Baseball in Decline?

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Stalvern
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Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby Stalvern » April 16th, 2018, 1:33 pm

David wrote:A few things. First, do you know what the new helmet rule is? Helmet-to-helmet impacts are already not permitted. The new rule they’re implementing is not that. This is when players make impact, they’re not allowed to initiate contact with their helmet, which is what every running back does when running into a pile, or when players tackle, or the O and D lineman make contact on the line. It has the potential to dramatically alter the game.

I may have used the wrong statistic to back up my point, but I still don't see how stopping players from butting with their heads isn't a good way to prevent injuries resulting from impacts to the head. And while it may "dramatically alter the game", it won't really change anything - the game is already an arbitrary set of rules providing an environment in which to compete; if you change a rule, you still have that environment and the top-level players competing in it. Adjusting to the new environment might be difficult for some, but that's short-term. The nature of sports is that players are always pushing the envelope, regardless of the envelope.

David wrote:Second, when I asked if you’d rather have sports banned was in response to your “suffering by thousands is not an acceptable price” line. This new helmet rule may have an impact, sure. It also might not, and like I said, will change the way the game is played. And even if it does have a marginal impact , football is built around men running full speed into other men. As long as the game is that, the only way injuries won’t happen is if you ban the game entirely.

I worded that poorly; what I meant was that it isn't ethical to accept preventable suffering as a necessary cost. While there is no way to prevent people from, say, breaking their legs while skiing, there are certainly preventative measures against football injuries - the players literally wear armor, and as you mentioned, there is already a rule against helmet-to-helmet impacts (which I didn't know about - should have done my homework better). The game has evolved over more than a century and will continue to evolve.

David wrote:There are also studies that show it’s not just concussions that may cause brain damage; it’s the repeated hits to the head that happen in football, hockey, soccer even, combat sports, etc that may contribute to it.

Who said that only concussions contribute to CTE, and if someone had, how would expanding the criteria for danger not make the issue in football much more severe?

David wrote:No one is forcing these adults to play the game. They all get full rides in college, which is a lot more than most if they’d like to do something else. If you want to discuss if tackle football should be banned from high schoolers and younger, that’s a different question.

Fourth, I used the anecdote about the former player to convey why people who are responsible for their own lives might want to play the game. You don’t have to disagree with or understand their reasoning, but that’s why they choose to play.

The NFL spent years actively covering up the problem with fraudulent medical studies. The swarm of lawsuits that it has received from players who hold its dishonesty responsible for their injuries shows that they were not able to make fully informed decisions. And I don't see how your point about scholarships works in your favor. "No one is forcing these adults to play the game," but they go to college for free if they do? Force or reward, what's the difference if an incentive that big is involved? These choices are not made in a vacuum.

David wrote:And I hope you’re not suggesting that football players are commiting suicide at a significant rate, because that’s false. In fact, just googling quickly there’s a couple pages that say that the suicide rate is lower for former players than the general population.

No, I was just answering your anecdotal evidence in a stupid way that occured to me while I was working on something else (that I didn't think of it while your post had my full attention shows how stupid it was). The original thought that led to it was that you can't bring this one guy up as a counterpoint to a league-wide issue, but obviously he's representative on some level because everyone in the league has made the choice to be there, but it's a moot point anyway because, as I just mentioned, the issue was actively misrepresented for a long time in the first place, and even with its entrance into the public consciousness, players have substantial incentives to downplay it unrelated to the benefits of the game itself.

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David
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Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby David » April 16th, 2018, 3:34 pm

Stalvern - Fair enough. We may have to agree to disagree here, but a few more points.

I would argue that those arbitrary rules kinda make the sport what it is. Change enough of them and it may not be the same sport anymore. If tackling was banned entirely would it really not change anything? After all, it would just be another arbitrary rule. I would say it would be a fundamentally different game.

“...preventable suffering as a necessary cost.” Gotcha, and I don’t necessarily disagree. Our differences may be that the new helmet rule to me is a necessary cost to preserve what the game is, and to you it might not be. About the concussions, maybe I assumed too much in that you were just scapegoating football and its concussions, when there are lots of activities and sports that may be linked to CTE. I think even researchers don’t know fully the causes and effects of CTE.

I think I said this earlier, but as long as players have access to accurate information they should be allowed to make those decisions. Obviously, the NFL has a responsibility to provide that to its players and failed in that regard previously. What I meant about the scholarships was that these guys have plenty of outs. Each level of football gets more dangerous, not only in accumulated hits but players are better, stronger, etc.

And there isn’t a big difference to you if someone is forced to play rather than given the choice, even with the incentives involved? Rewards or money doesn’t take away your agency as a person. If the perceived risk isn’t worth a scholarship to college, or a few million dollars for a college player entering the pros, they have that choice to make themselves. Again, provided information isn’t being withheld. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me like you’re not a sport fan, or at least an NFL fan. You may not understand it, but for a lot of players that’s their dream - to play a game they love at the highest level of competition and all the pomp and circumstance surrounding it.

pacman000
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Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby pacman000 » April 17th, 2018, 1:07 pm

David wrote:I would argue that those arbitrary rules kinda make the sport what it is. Change enough of them and it may not be the same sport anymore.

Indeed. That's why it's not called Soccer or Rugby.
If tackling was banned entirely would it really not change anything? After all, it would just be another arbitrary rule. I would say it would be a fundamentally different game.
I've wondered for the last year or so if a pro-flag football league would have a audience, or if it would just be made fun of.

(Not a sports fan. Only watch the SuperBowl for commercials. Skipped even that this year. Interesting discussion tho.)

matmico399
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Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby matmico399 » April 17th, 2018, 8:05 pm

Hard discussion. American Football is the number one sport in the USA. I much prefer college ball over the NFL. Much more exciting. But to ban a sport or make it much more "touch football" would kill it. Peeps luv the violent hits and it's ingrained in their nature for the sport. I agree we need t make the sport as safe as possible. But You cant take the football out of The US! "Rugby players can't hit as hard without pads....but I think Its's ridiculous that they use no Pads! The "scrum" in rugby can easily break guys' necks.....but not even mentioned.

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David
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Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby David » April 18th, 2018, 9:15 pm

pacman000 wrote:I've wondered for the last year or so if a pro-flag football league would have a audience, or if it would just be made fun of.

(Not a sports fan. Only watch the SuperBowl for commercials. Skipped even that this year. Interesting discussion tho.)

I’d guess the latter. Football is too much of a “man” sport for it to change that much. I’m curious about how the XFL is planning to succeed though.


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