As the most popular professional sports league in America tinkers with its schedule, it must consider its one blemish: violent injuries.
Sunday Night Football on NBC is the day’s highest-rated prime time program, CBS’s football coverage is the most popular it’s been in two decades, yet there’s a 21 per cent spike in concussions, according to Forbes.
While 18 games ensure two more chances at TV revenue, it also presents two more opportunities for players to get hurt. Forbes estimates that an extra 190 players would suffer injury should the league expand the schedule.
And, despite what those ratings might indicate, fans are more concerned with injuries than ever before. The increase in reported concussions is most likely a direct function of increased injury awareness. And that sentiment has trickled down to youth leagues where participation in tackle football decreased by 17.4 per cent over the last nine years even as the American population grew by 8.5 per cent.
The article isn’t surprising as much as it is a nice summary of why fans have quickly turned against the idea for an 18-game schedule. As much as they love football, the injuries are simply too off-putting.
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