2.04.2007

The Cost of Playing Football For a Living

Did you hear there's a football game on tonight? The Super Bowl is
one of the world's most-watched events, and the NFL one of the world's
leading form of entertainment.

But football is also a profession for an elite group of men, and while
it can be lucrative for those lucky few, it can also be costly. Just
today, I read two articles in the sports section, one on the meager
pension old-time footballers receive and another on a more recent
player's ordeal of having to play through post-concussion syndrome.

Even for those who make it to the League, the average career length is
something like four years. And the wear and tear their bodies endure
- all in the name of providing us with something exciting to watch on
Sunday afternoon - cripples almost every player in some way. Imagine
retiring from your profession in your mid-thirties and having a
diminished quality of life for the next thirty to fifty years because
of the injuries you sustained from that profession.

It can be hard to sympathize with such players when convicted felons
(remember Rae Carruth?) and prima donnas (hello, TO!) are counted
among them. Just remember tonight when you're watching the game that
these guys are basically putting on a show for you - a violent, brutal
show whose bruises and bumps they'll be feeling for most of the rest
of their lives.

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