Saturday, August 31, 2013

(Related Update): The end of the NFL?

Related Update: The NFL and the massive former players' concussion-based lawsuit reached an out-of-court settlement today for $765 million dollars.  I certainly don't know the ins and outs of the case, but it seems to me that the big winners here were the NFL league itself, the owners, and the fans.  Given the stakes involved and the massive wealth of the league and the team owners,  $765 million seems like an extremely low number to settle for.  Consider that many, if not most, of the teams individually are worth more than the payoff figure; personally, I wouldn't have been surprised if the figure was $5 billion, spread over many years.  The fans, of course, won because a potentially lethal issue was peacefully resolved and not allowed to grow into something potentially larger than the game itself.
From a news account at FoxNews:
The NFL and more than 4,500 former players want to resolve concussion-related lawsuits with a $765 million settlement that would fund medical exams, concussion-related compensation and medical research, a federal judge said Thursday.
The plaintiffs include at least 10 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett. They also include Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon and the family of Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year.

Original Post:  Included in my Weekend links post this past Friday was an article highlighting some of the concerns about the direction the NFL is heading according to Bernard Pollard of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens (Congrats to the Ravens!).  Here's an article that worries about the future of the NFL from a different angle, one that I think is absolutely a legitimate threat to league. Listen to Reason.com author Steve Chapman: 
But football has a problem: the specter of mass brain damage among current and former players. So far, the steady trickle of disturbing revelations has had no apparent effect on ticket sales or TV ratings. What it has done, though, is more ominous: It has invited lawsuits.
It's not hard to imagine where things will end up if the lawsuits are successful.