ESPN’s Outside The Lines has reported the National Football League has backed away from funding a study of the relationship football has to brain disease because the study is being run by a scientist who is a critic of the football monolith.
The NFL has spent years fighting researchers who have linked football and head trauma. The league gave the National Institutes of Health a $30 million grant to research brain trauma and some of the money was to go to Boston University, but Dr. Robert Stern is heading the BU team and it seems Dr. Stern has not been marching in lockstep with the No Fun League. Apparently, the league has veto power of where its grant money is spent. Here are the details:
I never played organized football, but I played a lot of two-handed touch and flag football when I was a young man, usually accompanied by plenty of beer and cigarettes. I was usually a running back, fast, crafty, underweight. I’d been a Chicago Bears fan then and was until this year when my patience ran out. If the Halas family ever sells the team or if they ever show a talent for picking great quarterbacks, I’ll be back, but till then, I’m watching other teams.
I was slower than usual to come to the season this year because I didn’t know who I was watching on the field. Wife-beater? Child abuser? Brain damaged hooligan? Accessory to murder? You tell me. Iâ€™m still watching as we get near the end of the season, but I feel I’m a little wiser. However, my attitude is still the same. If a bunch of grown men want to risk their future lives for a pile of money and love for the game, whether it’s boxing, cage fighting, or hockey, or football, or dueling, Iâ€™ll watch. I might think they’re crazy, but I’ll watch.