CBS Sports football columnist Pete Prisco has some thoughts about the NFL's concussion settlement. He compiled those thoughts, which are incredibly stupid, into an incredibly stupid column. This is how it begins:
I just got off the phone with my attorney. Why?
I had a concussion playing 115-pound football and another in high school. Back then — not leather helmet days but close — they just called it getting your bell rung and stuck some nasty crap in front of your nose, and told you to go back into the game.
So I am suing.
Why not? I might get an extra $100,000 or so for my bank account. The precedent has been set. The NFL settled Thursday with a group of players filing concussion lawsuits to the tune of $765 million. So why not go after the high schools? Pop Warner? Colleges? And maybe even those two-hand touch games set up by our dads?
Pay up, Pop.
It just gets worse from there, as Prisco continues to spout specious tough-guy logic about how the players involved in the concussion suit don't deserve the settlement money because they should have known the risks that were involved when they started playing football. Putting that ridiculous argument aside, Prisco's column is especially awful because it completely misunderstands what the suit was about.
The players didn't sue the NFL simply because they suffered concussions while playing football, but because the NFL knew about the serious dangers that concussions posed to the health of its employees years before it acknowledged those dangers or took any steps to mitigate them. Prisco goes so far as to compare NFL players to police officers and firemen—They know what they signed up for!—which would make sense if firemen had spent the last 50 years being told to rush into burning buildings without oxygen masks because their bosses didn't want to acknowledge that smoke inhalation is dangerous.
Having concluded his stupid argument, Prisco takes some time to remind us about what's really important:
Without the NFL, I wouldn't have a job. Nor would a lot of people.
Without the NFL, what would you do on fall Sundays?
Without the NFL, television sports, and the advertising that goes with it, would be in trouble.
Without the NFL, fantasy sports would be a wasteland.
Yes, thank God the advertising industry, a preeminent member of CBS Sports' stable of troll columnists, and fantasy football have come out of this mess unscathed. Potential crisis averted.