Bob Costas says football, at least as we know it, may soon "collapse like a house of cards" because of one "fundamental fact": "This game destroys people's brains." USA Today reports the Emmy award-winning sports broadcaster and former host of Football Night in America called the decline of the NFL as a "cash machine" the biggest story in American sports while speaking Tuesday at the University of Maryland. And Costas said that decline is not about athletes' knees but their brains. "Unless and until there is some technology which we cannot even imagine, let alone has been developed, that would make this inherently dangerous game not marginally safer, but acceptably safe, the cracks in the foundation are there," the Washington Post quotes Costas as saying.
Costas said this is not some "left-wing conspiracy," adding: "The truth is the truth." In one of three studies on CTE released by Boston University since July, researchers found evidence of CTE in all but one of 111 brains belonging to former NFL players, the New York Daily News reports. And Costas noted that multiple independent studies show tackle football is most dangerous for the brains of youths under 20. He said parents will soon make the "common-sense" choice, as he would, to not let their kids play tackle football at least until they're 18, eroding the talent base for college football and the NFL. ESPN's Tony Kornheiser agreed with Costas at Tuesday's event, saying the NFL could go the way of boxing. "If they don’t find a way to make it safe, and we don’t see how they will ... the game's not going to be around," he said.