Football is going to be the University of Alabama’s downfall. Yeah, I said it. I said it in a whisper. I said it in a bar that is so remote that there aren’t any actual roads to get to the bar, which means the population at the bar is going to be sparse. Blasphemy like this requires caution. However, after a lot of ruminating and the aid of an Old Fashioned, I decided it had to be said.
For starters, I’m not the first person to actually say this. Malcolm Gladwell, yes the outlying blinker, has said it himself. If you aren’t into hour-long YouTube videos, he says that college football needs to be banned because the head trauma that players receive while playing football is giving them brain injuries and CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) at such a dizzying rate that to continue to play the sport collegiately is morally reprehensible.
CTE, if you have somehow not heard of it, is a degenerative brain disease that is essentially “Alzheimer’s on steroids” that causes memory loss, depression, migraines, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts which often times leads to more than thoughts.
How prevalent is CTE? Well, it appears that everyone outside of kickers who made it to the NFL has CTE, apparently even college players are getting it too. Tony Dorsett has been diagnosed with it, and Brett Favre can’t remember being at his daughter’s soccer games, which doctors are attributing to CTE.
So, the numbers are just going to increase, and unless they decide to change football to futbol (that communist ball-kicking sport), the CTE is going to continue. Pop Warner participation is down 9.5% and will continue to decline. The former players are sure to file lawsuits against the NFL.
Football is not going to exist as we know it today. I truly believe people are going to stop playing football once they realize that it is more than likely going to make you brain dead. It isn’t going to happen now, but it is going to happen at some point. This illustrious sport with its many monuments and hordes of fans will be deserted left only to the people who are willing to overlook common sense.
This his leads me back to the University of Alabama. All that money invested into Bryant-Denny Stadium and Nick Saban and all the returns they brought the university will cease to exist. Not to mention all the money that is spent in this state with regards to football. Those will stop, too. So will all the money football teams brings their schools. Oh dear.
We wanted a football stadium to be the biggest and most expensive building on our campus and not our engineering or biology buildings. When you make your biggest investment into entertainment and not academics, you’re building your house of straw and the wolf named Inevitability is coming to blow it down.
Alabama, as a state, has some major issues to deal with concerning education, poverty, obesity, and other pressing issues. Yet, across the board, we take pride in our football teams. I think that misallocation of resources is our core problem — we are ingrained to care more about the Iron Bowl than we do about poor reading levels.
When football dies, Alabama will die with it. Let me restate — a part of Alabama will die with it. What I am more interested in finding out is what happens when a state with very smart and talented people starts to actually care more about education, poverty, and obesity than football. What happens when all this money that is getting invested into football suddenly has to get invested into those things? I have a sneaking suspicion that football going away will be the best thing that ever happened to this great state.