice that a common two-week hypefest in allege of Super Bowl LII between a New England Patriots and a Philadelphia Eagles is filled reduction with breathless stories about a diversion and some-more with solemn stories about how prolonged anyone will still play football.

The slow season of concern about either it’s protected for immature smarts to play football is apropos a inundate of worry. To be fair, football doesn’t always record a top concussion rate of any sport. But notwithstanding importance on protected rebellious techniques, concussion protocols and other reserve measures, it appears some-more relatives are determining that a inherently aroused inlet of football — as my high school’s football manager used to brag, “It’s not a hit sport, it’s a COLLISION sport!” — is too large a risk for their kids.

It doesn’t assistance a competition that each investigate that is released, quite from Boston University, a heart of investigate for a on-going degenerative mind illness CTE, shows some-more justification that it takes reduction hit than you’d consider to rise long-term mind damage. Before a Super Bowl hype started, Boston University expelled a investigate display early justification that blows to a head, even if they don’t outcome in concussions, can minister to CTE.

Football’s backers can righteously explain that a investigate formed on 4 teenagers and some mice is frequency definitive. But it already feeds into a account — and not an astray one — that personification football carries large risk that isn’t value it now that your destiny depends many some-more on your mind than your brawn. According to a National Federation of High School Associations, while football is still a No. 1 appearance competition about high propagandize males, the series of players has depressed 6 out of a final 7 propagandize years. Even some-more worrisome for a sport, a Sports and Fitness Industry Association reports football appearance among children ages 6-12 has depressed about 30 percent between 2008 and 2016.

So we get stories during Super Bowl hype week like this:

Now, all of this is not going to stop 100 million people or so from examination Super Bowl LII, either it’s for a football, Justin Timberlake’s halftime show, or a commercials. And we don’t offer all this as somebody who thinks football is inherently evil.

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