Look, I know we all pretend not to notice Gregg Easterbrook still making an ass of himself over on ESPN.com, but when the guy carries on as if he loves football head injuries almost as much as he hates the Jews, well...
Here's what Easterbrook wrote, regarding this Alan Schwarz story in The New York Times:
Also, like previous Schwarz pieces, the article above implies that football concussions are a singular threat to teens and college students. Bicycle injuries don't cause the press to suggest that bicycles are bad; why are football injuries treated as evidence football is bad?
Not that this needs to be pointed out or anything, but bicycle injuries, more often than not, are caused by factors external to bicycling. A tree, for instance. Or, in Easterbrookian terms, a Jewish guy parking his S-Class near a Rothschild bank and opening the door into a bike lane. Or maybe a bus transporting the cast of Fiddler on the Roof to a matinee. Football injuries, on the other hand, are caused by violence endemic to the game. This is one reason people might point to football's injuries as evidence that football itself is bad. I say "might" because no one actually does this, unless you count the imaginary and probably Jewish people haunting Gregg Easterbrook's fever dreams.
Also, "Schwarz"? Hmmm.
My guess is a meta-study would show that as a group, high school and college football players are in better health than other males of the same age. I'd guess, too, that retired NFL players, as a group, are in better health than other males of the same age.
Gregg Easterbrook, Tuesday Morning Epidemiologist. Well, there was this one study that identified 14 former NFL players since 1960 as having been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease — "a total about eight times higher than what would be expected among men in the United States of similar ages." There was another one that suggested former players were being diagnosed with neurological diseases at "19 times the normal rate for men ages 30 through 49." Or the one that concluded that, among males younger than 60, arthritis is over "three times more prevalent in retired NFL players than in the general U.S. population." For every study like this, there are many, many more like this or this or this or this. Gregg Easterbrook is about as bad at guessing as he is at interfaith tolerance. Such mishegoss.