Football – a debate

by Louise

With fall fast approaching, we return to sports at all levels – school, college and pro. A big one is football.

I was discussing football with my kid and he mentioned that students were out of school due to football related concussions. I happened to have lunch with a bunch of people and one guy was very opposed to his kid playing football. Then, I watch Last Chance U where football seems to be the only way out for young men from disadvantaged backgrounds. They want to play in spite of concussions hoping that they will be recruited to big football schools. I was troubled by this.

Next, I see this article on CTE.

CTE found in 99% of studied brains from deceased NFL players

What do you think ? Do you think football will continue as is or will people slowly turn away ? Will kids continue to play given the emerging research ? Discuss.


Why Does Sports Participation Drop Off by 13?

by Honolulu Mother

Apparently of the kids who play organized sports, only 30% are still playing by the end of middle school, as written up in this Washington Post article:

Why 70 percent of kids quit sports by age 13

The article suggests a number of reasons, which largely come down to the way the system is designed to be up-or-out and narrow down to the most serious and competitive players, in combination with similar increases in time demands and competitiveness in other activities forcing kids to choose just one or two things to focus on.

Do you have thoughts on this phenomenon? Is there a place for a once-a-week fun league in high school? Have your high schoolers found other fun ways to keep active when they’re not in organized sports?

Is there a sports bubble?

by Honolulu Mother

This Daily Beast article argues that a sports bubble has grown up fueled by the cable bundle model, but that the cable-cutting trend is going to pop that bubble because not enough people will want to pay $35 for a stand-alone ESPN subscription.

Big-time college sports has been blamed for a share of the inflation in college tuition, by siphoning off tuition and student fees at the expense of colleges’ academics and facilities.

We’ve seen both effects locally, with college students complaining about hikes in student fees to support a football team that relatively few students go to see play, and unenthusiastic fan response to the high ticket prices and even-higher-priced cable tv package for watching those games.  (The stadium’s location 10+ miles away from the campus probably doesn’t help students feel connected to the team either.)  At the same time, one interesting sidenote in the recent Mizzou protests was the light it shed on the relative power of the president versus the football coach within the institution.

Public money for a new stadium, usually on the premise that it will bolster economic development, is a frequent municipal bone of contention.  And on the international level, the increasing cost of hosting the Olympics, and the increasing reluctance of countries to bid to do so, has led to speculation about whether future games will be hosted only by autocracies.

I enjoy watching the occasional game, but I don’t have strong sports loyalties — I’m the type of viewer who’ll watch the Superbowl and some World Cup games and favorite Olympic sports, but doesn’t tune in regularly or follow a team.  From my perspective, I’m inclined to agree that there is something of a sports bubble going in several areas, but I don’t see it popping immediately.  The cable business model is the one I see as likely to change first.  I think it would take a mass student defection to lower-spending Division II and III schools for the big college sports schools to rethink the role of athletics at their institutions, and I don’t think the supply of strongmen interested in playing host to international games is going to dry up in the near future.

Totebaggers, what do you think?  Is there a sports bubble in cable, college sports, or elsewhere?  And if so, do you think it’s due to burst?


How Taxpayers Keep the NFL Rich

Sports Betting vs Daily Fantasy – What’s the Difference?

by  Mémé

Here is one of many recent articles prompted by the deluge of DraftKings and FanDuel ads during fall sports broadcasts.

Why Betting on Fantasy Sports Is Legal But Betting on Regular Sports Is Not


1. Do you play fantasy sports (in the old sense of a league among friends/colleagues with modest cash prizes and a lot of beer, pizza and bragging rights)?
2. Do you play daily fantasy games?
3. Do you place bets with a bookie?
4. Do you see any difference between 2 and 3?
5. Do you see a difference between betting on sports and other gambling activities?
6. Do you consider gambling a victimless crime and think it should be legal across the board?

Or do you just dislike (as I do) the proliferation of shows and segments and ads ads and more ads focused on fantasy not actual games?