What Is Football Doing To Us As A People? Recent comments from NFL executives on the safety of football have Frank Deford wondering, when will we Americans stop adoring the game?
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What Is Football Doing To Us As A People?

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What Is Football Doing To Us As A People?

What Is Football Doing To Us As A People?

What Is Football Doing To Us As A People?

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  • Transcript

Dave Pear of the Oakland Raiders puts a stop to Larry Csonka of the Miami Dolphins after a 1-yard gain during fourth-quarter action on Oct. 9, 1979, in Oakland. The Raiders won 13-3. AP hide caption

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AP

Dave Pear of the Oakland Raiders puts a stop to Larry Csonka of the Miami Dolphins after a 1-yard gain during fourth-quarter action on Oct. 9, 1979, in Oakland. The Raiders won 13-3.

AP

A few years ago during an interview, Dave Pear, a former defensive lineman with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, suddenly, without warning, grabbed me — his huge thumb and forefinger pinching my poor neck. It was only for a few seconds, but my knees started to buckle and the pain shot through me. Calmly then, Dave said, "That's how I used to feel all day long."

The point of that little episode is not just to show how painful football can be and how it can leave players like Dave Pear wounded for life. Does each of us need to suffer agony to understand how brutal our gridiron entertainment is? Surely, seeing is believing enough. So, what is football doing to us as a people? How do we explain an America that alone in the world so loves this savage sport?

Click the audio to hear Frank Deford's full commentary on this issue.