Foot Fall

Fall is in the air, and football games are on the tube...life is good.  I am particularly savoring these precious moments, because they may be numbered.

Not fallish weather, of course, which will arrive every year from now until forever.  I'm talking about football, which threatens to be a fringe sport by the time I'm bouncing grandkids on my knee.

How is this possible, you ask?  After all, the NFL is at the peak of its powers, popularity, and passion.  There can't possibly be an end to the fun, can there?

Here's how it might go down.  With the exception of the South and the Rust Belt, parents are nervous about pushing football and kids decide the road to stardom is safer in other sports.  There follows a slow decline of participation and interest, with things like insurance coverage and new research on early head trauma pushing things further down.  The very best athletes end up in other pursuits, which is a double whammy for the NFL: fewer studs for them, more for competing sports leagues.  Next thing you know it, football is like hockey: beloved in some parts, but not garnering nearly the attention or revenues as other sports.

I hope this doesn't happen.  I'm not even entirely sure I buy everything I've written above.  But I'm enjoying every minute of pro football this season with extra measure, just in case.
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