I wrote a couple months ago about how the NFL’s hesitance to release its All-22 footage betrayed the league’s keen awareness of the marketing problems that football’s extreme violence could cause it.
Bill Simmons over at Highbrow–Sports-wannabe Grantland penned an incisive send up of the hypocrisy that the recent bounty scandal demonstrates. Simmons eviscerates Commissioner Goodell, and takes the league to task for not doing more to protect the health of current and former players.
I disagree with Simmons on the degree to which the “line” that Saints coach Gregg Williams crossed is ambiguous, but he is spot on in his assessment of the larger contradictions in play. Football is and always will be incredibly violent. The NFL knows that, and also knows that it’s about the only thing that can sink the unsinkable league. How our society comes to grips with the game’s violent culture will determine the long-term financial fate of the league.