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Ed Driscoll

Interview: Daniel J. Flynn Fights Back Against The War On Football

October 1st, 2013 - 7:07 pm

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“In 25 to 50 years, football still exists, but it’s marginalized the way boxing is,” Daniel J. Flynn of the American Spectator and his own Flynn Files blog predicts during our interview on his new book, The War On Football: Saving America’s Game.

As Flynn readily concedes, despite the myriad lawsuits that the NFL and related organizations such as the manufacturers of helmets and other safety equipment are being inundated with from former players, as a spectator sport, football has “probably never been better. Our national obsession is watching the NFL and to a lesser extent watching college football,” he says.

But on the other hand, “football as a participation sport is really hurting,” Flynn adds. “Last year, youth football lost six percent of its player population…If youth football loses six percent of its player population next season and the season after, there’s not going to be any youth football left in America.” And eventually, that attrition in young players will begin having an impact on recruiting for both the college and the pro game.

As Flynn notes, while football is indeed a rough game where injuries occur, it’s not the only sport that can result in dangerous injuries and even death. He likens the current war on football, some of which is being driven by MSM sports reporters, to earlier forms of media hysteria, such as the annual shark attack stories that newspapers and TV news shows run every summer, the 1970s reports of looming “killer bee” invasions, and the 1990s Y2K scare.

In sharp contrast to all of the fear mongering, “I want parents to be equipped with facts so that they can form decisions about whether they want to allow their kid to play football or not,” Flynn tells me. “I think right now they’re being guilt-tripped out of signing their kid up for football because of this national hysteria.”

For an antidote, click below to listen, and read the transcript of our interview on the following pages.

During our 28-minute long interview, we’ll discuss:

● How dangerous is football, both on the professional and the amateur level?

● Why former NFL players have chosen en masse to sue the league they voluntarily participated in.

● Are any former pros who have never actually played in an official NFL game suing the league for long-term injuries?

● How has parenting changed in recent years, and how is that impacting the war on football?

● What is the average lifespan is for football players, compared with those who haven’t played sports?

● What is the percentage of former NFL players committing suicide, versus the suicide rate of adult American males in general?

And much more. Click here to listen:

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(27 minutes and 50 seconds long; 25.5 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 7.96 MB lo-fi edition.)

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Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

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All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
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Football is not for pre-puberty boys. Testosterone is an essential ingredient. I played high school, college and service football for 13 years and coached high school for seven years. We went 58 and 12. The many rule changes over the years have been designed to turn the game into a spectator sport and enrich the promoters. Spectators enjoy high scoring, so rule changes make it easier to score. Example, a pass defender may chug a potential receiver but once, within 5 yards of the LOS and then must run with him, abstaining from further contact. Previously the defender could bump the receiver all over the field until the passer relleased the ball. Guess which method facilitates the passing game. In the past blockers had to hit with the shoulder and pass protection was difficult. Now they may push and greatly reduce the rusher's advantages. Fifteen yard penalties have often been reduced to ten yards, enabling offenses. Players usually play only offense or defense; we played both way s and did not have facemasks, mouthpieces or much of the currentday protective equipment. We played in the rain and snow and on fields devoid of grass. We could block above or below the waist anywhere on the field.A successful block wasn't just screening off the defender, it was "putting his ass on the grass." You were congratulated when the coach could hear your hit on the ball carrier. Football is the greatest game in the world.It can teach a young man to make a maximum effort at each and every opportunity, to force himself to do his duty even when hurt, exhausted or hopelessly defeated.To never retreat or surrender. To win or die. Without such men we cannot long survive.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I played Football in High School and in College. I am not a fan of little kids playing football they are not developed enough. The culture of playing hurt needs to stop, and the coaches that encourage it. I know things have changed but some coaches still have that attitude of just rub some dirt on it and you will be ok.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here in West central Florida (Tama Bay area) Youth football is largely a game for blacks, and as such is basically a game for thugs. Soccer and baseball are largely white and therefore preferred by most white parents. Besides which from the participation and exercise angle soccer is a far better game than football.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
As Rush says, "the NFL is already dead. It just doesn't know it yet." IF they got rid of the trashy gang bangers playing, drugs & allowed them to actually play the game as it was played 30 yrs. ago there is hope. Yet, the pcers are out to get football, the owners could care less about hiring a mass murderer to play for them if he was a great player, & the drugs, booze, whoring & crime continues. The character of most NFL players are about the same as some covicted felon at San Quentain..
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
End the platoon system and get rid of the drugs (performance enhancing and recreational) and the life expectancies of the players will once again be normal as they were for those who starred in the 40s, 50s and 60s.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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