miscellaneous

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Image by Monica’s Dad via Flickr

The WSJ tells us today:

“According to a Wall Street Journal study of four recent broadcasts, and similar estimates by researchers, the average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes.”

That’s right folks. 11 minutes. What’s going on the rest of the time?

Commercials – 1 hour

Shots of players huddling, standing at the line of scrimmage or just generally milling about between snaps – 75 minutes

The rest of the time is the random stuff you see like replays, cheerleaders, crowd, etc.

What’s really interesting about this? You know all those concussions we talked about?

They all happen in just 11 minutes.

I continue to contend that football is a brutal game I cannot support. Read this post for more reasons why.

First of all, thanks so much for reading!  I really appreciate your input and insights as I consider various issues.  Your comments always make my day, especially when they challenge me and force me to think.

Those of you who visit the blog (as opposed to the RSS feed or Facebook) will notice a few changes. First, there’s a new theme, called Punchcut. I hope you like it. I realize it’s gray but I wanted to draw as much attention to the posts as possible.

There are also a few new features:

Featured Post

On the sidebar, you’ll see a featured post area where a new, featured post will appear every time you refresh the page. It’s been a ton of fun to read and a great way for me to see what I used to write.

Rich Comments

Now, when you leave comments on the blog, you’ll be able to add some basic HTML to those comments, including links, text markup, etc.

ShareThis

At the end of each post, you’ll see the above button. Click this to share it on various social media sites that you can choose.

Sphere: Related Content

This button will also appear at the end of each post. Click it to see related posts from around the web, including news sites, other blogs, etc. Hopefully, this can present all sides of the debate on various issues or lead you down the path of other interesting ideas.

Tags

I think you all know what tags are. Basically, it’s a way to micro-categorize each post so you can more easily find topics you’re interested in.

I’d love to hear what you think of the new theme and the new features. Comments are open!!

You’ve all grown to know and love the image I use when I’m particularly frustrated with Obama supporters:

Well, this image is more sarcastic and, frankly, mean than I was really comfortable with but I didn’t know of any alternatives. So, I chose the route of hostility over abstinence.

Not any more.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the new Obama image!!!!

This image more accurately reflects my mood when I reflect on the damage both inflicted and accrued to the US economy by our new commander-in-chief. It’s not a sarcastic round of applause but simply a disappointed stare. It’s like the father who doesn’t spank their child but instead gives them a look that says “I expected more of you”.

My friends, let’s welcome this new era of the Entreblog with your comments on the new picture or suggestions of better ones.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/19/091019fa_fact_gladwell

Michael Vick became the target of our loathing for, essentially, taking animals and forcing them to do severe, life-ending damage to each other, all to enrich themselves and for the sport of others. Malcolm Gladwell basically asks the question, “how, exactly, does that differ from football or boxing”?

What he presents is preliminary evidence that shows a much higher correlation between people who played these sports for a long time and dementia. I say preliminary because the researchers haven’t explored all explanations yet. First, they’ve only examined about 16 brains (this can only be detected after death). Second, these brains all have something in common: they belong to ex-professional or collegiate football players.

This commonality introduces a potential bias. It may be that the genetics that cause these people to be big, strong, fast and smart enough to play this game also predisposes them to dementia. Or, it may be that all elite atheletes have this predisposition. Until a more rigorous study is done, involving a control group of non-atheletes and/or elite atheletes of other sports, nothing more than a correlation can be drawn, which is inconclusive.

Morally, of course, there is a huge difference between dog fighting and football or boxing. Humans make the conscious choice to participate (assuming no pressure from parents, which is probably a very naive assumption) and dogs don’t. Plus, dogs who fight are either killed in the fight or shot later while football players are given millions of dollars and lauded by fans.

But can we really say the future stars understand the risks they take when, at the age of 8 or 9, they start to suit up for their first practice? Do parents really understand what they’re signing their kids up for? If so, is the reward worth the risk? I suppose that’s up to each parent or individual to decide.

My wife and I have already decided our kids won’t play these sports, so it’s not an issue for us. But the article’s conclusion hit home with me. For those that don’t know, I’m a rabid BYU football fan. Before I started dating Heidi, who never really got into football, I hadn’t missed a single home game during my 4 years at the Y. The only sport I follow is BYU football.

Here’s the conclusion of the article:

“It had been known for eighty years. Boxers ran a twenty-per-cent risk of dementia. Yet boxers continue to box. Why? Because people still go to boxing matches.”

and

“There is nothing else to be done, not so long as fans stand and cheer. We are in love with football players, with their courage and grit, and nothing else—neither considerations of science nor those of morality—can compete with the destructive power of that love.”

Ouch.

So, why did Michael Vick force dogs to fight in his ring? It wasn’t because the dogs wanted to do it. I doubt it was because of the sheer enjoyment he derived from watching. My guess is, it was for the spectators who would pay the gate, gamble on the fight and make him more money.

And why does Michael Vick himself enter the dogfight day after day, potentially causing himself irreparable harm and putting the future of his family on the line? Is it because it’s so much fun? I’m sure that’s part of it. Is it because he is forced to? Doubtful. Or is it because he makes millions of dollars and lives a life he may never had been able to live without football, at least for as long as his life goes on? Bingo.

And who, ultimately, supplies those millions to him?

Frankly, I don’t care to say.