Is there a connection?
In case you’re unaware of today’s JAMA report, 110 of 111 NFL players were found to have CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Now this is a select group, deceased players whose brains have been donated to Boston University, but if even every other dead player since the study began was found to be clear, that would still mean 9% of NFL players have dementia.
The stories are horrifying. Even Tyler Sash, who played safety for the Super Bowl winning Giants in 2011, had it.
How long before people stop watching football?
They’ve already stopped playing.
People think everything’s forever. Like the answering machine, like rock and roll, like baseball. I remember when football was a second-class citizen to baseball, when the latter was truly the “National Pastime.” Now I’m not saying baseball will disappear, the internet has taught us that everything marginal survives to a point, but I will say that the NBA and soccer and e-sports dominate the minds of millennials and younger, and the boomers refuse to accept this.
But the boomers gave up smoking. It’s rare to find a boomer who didn’t used to puff. But they stopped. When they saw it killed.
And these same boomers are racing to electric cars. Which conservative voices keep saying are propped up by subsidies and will never triumph.
Tell that to BMW and Mercedes, German companies who are doubling-down. And to Volvo, which is going all electric, albeit hybrid, soon. They got the message. Along with self-driving cars. When are the owners and the public going to get the message about football?
If you believe the values of football franchises are going to continue to rise into the stratosphere, you probably believed that real estate would never collapse in 2008. But at least people need places to live, real estate can come back, whereas football?
The same educated class switching to electric cars has already said they don’t want their kids to play football.
That’s what wrong about today’s society, the belief that the uneducated rule. They don’t, they might push back, they might need a hand, a leg up, but to appeal to their base interests is to be stuck in a backwater. Turns out the smart and highly educated triumph. Which is the main cause of income inequality. Sure, a Tesla is a badge of honor, but it also doesn’t pollute. And if you still say the power has to come from somewhere, you’re right, but the truth is electric motors are much more efficient than gas, and therefore there’s ultimately less pollution.
But I don’t have to convince you. You’re just a couple of years and a couple of changes behind me. You’ll wake up.
So when the news of this story spreads, will people feel comfortable sitting in front of the screen every Sunday? I’ll admit I enjoyed the Super Bowl, but it was the only game I watched last year. Because the NFL is going in the wrong direction in so many ways. Denying the truth as people lose their sensibilities. I loved Jim McMahon, now he’s a shell of his former self. It makes you wince and you want no part of it.
So, if I were an NFL owner, I’d wait a few months and then sell. You never want to appear desperate. And you don’t want to wait for the high, you’ve got to be willing to leave some money on the table, which is what great investors know.
And I’d invest in sports that appeal to younger generations.
And I’d acknowledge one effect of Trump’s election is the press has doubled down. Not the online headlines, but the traditional newspapers, mostly the “New York Times” and the “Washington Post.” And right wingers can decry these institutions as much as they want, that’s their prerogative. But the truth is the world runs on information. And these outlets with reporters unearth and disseminate that information. Which is why I still read the “Wall Street Journal,” which is a shell of its former self, despite hating the inane editorial page (did you see Jerry Brown’s letter in response, whew!) they still cover industries and stories that the “Times” does not.
Want to win in this world?
Read. TV news is a pale facsimile of print. Hell, how often does Rachel Maddow quote the WaPo?
And isn’t it interesting that Bezos saved the WaPo.
The bright and educated are still running the world. Don’t think otherwise. And if you believe the NFL is on the way up, you’re probably smoking a Marlboro right now.
Jerry Brown and a Republican re cap-and-trade (unfortunately behind a paywall, but not everything in life is free, to succeed you’ve got to pay)