The Death of Football

Is nothing sacred? I just walked through the family room and found Mom’s tv showing me a talk by this guy, a columnist for The American Spectator and author of a new book called “The War on Football: Saving America’s Game.” And to whom is Mr. Flynn giving this talk? Why, to the Heritage Foundation, of course.

To Mr. Flynn all the data about early deaths, early onset of dementia and even suicides among former NFL football players are false. He rails at the medical doctors and scientists who have found disturbing evidence that frequent concussions have been contributing to the growth of chronic traumatic encephalophaly in the brains of older athletes. He’s convinced that weak-kneed liberals are out to sissify America and they’ll even eliminate football to help do it.

I was unaware that football had enlisted in the culture wars, but apparently from Pop Warner to the NFL it surely has.

Once again, we see the dismissal of science by Republicans if it doesn’t fit their narrative of the world. This time it’s between the lines and end zones of a football field. Mr. Flynn, it should be noted, is not a scientist himself. He appears to be a third-string polemicist. The biography he published on his website seems to bear that out, as do the titles of his other books: “Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America” (ISI Books, 2011), “A Conservative History of the American Left” (Crown Forum, 2008), “Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas” (Crown Forum, 2004), and “Why the Left Hates America” (Prima Forum, 2002). Seeing those, I assume he’s attempting to fit into Glenn Beck/Bill O’Reilly territory and not doing as well at it as they have.

One Comment

  1. Of course football has been in the liberal vs. conservative culture wars for… well, many many years. As I’ve understood it, it’s mostly centered around the fact that higher education has been taken over by sports, of course.

    And really, I think that’s where liberals care about it. In relation to education, and particularly, in relation to young people, who may be too young to fully appreciate the risks, or who may exploited somehow, and having their health risked to boot.

    Maybe like this writer has a beef with any regulation of children’s sports, so he thinks he can defend youth football from regulations by making the NFL seem the victim somehow. ??
    You know, get people riled up about someone picking on the Steelers or something.

    Note: Bear in mind, the topic of football being discussed in more or less cultural terms is something I hear about more regularly, perhaps because of where I live – Pennsylvania.
    Football is big for a lot of people. College football is big for nearly as many. Penn State + football = very hot topic. Very culture-related too. It’s all tied up together ’round here.

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