An NFL Minor League. Smart. Very Smart

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

18 January 2017

An NFL minor league would help the battle against CTE

Think again if an NFL minor league seems like a stupid idea.

It will happen. As a matter of fact, I believe it is a must have. It’s not that fans will support a NFL minor league. I don’t believe they will. If anything, the NFL already overexposes itself. (Read my blog on declining NFL ratings). There is no room for an NFL minor league in terms of fan support.

NFL minor league is about the future

In truth, the real issue behind the formation of an NFL minor league is CTE.

Colleges and universities provide the current farm system for the NFL. High school football stars play in this de-facto NFL minor league right now. And they do it for free. That’’s right, college football is nothing more than an NFL farm system. The young kids trade their passions and time to the NCAA in exchange for personal skill growth. They hold onto the possibilities of playing on Sundays.

“The college game ends the moment an ex-NCAA student athlete dies and is found to have suffered brain damage playing football.”

Time is running out on NCAA football

This free farm system is one lawsuit away from collapse. It’s just a ticking time bomb.

The jury is not still out on CTE. Sure, the NFL has done a yeomen’s job of deflecting the issue by getting us to talk about concussions. But, in the long term, dangers of concussions are the tip of the iceberg.

Repeated concussions are not the sole danger here. The primary danger of CTE is concussive activity. Damage occurs every time the brain bangs forward or backwards in the skull. So, the risk of CTE is inherent in just playing the game. Linemen are particularly at risk.

NCAA is the NFL Minor League. Temporarily.

The college game ends the moment an ex-NCAA student athlete dies and is found to have suffered brain damage playing football. I don’t think most neurological experts believe that college football and high school football damages the brain. Human beings are not built for repeated brain trauma.

NFL minor leagueSo, what happens when an athlete who never played in the NFL is diagnosed with CTE and his family sues? It’s just a fact that even Alabama could not afford the insurance coverage to cover its football asses. No TV contract or 100,000 seat stadium can cover the loss.

But an NFL minor league, funded by the NFL could.

No need for fan support

The purpose of this farm system is to increase NFL revenue. It’s all about surviving the inevitable. Under-developed nineteen-year olds are not ready to play in the pros like baseball and basketball players. They need the four years of maturation. And that’s just to survive a few years in the league itself. Even less as a running back.

So, when I heard a report on NPR this morning about an NFL minor league team coming to LA… I was not cynical. I thought, yup, that makes sense.


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