I would love to know the economic ratio (i.e. poor-to-rich) of kids that play football. In other words, I'd like to know how close football is or isn't already to being "only the province of the poor."
Kornheiser's analysis is perhaps a bit more level. As I see it, football isn't in any immediate danger of going away completely
, but rather it seems inevitable it will fall from its perch as America's #1 sport. That said, there are a number of different directions this could take:
1) So few parents volunteer their children for football that the sport dissipates entirely (again, not my prediction, but anything's possible).
2) It, as stated above, "becomes the province of the poor" and less
people play it. So it doesn't go away, but doesn't proliferate as much. Think: less minor league football, smaller NFL, less colleges with football programs, etc.
3) It goes the way of gymnastics: something we care about on an amateur level, but don't expect anyone to sustain on a professional level. However, the question is: "just how prevalent is CTE amongst those that never played pro ball
?" If scientists move towards the discovery that the lion's share of concussive damage is done in the first 5-10 years one plays a contact sport, then see 1) or 2). But if it moves in another direction, you could see people pursuing high school and college glory and then put the sport down once they graduate. So basically: football remains really big......for the NCAA.
4) The wildcard scenario (which I find highly unlikely, but again...putting everything on the table): medical research on reversing concussive effects becomes so advanced that this becomes a prominent bump in football's road, but the road continues.