Gridiron football has never been more popular. Unquestionably the most popular sport in the United States, professional football is a ten billion dollar a year industry, and high-level college football brings in billions more. The sport is at the top of its game, and with Super Bowl XLVII coming up on Sunday, it’s easy to think that football can only continue to get more popular.
Behind the scenes, though, there is increasing concern that football could be in trouble. The sport is violent by its very nature, and that has long been understood to lead to long-term physical damage. Increasingly, however, it’s becoming apparent that there is a far worse trauma being inflicted on players — serious, irreversible, devastating traumatic brain injuries.