For the NFL and all of football, a new threat: an evaporating insurance market

#1
I have been expecting some fallout like this but not to this degree nor this quickly.

Outside the Lines

It's a pretty long article and I have not finished it. From what I have read I think OTL is 100% accurate.

From the NFL to rec leagues, football is facing a stark, new threat: an evaporating insurance market that is fundamentally altering the economics of the sport, squeezing and even killing off programs faced with higher costs and a scarcity of available coverage, an Outside the Lines investigation has found.

The NFL no longer has general liability insurance covering head trauma, according to multiple sources; just one carrier is willing to provide workers' compensation coverage for NFL teams. Before concussion litigation roiled the NFL beginning in 2011, at least a dozen carriers occupied the insurance market for pro football, according to industry experts.

The insurance choices for football helmet manufacturers are equally slim; one helmet company executive said he was aware of only one. Pop Warner Little Scholars, which oversees 225,000 youth players, was forced to switch insurers after its longtime carrier, a subsidiary of the insurance giant AIG, refused to provide coverage without an exclusion for any neurological injury.

"People say football will never go away, but if we can't get insurance, it will," Jon Butler, Pop Warner's executive director, lamented to colleagues after discovering that just one carrier was willing to cover the organization for head trauma, according to a person who was present.

Dr. Julian Bailes, Pop Warner's medical director and a member of the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee, told Outside the Lines "insurance coverage is arguably the biggest threat to the sport."
In fact, pressure from litigation has already led to numerous improvements in player safety at all levels. The NFL has spent tens of millions of dollars on concussion research, sponsored a nationwide program called Heads Up to promote player safety and enacted dozens of rule changes designed to reduce head injuries. One of those rules for this season, an effort to curb targeting, generated intense preseason scrutiny and discussion among players, fans and coaches, even as commissioner Roger Goodell said, "Our focus is on how to take the head out of the game and make sure we're using the helmet as protection, and it's not being used as a weapon."
As I read this I kept thinking about what I thought was an incredibly stupid comment my driver's ed teacher told us back in the 70's. He said as cars add more and more safety equipment people are feeling more and more secure. They are relaxing to a larger degree. They are taking more chances. "IF EVER CAR HAD A DAGGER IN THE STEERING WHEEL THAT WAS POINTED AT THE DRIVER THERE WOULD BE A LOT FEWER ACCIDENTS BECAUSE DRIVERS WOULD BE GOING SLOWER. THEY WOULD BE MORE COURTEOUS TO OTHERS. THEY WOULD TAKE FEWER CHANCES." In a way the same can be said for football. If they had the old leather helmets there would be fewer helmet to helmet hits. Almost no one would try to spear another player. There is no way in the world the NFL would go back to that kind of a helmet but players get a sense of invulnerability with the newer, "safer" helmets.
 
#2
near Ogden & Rt 83
full on contact , 11 on 11, tackle football as we know it , will be a thing of the past in the future, and not all that far out either.

first the youth leagues will stop, and then the high schools will cut it out. The "travel" leagues that then form to take its spot for teens will become some form of 7 on 7 or 9 on 9 , with full contact no longer allowed.

its changing, and there is not much we can do about it.
 
#3
I have been expecting some fallout like this but not to this degree nor this quickly.

Outside the Lines

It's a pretty long article and I have not finished it. From what I have read I think OTL is 100% accurate.





As I read this I kept thinking about what I thought was an incredibly stupid comment my driver's ed teacher told us back in the 70's. He said as cars add more and more safety equipment people are feeling more and more secure. They are relaxing to a larger degree. They are taking more chances. "IF EVER CAR HAD A DAGGER IN THE STEERING WHEEL THAT WAS POINTED AT THE DRIVER THERE WOULD BE A LOT FEWER ACCIDENTS BECAUSE DRIVERS WOULD BE GOING SLOWER. THEY WOULD BE MORE COURTEOUS TO OTHERS. THEY WOULD TAKE FEWER CHANCES." In a way the same can be said for football. If they had the old leather helmets there would be fewer helmet to helmet hits. Almost no one would try to spear another player. There is no way in the world the NFL would go back to that kind of a helmet but players get a sense of invulnerability with the newer, "safer" helmets.
Reminds me of a news story from a European city where there were constant accidents at one of those hideous traffic circles. They tried everything: lights, signs, officers, cones, but the collisions kept occurring. As a last resort, the city took everything out. With no explicit guidance, drivers approached the circle cautiously and, instead of looking at a sign or light, made eye contact with other drivers and proceeded based on gestures, looks or other impromptu signals. Suddenly, accidents went down.
 
#4
Geneseo, IL
full on contact , 11 on 11, tackle football as we know it , will be a thing of the past in the future, and not all that far out either.

first the youth leagues will stop, and then the high schools will cut it out. The "travel" leagues that then form to take its spot for teens will become some form of 7 on 7 or 9 on 9 , with full contact no longer allowed.

its changing, and there is not much we can do about it.
You might be right, but the NFL will go kicking and screaming. It's a billion-dollar industry, and I don't see nearly the same market for professional 7 on 7 flag football. Also when does this catch up to other sports like hockey, boxing, and MMA?
 
#5
You might be right, but the NFL will go kicking and screaming. It's a billion-dollar industry, and I don't see nearly the same market for professional 7 on 7 flag football. Also when does this catch up to other sports like hockey, boxing, and MMA?
Football is catching up to boxing. Not the other way around. I’m not sure anyone under the age of 45 remembers how huge boxing used to be.

Football will never truly go away, but it will be like boxing, a marginal sport with a small rabid, regional fan base, that is way down the pecking order in terms of national popularity.
 
#6
OFL Supplier, BU's Brylcreem
Virginia
Reminds me of a news story from a European city where there were constant accidents at one of those hideous traffic circles. They tried everything: lights, signs, officers, cones, but the collisions kept occurring. As a last resort, the city took everything out. With no explicit guidance, drivers approached the circle cautiously and, instead of looking at a sign or light, made eye contact with other drivers and proceeded based on gestures, looks or other impromptu signals. Suddenly, accidents went down.
The league needs to force a wrap and tackle rule. Its harder to do severe damage that way - no more launching or trying to blow up the other player and when your arms are extended to tackle, you're protecting your own head to a degree. In response I think they need to take away the offensive runner's ability to stiff arm the head/facemask. I've never understood how a lineman could get called for hands to the face/helmet, but running backs can do it as a weapon.
 
#7
Geneseo, IL
Football is catching up to boxing. Not the other way around. I’m not sure anyone under the age of 45 remembers how huge boxing used to be.

Football will never truly go away, but it will be like boxing, a marginal sport with a small rabid, regional fan base, that is way down the pecking order in terms of national popularity.
Football a marginal sport? That's hard to imagine. What will replace it? Will baseball re-assert itself? Or would it be some type of virtual reality entertainment that we haven't seen yet? Kind of interesting to speculate about, but I just can't imagine football falling off a cliff like that.
 
#8
near Ogden & Rt 83
follow the money. IF there were to be a successful major class action lawsuit against the league , they will have no choice but to make the game drastically different. take away the helmets and pads and you'll make it look more like rugby - which doesn't have the concussion issues