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January 26, 2014

“Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?”

Update: 87 out of 91 Deceased NFL Players Test Positive for Brain Disease – From Frontline (pbs.org)

Update: Chris Borland Retiring Due To Head Injury Concerns.

**Update—Thanks to reddit:  A 30-sec Super Bowl ad costs more than ALL of Sunday’s QB base salaries combined [OC]

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The New York Times asks, “Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?”

If football routinely results in brain injury, is watching football (ie, sponsoring it) immoral, a la supporting a pointless war, or a sort of mild, lower-class sacrificial Hunger Games?

I think so. And yet, I’m still watching next Sunday. Am I not walking my talk, here?

….medical research has confirmed that football can cause catastrophic brain injury — not as a rare and unintended consequence, but as a routine byproduct of how the game is played. That puts us fans in a morally queasy position. We not only tolerate this brutality. We sponsor it, just by watching at home. We’re the reason the N.F.L. will earn $5 billion in television revenue alone next year, three times as much as its runner-up, Major League Baseball.

Never is this sponsorship more overt than next Sunday, for the Super Bowl has become an event of such magnitude that it ranks as a secular holiday at this point, as much a celebration of the sport’s ability to draw multimillion-dollar ads as the contest itself. More than 100 million people will watch the game. Most of my friends will be parked in front of their TVs. For the first time in 35 years, I won’t be among them…

Full article: here.

The same question could be, and has been, applied to climbing: should sponsors support “heroes” who sacrifice their safety and, too often, lives, for the momentary bliss of adrenalin and extreme risk and, in so doing, inspire the next generation to do the same?

The Continued Glorification of Danger in the Adventure Community.

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