I'm done with football

Or at least I'd like to be. It's not any one thing. Certainly, the growing neurological health crisis facing the sport, punctuated so tragically this week by the premature death of yet another player--and an iconic one at that--is a big part of it. I also am not much a fan of how the sport has evolved aesthetically, with perennial rule changes that promote the passing game over the run game and also move further and further from common sense. (Who even knows what pass interference, or even a legal catch, is any more?) And the college game has been flat-out ruined. Games now are tedious affairs that regularly last more than three-and-a-half hours. The BCS. Recruiting. Oregon's uniforms. The total commercial conquest of the sport. Put all that together, and I'm done. And I think the NFL might soon be, too.

Cal should drop football, now, and be at the vanguard of a rebooting of college athletics in the 21st Century featuring a more equitable, distributed emphasis on both men's and women's sports, on rugby and soccer and baseball and softball, as well as the dozens of other exciting sports played indoors, outdoors, and in the water. I will always cherish my memories of Cal football, and names like Nickerson, White, Pawlawski, Gonzalez, Lynch, Rodgers, et al. will always be heroes for me. And if I casually notice a 2012 Cal team led by Zach Maynard and family that jumps out to a surprise 4-0 start, it will be really hard for me to ignore. Really hard. But it's time. Get rid of the barbaric sport that American gridiron football has become. There is no reason why College Football Saturdays can't feature soccer in the Fall and rugby in the Spring. It works for most of the rest of the world. It could work here, too.

Be nice. You can find the original CGB team at

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