Growing up, football was my first love: the first game I ever watched was the Raiders v. Patriots, which the Raiders won...and they became my team.
I attended the 8th grade meeting after school to get papers to play football in high school, but my father refused to sign the papers - he said there was too great a chance to get injured.
I mocked him at times - after all, I broke my leg in gym class playing soccer (thanks to a scissor slide tackle), and suffer leg issues from too much running. But in the long-term, it was a great decision...and now, as I see and hear the conflict within our national pastime (sorry, baseball), I have to point out the following:
1. This truly is the Golden Age of Football...but:
2. Those running the sport today are only worried about padding their pockets, rather than the future of their game.
3. It is the best promoted/advertised activity in the history of humankind. If one were to actually focus on the game itself, it isn't very good - a 60 minute game, with about 17 minutes of actual play, that takes 3 1/2 hours to complete. Think about that.
4. The studies behind long-term brain damage/injuries are only going to reduce the sheer numbers of kids playing the sport - more and more parents will follow what my father did (and I will as well). While it will take time, if less athletes are playing the sport at a young age, the skill level will decrease...and those interested in watching it will as well.
With all this in mind, go read the article about Chris Borland: