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


“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:

(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.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

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