Earlier this year, LeBron and I wrote about the end of football in Grantland. We speculated that it could take 10-15 years before football was knocked off its perch as the number 1 US sport.
New findings from Boston University make our scenario even more likely. Researchers there have found 28 previously unreported cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in deceased football players:
Previously, CTE had been found in 18 of the 19 former NFL players whose brains were examined. The 15 new cases in the BU study mean that of the 34 brains of former NFL players that have been examined, 33 had the disease. Linemen made up 40 percent of those cases, supporting research that suggests repetitive head trauma occurring on every play — not concussions associated with violent collisions — may be the biggest risk. BU also reported CTE in four former NHL players.
So, CTE is more prevalent than we thought and may well not be fixable by focussing on concussion avoidance or treatment.
The "end of football" is very much in sight.