There’s no question that football is the most popular sport in America. For decades, NFL games have been the top-rated program on all of television even as hundreds of other networks have started up and fragmented the television audience. College football also continues to be reliably popular with many universities desperately seeking to cash in on bowl games and endorsements.
The success of football has made it a target for the bottom-feeders known as the trial lawyers, however, and in recent years, there have been several enormous lawsuits launched against the NFL and against its official helmet manufacturer, Riddell. These lawsuits, and the often shoddy science behind them have been seized upon in the media, even by some people who should know better.
People who cover sports for a living can easily tell the difference between “running out the clock” and “running up the score,” but a recent story stating that eight living National Football League players had tested positive for a disease that can only be detected during an autopsy demonstrated that these reporters shouldn't dabble into matters of science without verifying their information.
Initial reports indicated that NFL Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett, Joe DeLamielleure and Leonard Marshall -- as well as five other athletes -- were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder that is only detectable after the diseased person has died.
Although football has probably never been more popular or prosperous, there are threats to the sport which could radically alter how it is played in the short-term, and perhaps, based on reports of reduced youth participation in the game and attempts to ban young people from playing it, its very existence in the long-term.
At the New York Post, writer Daniel Flynn, the author of "War on Football," has compiled quite a bit of information which contradicts the "football is deadly and damaging" meme which has gained popular and media currency, including in an unchallenged interview on Fareed Zakaria's CNN show, as a result of "more than 4,800 named player-plaintiffs in ... 242 concussion-related lawsuits" against the National Football League (bolds are mine):
Look at footage or photos from just about any protest gathering of left-wing radicals – from the anti-Iraq War rallies to the Occupy movement – and chances are you’ll see it: a T-shirt or a sign scrawled with “Free Mumia.”
Since his 1982 conviction for the murder o Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner made him a cause célèbre, Mumia Abu-Jamal has basked in the adulation of the left. Mumia’s politics – he was a radical ex-Black Panther “journalist” and rabid supporter of the cultish black liberation group MOVE – caused many liberals to believe he’d been set up.