2 Reminders Why I Won’t Be Watching Football

by lizard

On September 5th football returns, with Baltimore playing at Denver. I won’t be watching that game or any other game this year, and if I needed a reminder why (which I kind of did, since the pull of the pigskin is strong) I got two today.

First, there is news out of Buffalo that quarter back Kevin Kolb’s suffered a potentially career-ending concussion. If you look at the tape, it doesn’t appear serious, but the subsequent symptoms exhibited by Kolb’s were apparently pretty serious. I wonder if there isn’t more to this story, like previous injuries.

Second, Dave Zirin at The Nation reports on what ESPN reporters think about Roger Goodell convincing ESPN’s corporate leadership to pull its brand from a Frontline documentary and subsequent book examining the impact of concussions in the NFL.

I spoke to several of the biggest names in journalism at ESPN this weekend and their thoughts on ESPN’s official comments and reasoning for dropping out of the project ranged from “mystifying” to “deeply depressing” to “palpable bullshit.” No one I spoke to believes that ESPN looked up after fifteen months and discovered to their collective shock that they didn’t have final editorial control of the “League of Denial.”

None of the ESPN journalists with whom I spoke wanted to go on the record, with several describing such an action with the same phrase, “career suicide” but the fact that they wanted to talk at all tells a story of its own,. The collective picture they paint is one of a disheartened newsroom that feels disrespected, dismissed and demoralized

One leading columnist and television personality at the network said to me, “Generally, ESPN’s business interests will always be at odds with its journalism. It is not a journalism company. It’s an entertainment company. This is the age of journalism we live in, not just at ESPN but everywhere. Journalism is increasingly more corporate. When you get in bed with the devil, sooner or later you start growing your own horns.”

I declared this February that I was done watching football. It’s not going to be easy, but I can’t in good conscience waste time supporting what football represents.

Football is a perfect reflection of America right now, and it’s ugly.


  1. jack ruby

    .

    Kolb’s career would be ending anyway he is awful He should be glad to retire with the giant pile of money he has stolen. The nfl (and espn) are just behaving like any other corporate entity trying to protect their profits I don’t find anything regarding the concussion fiasco to be anymore particularly galling or nefarious than your run of the mill capitalist behavior.

    But don’t worry I will stop by and let you know if the chiefs somehow turn into contenders….

    “Join us lizard…we’ve got lots of light beer and totinos pizza snacks. Our fingers are greasy and our bellies are gassy. Come waste 9 hours of free time staring at a screen during the most beautiful time of the year cheering on others playing a kids game..”

    But seriously I wish I had the self control to walk away as you plan to do but that wont be happening.

  1. 1 More than a PR Problem for the NFL | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] been really excited to watch football with me this year. Last season I declared that I would again righteously abstain from watching any games. Then my Chiefs teased me into their trap of not losing something like the […]

  2. 2 Microsoft VS. Gillette | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] been strange to have taken a righteous stand against the NFL, only to become a raging hypocrite by allowing my son to watch a sport he’s […]




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