60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft thinks the NFL’s concussion problem could be traumatic for the league. “Not since football was nearly banned a hundred years ago has the sport been under the microscope the way it is today,” Kroft said on Sunday’s report. “And all of it has to do with matters of the brain.” Kroft ticked off some of the problems facing pro football: That NFL players appear to be at an elevated risk for brain diseases like chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. That researchers continue to dig into the links between football and brain injuries. And that football is a contact sport, which means that head trauma is basically inevitable.
Here’s what 60 Minutes missed about football and the brain: a) The NFL isn’t in trouble yet: Ratings are higher than ever. b) NFL isn’t in trouble yet, part 2: Its finances remain strong. c) Thousands of players are still lining up to play in the league. d) The NFL’s safety rules aren’t as ironclad as one might think. e) Concussion numbers are imperfect. f) Concussions are on pace to top last year. g) The real problem might not be ‘concussions.’ Concussions might not be the best metric of risk to the brain. Instead, the accumulation of subconcussive blows that players routinely suffer might be the biggest cause of brain trauma later in life, Dr. Bob Stern of Boston University told 60 Minutes.