What I Learned This Week

Football’s existential crisis goes far beyond political controversy. New winners will rise as America’s "favorite" sport falls.

In a hospital-type bed lies a man unrecognizable from the one who once used his body as a battering ram—spindly, gaunt, even emaciated. Dixon's skin is like wrapping paper—there's just enough to conceal the silhouette of a skeleton. Saliva sometimes drips from the sides of his mouth, requiring [his wife] or one of their children to wipe it off. Occasionally, he is lifted out of bed and placed in an electric wheelchair, but mostly he spends his days in bed, helpless. The tragic passage above comes from an ESPN The Magazine profile of retired NFL defensive back Ricky Dixon. According to studies, former NFL players are four times more likely than the general public to be diagnosed with ALS. Ri…

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