The Instigator
traviscolorado
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Blade-of-Truth
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Concussions Will Lead To The Death Of The NFL and Football as We Know It

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Blade-of-Truth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2015 Category: Sports
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 881 times Debate No: 73563
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

traviscolorado

Pro

Because of the long and short term effects of concussions on athletes and its current attention by the media, concussions will strangle the NFL out of its Apex position a top the United States Sports World. To big to fail? Not quite one only has to look at Boxing and Horsing racing to see parallels of where football might be in 10-20 years if not sooner.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

This will be my second football-related debate here on DDO. I'm looking forward to the challenge!

I accept the debate. Please begin.
Debate Round No. 1
traviscolorado

Pro

Part 1: The Media

Because of our current dependence on social media, nothing these days happens with out a constant media following being attached to it. The media has an incredible power in that it can take a large subject matter, simplify it, and then show it to millions of people in a few short seconds. The NFL is a media intensive business that relays on the technology to run its most basic elements. The constant 24/7 media coverage as allowed the NFL to become the most watched, highest paid sport in the Untied States and gross over 10 billion dollars a year. We all know news reports love a villain or a shockingly horrific story, because it sells a whole lot better than Johnny saved a cat from a tree. So what happens when that constant media turns on you? Most would make the point that one only has to survive the quick blast that our news reports are but if the content is to strong to bad to look away and ignore it anymore and the right people see if than the damage can be catastrophic. The NFLs Achilles heel is that it must constantly adhere to its followers: no followers, no money, no NFL. Images of players getting knocked out, stumbling around and taken away in stretchers because of massive hits to some might just be considered part of the game, after all footballs a violent sport. But when players commit suicide, have huge health defects far to early and are dying at age 50 and there is a link between those hits and the consequences now being seen, then it takes on a new life of its own. The cringe factor as I have come to call it, is the natural and knee jerk reaction when something is to overwhelming that one has to look away or cringe in disapproval or shock. Here"s a short list to get the general idea:
1)http://www.nfl.com...
2) http://www.nfl.com...
These kinds of replays are bad news for the NFL and the sport of football in general as these kind of hits will be remembered for their viciousness and the long term health concerns. We have already seen what bad press can do to major trends and hobbies, smoking and not wearing seatbelts were common practice and accepted for millions of people not to long ago. But after heavy opposition due to the health concerns each posed to people both saw radical change and reduction. Big companies are also quick to cut ties with anything that might pose a threat to its image. Nike for example cut ties with Lance Armstrong, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Mike Vick, Tiger Woods, Barry Bond and Oscar Pistorius all for different degrees that Nike felt there image might be hurt by the questionable actions of there athletes. If the information and research continues to trend negatively as concussions in football lead to very extreme health complications for athletes later in life then don"t be surprised if advertisers, investors and Networks slowly shy away from football out of concerns with being associated with a potentially dangerous and reckless organization.

Part 2: Liability Suits

The NFL in my estimations made out like bandits when they agreed in 2015 a roughly 1 billion dollar settlement with retired football players after 4,500 ex-players sued the NFL for hiding the dangers of concussion related trauma. The settlement will cover around 20,000 ex-players. While a billion is a large number, considering the NFL hauls in 10 billion a year and as part of the settlement had to admit no guilt to the hiding concussion claims seems like a pretty good deal for the NFL. My prediction for the future is that as more information comes out and if it revels even more conclusively that football is directly related to health complication then future plaintiffs will look to see it threw the court system. If players start winning judgments it will put great pressure on the insurance industry. Anyone who has delt with insurance companies can tell you without hesitation that getting coverage for a healthy 20 year old is a hell of a lot easer than trying to get it for an 80yr old with cancer. The change here is that insurance companies afraid that they are going to get stuck with the bill of the numerous cases to come might instead look at the NFL as the 80yr old and start declining coverage for college and high school teams. If that happens then coaches, team trainers and referees are now possibly fully liable for a player"s health. It"s estimated that 15% of football players experience a mild traumatic brain injury during the course of a season. That"s 15% of your team that if something goes wrong you could be looking at a 2 million dollar lawsuit that you have no coverage for and you didn"t think you could be found liable for.

Part 3: Parents don"t let kids play

Potentially the biggest threat to the NFL"s future is parents not allowing their kids, the hall of famers, MVP"s and champions of tomorrow, to play out of fear of injury. Parents should be worried about the injuries their kids could receive from playing football, they should be very worried as there are 90,000 brain injuries a year among precollege athletes. A number that is also believed to be 50% less then it actually is based of chronic lying about concussion number to make them seem less relevant. The human brain undergoes some of its most important development while I child is in there teenage years, but because of all this development it leaves the teenage brain very venerable. A 2002 study found that teens who played football were 3 times more likely to get a concision then the 2nd highest sport (soccer), 10 time more likely to exhibit multiple abnormal responses to head injury including loss of consciousness and persistent amnesia. A 2004 study found that football players with 2 or more concussions were 7.7 times more likely to experience a major drop in memory performance. When compared to similar students without a history of concussions athletes with 2 plus concussions were found to have significantly lower GPA"s. A 2009 study commissioned by the NFL found former players ages 30-49 were being diagnosed with severe memory related diseases at 19 times the rate of the general public. Perhaps even more disturbing is autopsy analysis led by Ann Mackee at Boston University found that of 15 former players, 14 of them were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. She also studied only one teens brain but found that the 18yr old had already irreversible signs of CTE in parts of the frontal cortex, this is thought to be the earliest evidence of CTE every recorded. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy symptoms include dementia, such as memory loss, aggression, confusion and depression, which generally appear years or many decades after the trauma. Parents will always look out for what"s best for there kids and I don"t think it"s a stretch to evaluate football as a potentially to dangerous sport. It could simply take one set of parents to hold there kids out of football for the rest of the town to fallow suit and thus creating a domino effect spreading from friend group to town to county to city and so on. Some will look at the millions of dollars NFL players make and that in ways justifies the risk these players are taking. But for the 99% of kids who play football they will never see a dime, as their careers will end as student athletes. These student athletes, who are playing for the love of the game, are taking an un-proportional hit in damage done and numbers affected. These are also the kids who are going to need all there brain cells in tact as they will peruse careers in other fields then athletics. Chris Borland, age 24, broke the trend when he became the first significant NFL player to call it quits in his prime because he felt the risk was not worth the reward. "I just want to live a long and healthy life, and I don"t want to have any Neurological diseases or die younger."
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I want to start by thanking Pro for his previous round.

Clarifications

For this debate, the resolution is as follows: Concussions Will Lead To The Death Of The NFL and Football as We Know It

There are two claims being made in this resolution: 1) Concussions will lead to the death of the NFL, and 2) Concussions will lead to the death of Football as we know it. These claims carry two separate burdens that Pro must fulfill in order to win this debate. This is because the National Football League and Football itself are two very different things, and Pro is affirming the motion that concussions will lead to the death of both. So if he only proves one or the other, but not both, he would fail to uphold his full burden and thus rightfully lose the debate.

On the flip side, as Con, I must negate his arguments. It is not necessary for me to present my own counter-arguments since Pro is the one affirming the speculative claim, I must merely show the faults in his own claims and if I do so successfully, I rightfully win.

Rebuttals

I. The Media

Pro stated:

"If the information and research continues to trend negatively as concussions in football lead to very extreme health complications for athletes later in life then don"t be surprised if advertisers, investors and Networks slowly shy away from football out of concerns with being associated with a potentially dangerous and reckless organization."

Essentially, Pro is arguing that poor press (such as concussions) is bad for business, and if something is bad for business, then it needs to change. The problem with this line of argumentation is that is it based on nothing more than speculation and unrelated occurrences. The key part of his argument here is "then don't be surprised if". Unless Pro can show that there are major advertisers *already* pulling out of the NFL due to the concussion issue, then this argument has no place in this debate, nor does it give any weight to Pro's position since it is nothing but speculation and "what ifs".

Another issue I see is that Pro relied on examples of famous athletes who've lost sponsors like Nike due to bad press. The problem is that these examples are not applicable to the scope of our debate since we aren't talking about sponsor/player dynamics, but rather sponsor/league dynamics. I've yet to see any major reports of these top sponsors pulling out of the entire league, as a whole, for some concussion issue. Unless Pro can provide substantial evidence showing otherwise, these examples, like his main argument, have no place here in this debate, nor do they serve to strengthen his position regarding the league as a whole.

Ultimately, the argument itself is based on nothing more than speculation, with the speculation itself being miscorrectly justified via sponsor/player dynamics rather than sponsor/league dynamics, and hence falls short of meeting the burden on Pro.

II. Liability Suits

Pro stated:

"My prediction for the future is that as more information comes out and if it revels even more conclusively that football is directly related to health complication then future plaintiffs will look to see it threw the court system. If players start winning judgments it will put great pressure on the insurance industry."

Again, Pro relies a "prediction", i.e., speculation. Since Pro wishes to turn his BOP into what is more likely to happen or not, then I'd simply argue that it's more likely than not that the NFL is already involved in reducing the occurrences of concussions. If you think for a second that a business that had to shell out a billion dollars isn't taking measure to avoid having to do that again, then you are mistaken...

Not only has the NFL already created a new "return-to-play" policy for players who've suffered from concussions, which serves to protect the returning players even more, [1] but they've also got the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) to approve a new testing standard for football helmets which specifically caters to concussion prevention. [2] What this means is that the NFL is *already* taking steps in the right direction, it's *already* changing the standards of practice it uses for both the equipment and health policies, and through it all, we've yet to see the death of the NFL or Football as we know it. We already saw the rules change to help better protect players in 2010, and yet nothing about that change gives off the slightest implication that the death of the NFL or Football as we know it is imminent.

In regards specifically to Pro's insurance concerns, the NFL has it's own insurance benefit program for players. So it's not like all these "insurance companies" would even be part of the picture here. The benefits and coverage specifically includes: Long-term disability insurance, life insurance, and accidental death insurance, among the 20 other benefits which can all be seen here:http://www.nfl.com...

What's even more important to note is that the key parts of those benefits, such as Long-term disability insurance, are actually paid in full by the NFL. Which can be seen at the bottom of the page in the link I shared next to the asterisk. So the entire insurance argument from Pro stands defeated since I've now given evidence which shows that such issues are actually not an issue at all in the NFL.

III. Parent's don't let kids play

I don't think this is a legitimate argument for several reasons.

First off, a majority of the best players come from low-income living environments. From a socioeconomic point of view, sports can be seen as an opportunity for youth in ghettos to find success in life. I've rarely ever heard such concerns coming from the parents of those children. A majority of these fears manifest themselves in the parents of middle and upper-class sports players, who have the luxury of caring about such things. In regards to who makes it in the NFL, a vast majority aren't raised in those middle and upper class families. So, immediately we can see that this argument falls short of covering the entire scope of the parent/safety issue and actually just appeals to a certain demographic found within the scope of youth football. To a majority of the lower-class parents, they are more concerned with their little boy getting into the NFL and making millions.

Secondly, I can't even find any studies which support your 90,000 brain injuries claim. I'd ask that you present some valid evidence supporting the truth value of this claim, otherwise, it's nothing more than a made-up number you just felt like sharing to drive your point home. In another football debate I did, which can be seen here: http://www.debate.org... showed how there are numerous pads and a vast range of protective gear that are specifically tailored for the defensive needs of children.

At the end of the day, Pro can share as many horror stories as he wants to, in regards to sporting injuries, autopsy findings, etc., but none of it serves to prove what he needs to prove to win this debate, which is that concussions will lead to the death of the NFL and Football as we know it.

In closing,

Up to this point of the debate, Pro has done nothing but rely on speculation, predictions, emotional appeals, unsourced studies, and misplaced examples. All of which serves no purpose in helping him meet the Burden of Proof that comes with the resolution he's affirming. I've not only rebutted each of the three arguments raised by Pro, but I additionally showed how the NFL is already changing to help protect players from concussions, and how such changes have not led, nor will lead, to the death of either the NFL or Football as we know it.

As it stands now, the resolution is negated.

I now return the floor to Pro.

Thank you.

Sources

[1] http://static.nfl.com...
[2] http://www.usatoday.com...
Debate Round No. 2
traviscolorado

Pro

traviscolorado forfeited this round.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

My opponent, Pro, has forfeited the final round.

Due to his forfeit, I extend all arguments as they currently remain standing unchallenged.

Additionally, because pro has failed to provide any responses to my rebuttals, he has failed to maintain his Burden of Proof.

For these reasons, I urge a vote for Con.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
===Rest of the RFD - Conduct, Sources, and Shortened RFD for Arguments===

Conduct - Con. Pro forfeited the final round, which is rarely acceptable conduct in any debate setting. Thus, conduct to Con for not forfeiting. | S&G - Tie. Neither side made any major S&G errors and maintained adequate grammatical usage. | Arguments - The BoP was on Pro, so if Con managed to adequately refute Pro's arguments without a proper defense from Pro, Con wins. (1) Media: Pro's argument relied on poor press, allowing for his *prediction* of advertisers pulling out of football. But since there is no proof and it is a prediction, Con wins this [as Con pointed out]. (2) Liability - once more, Pro's argument is based on speculation & prediction. Con. (3) Parents - (a) Brain injuries claim unsupported, (b) socioeconomic standpoint is low, hence this is void. Relies on speculation, predictions, emotional appeals, unsourced studies, and misplaced examples. FF rendered Pro unable to refute Con's claims. | Sources: All Pro's studies were unsourced, while Con's weren't. Therefore, sources to Con. | Overall, 6 points to Con.

==== End of RFD | If you have any questions regarding this RFD, PM me. ====
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
===Expanded RFD===

(a) Media

As Con correctly pointed out, the advertisers have *not* withdrawn yet. This is a *pure* speculation of Pro's, with *no* proof whatsoever. This entire argument is a bare assertion. As stated in the vote, such unsourced predictions are unreliable. Argument to Con.

(b) Liability Suits

As Con stated, the speculative argument with pure inductivity may be countered simply by showing how the NFL is *already* putting a stop to concussions, allowing for probability to put this in Con's favor. *Speculations* and *assumptions* cannot act as appropriate demonstration of a claim.

"What's even more important to note is that the key parts of those benefits, such as Long-term disability insurance, are actually paid in full by the NFL. Which can be seen at the bottom of the page in the link I shared next to the asterisk. So the entire insurance argument from Pro stands defeated since I've now given evidence which shows that such issues are actually not an issue at all in the NFL." - the evidential claim stands.

This argument goes to Con.

(c) Parents won't let kids play

First, Pro randomly says there have been n number of brain injuries *without proving so*. There is *no* credible source to support this claim. Secondly, as Con pointed out, most people who join NFL are from lower-wage classes, so this is incorrect from a socioeconomic standpoint.

This to Con.

All arguments of Pro's rely on on speculation, predictions, emotional appeals, unsourced studies, and misplaced examples. Pro's final forfeiture stopped them from refuting *any* of Con's arguments or defending theirs.

As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Posted by Canuckleball 1 year ago
Canuckleball
As a current college football player with multiple concussions on the past, I agree that the game has to either radically change or face decline. We have started seeing players retire early out of fear of head injuries, especially after seeing the horror stories of former player's mental issues.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
traviscoloradoBlade-of-TruthTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - FF by Pro. Conduct to Con. | S&G - Tie. Neither side made any major S&G errors and maintained adequate grammatical usage. | Arguments - The BoP was on Pro, so if Con managed to adequately refute Pro's arguments without a proper defense from Pro, Con wins. (1) Media: Pro's argument relied on poor press, allowing for his *prediction* of advertisers pulling out of football. But since there is no proof and it is a prediction, Con wins this [as Con pointed out]. (2) Liability - once more, Pro's argument is based on speculation & prediction. Con. (3) Parents - (a) Brain injuries claim unsupported, (b) socioeconomic standpoint is low, hence this is void. Relies on speculation, predictions, emotional appeals, unsourced studies, and misplaced examples. FF rendered Pro unable to refute Con's claims. | Sources: All Pro's studies unreliable and unsourced. Con had sources. | Rest in comments.
Vote Placed by Yassine 1 year ago
Yassine
traviscoloradoBlade-of-TruthTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: FF