Forbes- Journalist and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell is an outspoken advocate of banning college football on health grounds, and his appearance on CNN’s ‘GPS with Fareed Zakaria‘ has turned up the volume another notch. Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers, references a growing list of research studies suggesting a link between the head-impact injuries football players routinely endure during practice and games, and debilitating neurological disorders. The most troubling of these studies show evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of former college and professional football players, a disease with similarities to Alzheimer’s.Gladwell mentioned the case of Univeristy of Pennsylvania lineman Owen Thomas, who committed suicide in 2010. The answer to the problem, according to Gladwell, is that a major university must decide to cancel its football program and set a precedent for others to follow. His ideal candidate is Stanford, a school with both serious academic credentials and a high-powered football program. If a school like Harvard or Yale called it quits, that would be a good start, but it will take a major, bowl-winning program like Stanford to draw an acknowledged line in the sand.
I can’t believe no on has thought of this before. Obviously the only reasonable answer for reducing injuries in college football is to get rid of college football. Fucking genius. Doesn’t matter that a quadruple amputee could count on one hand the number of people who care about Ivy League football or that if Stanford got rid of it’s program 99% of people would say “Oh” and continue living their lives. Honestly what’s the point of trying to engineer new equipment or revising the rules to reduce injuries when you can just pull the plug on one of the most popular sports in the country. Now all you need to do is convince half the schools in the country (and every single college in the South) that they should get rid of their biggest revenue sport and reputation builder. That should go over well.
PS- I “read” Blink for a class and as far as I could tell it was Malcolm Gladwell making the same argument 12 chapters which either makes him the best or worst authority on concussions money can buy