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Time to Take a Good Look at Football

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DALLAS -- There's a lot to make us sick about football lately -- scandals, fights, suspensions, and those dumb high school kids thinking the ref is a tackling dummy.

Many of you will stare at your phones this weekend, tracking your fantasy teams. But don't you think it's time we started taking a good look at what's going on?

The start of this season feels different -- enough to have some of you think about life where football doesn't matter.

It can happen. Boxing has lost its punch. Baseball is losing its fastball. And the numbers suggest kids would rather play with a joystick than any sport.

But what do you think the NFL fears more than all of its current issues? Well, it's this.

"It was a freak accident."

That's a Louisiana high school football coach coming to terms after one of his kids died after getting hurt in a game.

It happens more than you think. An average of 12 high school and college players die each year; some from heat, some from hits.

And you have to believe somewhere in NFL headquarters, there's a file of what to do when one of its players dies on the field. Bet you didn't know -- they can dust off notes from 50 years ago when it last happened. Chuck Hughes of the Lions took his last breath against the Bears.

Not being an alarmist here, but it will happen again? This time, on live TV and on social media?

The fallout for the league will be immense. The casual fan will turn away; the hardcore fan like me will pause.

Because overnight, the talk will go from protecting players on the field to protecting all of us from watching sudden death.

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