In Football, dogfighting, and brain damage, Malcolm Gladwell writes of the rather startling findings concerning brain damage that American footballers sustain over their careers.
The constant butting of heads leads to an enormously high rate of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.), which has symptoms like Alzheimer’s. It’s not just the concussions that cause it, but all the subconcussive contact. It’s almost as dangerous to one’s long-term health as boxing.
I grew up hating rugby and transferred that hatred to American football. I have no time for the game, which I find violent and repellent, nor for the jock culture that surrounds it.
Regardless of my feelings about football, Gladwell’s article (as so many New Yorker pieces do) makes for compelling reading. Though I found the digressions about dogfighting to be strained and irrelevant.