STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Here's commentator Frank Deford.
FRANK DEFORD: Dave Pear was an outstanding defensive lineman who played in a Pro Bowl and on a Super Bowl-winning team. When I was chatting with him in his living room a year ago, suddenly he thrust out one of his huge hands, grasping the back of my neck, squeezing hard. The pain I felt was excruciating. My hands shot up in desperation to try and release his grip. And then, just as quickly, he let go of me. Hurt? he asked, rhetorically. I nodded, ruefully. Well, he said, sometimes, without medication, that's how much I've hurt all day long.
NFL C: Goodell has issued new, more stringent rules with regard to concussions and urged former players to will their brains to a study at Boston University, which is seeking to determine how much does the sport scramble many minds. Invariably, however, when any attempts to improve football safety are suggested, a cry goes up that the spoilsports are out to destroy the very essence of the game. Hey, it's supposed to be a cruel sport. And, yes, it not only is, but as the players get bigger and faster, the collisions increase in their raw manpower.
INSKEEP: Far more boys play football in high school than any other sport - well more than a million each autumn. For many Americans, it's a rite of passage for their sons to be on the football team. Nobody says that you learn to be a man playing baseball, say, or basketball. But that's always been a romantic part of the attraction of American football. But as the risks of football injury and long-term disability become more exposed, will many parents decide that it's better for their boys to play a safer, but less glamorous sport? What price manly?
INSKEEP: Commentator Frank Deford joins us each Wednesday from member station, WSHU, on Fairfield, Connecticut.
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