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And Another Thing

Associated Press

Head games

Well, you knew this was coming.

And, yes, I can already hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the knuckle-draggers and testosterone junkies, decrying the wussification of Football As We Know It. I also have my answer for them.

Would you rather the sport just dry up and blow away?

Because, listen, this is a matter of practicality, Pop Warner instituting new rules that ban certain types of contact. It might go against the century-old culture of the game, but the century-old culture of the game is, well, a century old. Which is to say, obsolete.

Fact is, if the game's to survive, it needs to evolve. Too many parents are coming out of the woodwork saying there's no way they'd let their kids play football, given the flood of recent data about concussions and long-term brain damage. And football people at all levels are smart enough to know what that bodes for the future of their game.

Which is: No future at all.

So, the new rules. I think Football As We Know It will survive. I mean, I'm sure you could go back a century and hear the same doom-crying about the wussification of football when they did away with the flying wedge.

Anybody still miss that?

Ben Smith's blog.