Rush Limbaugh is wondering if the Left is going to try to ban football.
It sounds like a crazy question, given the massive popularity of both professional and college football all across America, but Limbaugh's question isn't as crazy as it seems. "Compassion" -- and the Left's reflexive Nanny State impulse -- might move the ball in that direction.
On Friday, Limbaugh wondered during his broadcast if well-intentioned liberals, out to make the game safer, might instead be paving the way for it to be banned:
Some of them are leading the charge and don't even know it with the way they're covering the sport. Some of them are leading the charge for getting the game banned and they don't even know it! By the way they're covering it. They're demanding this and demanding all these new safety features, safety regulations, safety rules. Empowering the government to police the game. They're begging for it, and they don't even realize it. They, in their naivete, think they're working hard to make the game safer and so forth, and all they're doing is paving the way for the game to be banned.
They don't even know it.
As if on cue the liberal media demonstrated what Limbaugh was talking about.
First, on ABC News's Sunday program, This Week with George Stephanopolous, guest host Jake Tapper focused on the NFL and the concussion issue, asking George Will, "Is football in trouble, or is this just the media making a muck?"
Second, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by "Friday Night Lights" author Buzz Bissinger that, quite seriously called for the banning of college football because college football loses money for many schools and "because college football has no academic purpose."
Weaving those two threads together, today, Limbaugh talked about what he said is a growing threat to the existence of football:
Folks, this is gonna happen faster than I thought. Maybe not an outright ban of the game, but I guarantee you this is gonna happen faster than I thought. It's funny for me. I read a lot of NFL blogs, and they're mostly written by typical liberal media types -- and these guys don't know what they're doing. As they write about this, they are paving the way for fundamental structural changes in this game that will make it not football, while they think they're doing compassionate stories.
For example, they're asking for federal commissions on concussions, "and we'd better have mandatory counseling for every player who retires otherwise they're all gonna commit suicide. For two reasons: A, all the head trauma; and B, people stop cheering for them, and their lives immediately turn meaningless. Every one of them." It's amazing to read this stuff. And I'm sure these guys all think that they're writing and positing with great compassion.
But they are paving the way for people who want to take the risk out of life to move in on football.
It's difficult to imagine Americans going along with government outright banning football, but it's easier to see "compassionate" liberals and trial lawyers gradually destroying the sport through excessive regulation, government intervention and lawsuits, while the sport at the college level, and eventually the high school level, is increasingly assaulted by people who agree with Bissinger, that it serves no education purpose.
On the other hand, changing football to be a minor league and major league system is very different from banning college-age athletes from playing the sport altogether. What are your thoughts, sports fans?