Oddly that great game, one of the few Super Bowls decided by a last minute drive, is more known for
|Picture from www.stopcte.org|
I have the erie sense that this Super Bowl, number 50 or L if you're still using Roman numerals, may be the end of an era. In September 2015, researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University announced that they had identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy in 87 of 91 (96 percent) deceased NFL players that they had examined and in 79 percent of all football players.
No amount of precautions against concusssions can fix the problem with CTE. CTE is caused by repeated blows to the head that can fall well below concussion level. The symptoms of CTE include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, agression, depression anxiety, and, eventually, dementia. These symptoms often show up decades after the football player stops playing.
It doesn't appear there is any way around CTE. Better designed helmets do not eliminate the problem.
The pipeline to the NFL is made up of youth leagues, high school and college. It is only a matter of time before worried parents start putting their kids into sports other than football. Eventually that pipeline is going to dry up and the popularity of football, no longer a participatory sport for many people, will wane.
So celebrate tonight's Super Bowl. Football may never be the same starting tomorrow.