This Week's Show
Will the upcoming Will Smith movie "Concussion" have an impact on the NFL's popularity, or is football so entrenched in American culture that even Hollywood can't sway opinion?
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This Week's Poll
The Wall of Boredom
In the offseason, we've been reviewing all the NBA transactions. This week, Utah signed Jeff Withey, because they need another big. The Hawks signed a bunch of personnel, and I butcher all of their names. What an action packed week!
Steve Ballmer and Digital Streaming
The Clippers turned down a $60 million dollar deal, and Steve Ballmer is hinting he'll create his own streaming service for showing games.
On the one hand, this is good. NBA Digital rights and services have been behind the times for a while. However, Steve Ballmer is the person trying to do this. I'm not optimistic.
A new biopic on Bennet Omalu is coming out starring Will Smith. Naturally, this adds even more to the NFL concussion controversy. We have a lot to say on this.
One reality is that it's really hard to get "pure" science on this subject. Even the experts make a lot of money consulting for the organizations that don't want to change things.
A lot of what Brian and I say is from "League of Denial", the excellent Frontline documentary that was dropped by ESPN.
We compare this to smoking. It's worth noting that a lot of the smoking controversy came about in the 50s. There were still ads marketed at children into the 80s. And even after that, the big tobacco companies just moved on to other addictive substances. The notion that the NFL is going anywhere soon doesn't seem likely.
In the show, I use approval of gay marriage as "an optimistic" point. However, "the data still indicated decades of time, so I still think we're in for a long ride.
I mention Dan Ariely and the point that the "evil" of the NFL is not a single super genius, but a bunch of people acting slightly immoral. Many in the United States are invested in football.
We briefly talk about the casting of Will Smith. It was an odd choice to be sure. Of course, stars that decide they want to act in a movie can result in unusual casting decisions.
Brian shouts out Tony Wroten for having a better shooting percentage from half court than from his three-point shots. (h/t/ Reddit)
I shout out Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers), Dan Gilbert (@DanTGilbert), and Robert Frank(@econnaturalist) for this fantastic video on the "Economics of Happiness." This was brought on by this article on Minecraft's former CEO tweeting out about feeling sad and lonely. While I don't doubt he feels bad right now, the data does not support the idea that money does not buy happiness, a point even conceded by the currently sad CEO.