This interesting little ad popped up on my Facebook feed this week.
At first I thought the ad targeted me because it was reminiscent of one the greatest comic exchanges in the history of cinema:
DANTE I got fined for selling cigarettes to a minor.
RANDAL No way!
DANTE Five hundred dollars.
RANDAL You're bullshitting.
DANTE hands him the summons.
RANDAL reads it. RANDAL I didn't think they even enforced this.
DANTE (points to himself) Living proof.
RANDAL I thought you never sold cigarettes to kids.
DANTE I don't, you did.
RANDAL (pause) Really?
DANTE Little girl. Maybe five years old?
RANDAL (taken aback) Holy shit. That girl?
DANTE As opposed to the hundreds of other children you let buy cigarettes whenever you work here. - Clerks 1994
That little girl in question never smoked that cigarette, she just put it to her lips for shock value.
But alas, no, in the ad above there were no Clerks references. It simply looked like that Mom was lighting a cigarette for her kid and he was smoking it. As a matter of fact, it appeared that the boy's entire Pee Wee Football team was smoking. The gist of the ad is that you wouldn't let your kids smoke, why would you let them play Tackle Football?
Let's pause. There's a group called the Concussion Legacy Foundation. It equates smoking to tackle football.
Not next year.
But in the coming years.....
Back in 1960, the NCAA discontinued boxing at the collegiate level.
It remained popular through the 60's and 70's, but the Death of Duk-Koo Kim accelerated boxing's downfall from major sport to fringe sport today.
All it's going to take is one high school suicide, then a CTE diagnosis in a 17 year old, to get the ball rolling. One High School discontinues football. Then another, then dozens. Can you imagine a High School Boxing team today? That will be Football's Future in America in 2040-2050.
I'm not saying that's what I want. I'm saying that's what will happen. Watch that ad on the top of the article again. The tides have turned. I got that ad on Super Bowl Week. I did some research, the ad was created in 2019, but the group is re-focusing its advertising efforts for the big game.
The NFL may survive, but football's peak in America is now in the rear view mirror.
You say I'm wrong? The NFL has never been bigger? Kim died in 1982 and in 1983 the Journal of the American Medical Association called for boxing to be banned. Boxing didn't die immediately, I watched the McGregor-Mayweather fight a few years back. But according to Gallup (2018), watching Boxing today is as popular as watching Rodeo, Volleyball, or Gymnastics.