Super Bowl 50: amid NFL's golden era, hints of a sweeping change

SHIFTS IN THOUGHT 

The Super Bowl shows the NFL is more popular than ever, but the game could change in fundamental ways because of mounting public concerns over head injuries. 

By Gloria Goodale, Staff writer FEBRUARY 6, 2016

David J. Phillip/AP

David J. Phillip/AP

A BrainScope device is displayed before an NFL health and safety news conference Thursday in San Francisco. The device can be used to help diagnose traumatic brain injuries. (AP Photo/ DAVID J. PHILLIP/AP

LOS ANGELES — National Football League news this week told two dramatically different stories.

On one hand, there was the run-up to the Super Bowl, with all the anticipation and intrigue around whether the Denver Broncos can stop the juggernaut that is Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.

Last year’s ratings for the game – a record 114.4 million viewers – suggest the NFL has never been more popular.

Yet there was also the story of Kenny Stabler, the late Oakland Raiders quarterback who was revealed to have been diagnosed with CTE, the degenerative brain condition linked to many former professional football players.

The contrast was both poignant and apt, many say.

At a time when the NFL is the unrivaled king of American professional sports, concerns about ...

 

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