As I mentioned yesterday, the critiques of professional football have trickled down--and created new critiques of both college and high school and even youth football.
In a public debate on college football, Buzz Bissinger reiterated his argument about the economic and educational costs of college football. On his side of the debate was writer Malcolm Gladwell who focused on the injuries incurred. On the other side of the debate, held on Tuesday night at NYU, were former NFL player and current broadcaster Tim Green and Fox Sports commentator Jason Whitlock.
Polls were taken before the debate, sponsored by Slate and Intelligence Squared, and then afterwards. Bissinger and Gladwell had a solid majority and seemed to have swayed the most people with their arguments. Green and Whitlock pointed out things like the lack of long-term studies on brain injuries, the camaraderie of the game, and that it teaches diversity, tolerance, and cooperation. (My guess is that gay men probably didn't have that universal experience of tolerance and respect for diversity.) They also promoted the connection to patriotism. Probably not the best argument to sway a Slate-reading, NYU-attending audience.
Anyway, the coverage of the debate is worth checking out. What comes of it is worthy of many, many more debates.