U.S. College Gridiron Tackle Football (1)

With only three days remaining for the beginning of U.S. college football, we are in week three in high school football in California, and we are already in week three, and the English Premier League is in week four of football/soccer, as are most of the other leagues in the world. The Los Angeles Football Club and the Xolos of Tijuana are playing well and drawing large, enthusiastic crowds. NFL is also close to launching its 2018 season. Where are we with all this. On the one hand, for the fifth consecutive season, participation in high school football is down: interest in playing high school football is decreasing slightly (but significantly) each year, as parents and youth alike rethink the inherent long-term dangers of playing high school football. It appears likely this trend will continue, as the younger generations avoid high school gridiron tackle football in favor of less violent and harmful sports, such as soccer. At the college level,( which is de facto the equivalent of "B" professional leagues in international soccer), we note that 41 games will be offered on television for Saturday's first full day of college football, and the networks are paying colleges a total of 1.2 billion dollars for coverage. At the same time, former players from UCLA and other high quality colleges are filing lawsuits against the football schools because of their physical injuries. An ongoing series of lawsuits are inevitable, and institutions not benefitting from the $1.2 billion in television money are likely to drop football from its college sports offerings. In the long term, high school, college and NFL gridiron football are destined to be played by an increasingly small group of elite athletes whose economic status is not as likely to be improved without the sacrifices required by football--kind of like the professional volunteer army corps we have developed in the United States, This evolution will take years. Meanwhile, bring out the beer and chips--we have 41 of these games to somehow absorb this week-end, and on Saturday, Sept 1, 2018, the beer, the chips and the 41 games will be the priority for 14-15 hours. [Raymond L. Williams].

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