The NFL draft is a time to think about the future of football, and John Kass has come to a conclusion: "It's as dead as the Marlboro Man," he writes in the Chicago Tribune. You know the reason: concussions. But contrary to what you might expect, the lawyers fighting a barrage of concussion-related lawsuits aren't to blame, argues Kass. "Lawyers are merely the cleanup crew." The group that will ultimately prove to be football's undoing are parents. As Kass explains, "The NFL desperately needs" them, "not as fans, but as suppliers of young flesh."
But "parents who send their 10-year-olds to play football might as well hold up signs saying they'd like to give their children cigarettes and whiskey," argues Kass, who's making his kids play soccer, even though he used to play football. He loves the sport "desperately," he confesses, "but I can't shake the guilt of supporting the physical ruin of great athletes." Pro football may survive, but as a "trash sport" like MMA. "It won't be as American as apple pie. Instead, football will become the province of people with face tattoos." Click for his full column.