Even if you don't follow college football, the ending of Saturday's Michigan versus Michigan State game should interest you. Michigan, returning to its role as a dominant competitor, had a two-point lead with 6 seconds left. The team just needed to punt the ball, and let time expire. That didn't happen. Instead, the kicker fumbled the ball, and a Michigan State player Jalen Watts-Jackson returned it for a touchdown, giving Michigan State the lead with no time left. Shortly after the win, it became clear that Watts-Jackson was injured either while being tackled into the end zone, or by the celebratory dog pile from his own teammates.
The physical toll of football, particularly involving head injuries, has been a controversial topic amongst the NFL and the NCAA, two business that curate what footage fans do and don't see on television. Their filming of games tends to provide enough distance for gawking without any substantial depiction of the agony and pain a sports-related injury can cause.
The real cost of football
The cost of football on the human body may be better understood by the general public, however, as alternative footage of games appears via the internet. A member of the CBS affiliate from Toledo, Ohio posted on Reddit a raw clip of the play filmed from the end zone. What begins like traditional football footage ends with a bloodcurdling scream, and a huddle of young men realizing their peer is in agony.
In one 90-second unedited shot, we see how the NCAA and the NFL want football portrayed as what the sport actually is at its base level: strong grown men hitting each other at maximum speed. Television helped football become the nation's most popular sport. The internet — and accessible digital video — may be its biggest threat.
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