I’ve already skewered Kevin Guskiewicz for his banality, which I find even more offensive than his particular views on chronic traumatic encephelopathy. See “Meet the New ‘Dr. No’ of CTE — ‘MacArthur Genius Fellow’ Kevin Guskiewicz!,” December 19, 2012, https://concussioninc.net/?p=6444.
But despite being a MacArthur G.F., or maybe because of it, Guskiewicz can’t stop making embarrassing statements in defense of football. In a new quote in Education Week, this intellectual titan stoops to the rhetorical level of “football doesn’t kill people; it’s people who pull the trigger on football who kill people.”
Well, OK, let’s not put words in the mouth of “Dr. No. Junior”:
Guskiewicz cited recent comments made by President Obama regarding the safety of football, but respectfully disagreed with the president. He expressed optimism that “we can find a way to make the game [of football] safe,” noting that two of his three children participated in football this past fall.
“There’s no evidence that football makes people stupid,” Guskiewicz said. “There is evidence, however, that people make football stupid.”
I think this passes for wit in GuskiewiczWorld. Someone at the University of North Carolina public relations office should take this dude aside and explain that it’s not words that make people appear stupid. There is evidence, however, that words stupidly strung together sure do.
One of the tactical conundrums of the future-of-football debate is whether to play the culture-war card. The idea, supposedly, is that you present the most neutral, clinical, non-ideological facts in support of the proposition that we shouldn’t devote so many public resources to the spectacle of kids beating each others’ brains in, and let them speak for themselves. The celebrated obstructionism of “geniuses” like Guskiewicz, who plays to the grandstands and the yahoos, shows just how hard that is.