It's Saturday! Instead of an introduction, let's start out with a discussion of injuries in football. (Uplifting, no?) Ben McGrath wrote a long article in the New Yorker about concussions, and the takeaway is this: latest research tends to show that football will break your brain. As Chris Brown at Smart Football notes, though, the big question is less concerned with the NFL than with amateur football. The key quote: "If in 10 years it can be demonstrated that four years of high school football significantly increases the risk of brain injuries and long-term disorders, then football really will have no future." That's quite true, but McGrath also mentions the flip side: if football's too dangerous, then what about rugby? Or skiing? Or sledding? Or any other activity that can whack you upside the head and damage your brain?
There is much thinking to be done. And the culture of "toughness" in the NFL - which Spencer Hall memorably calls "The NFL's Moron Soap Opera", in reference to the latest Jay Cutler incident - probably isn't helping.
*Over on the baseball side, FanGraphs has a nice summary of the Top 10 prospects in the Twins' system, a great article for those of us who quickly become overwhelmed at the mountain of minor league coverage available online. John Bonnes, the tireless Twins payroll expert, is already looking ahead to 2012's salary numbers. And Nick Nelson, who I said last week was the offseason leader in Twins negativity, came back this week with many positive things to say about Kevin Slowey.
*In soccer news, Brian Quarstad at Inside Minnesota Soccer has a nice tribute to goalkeeper Joe Warren, who's been a stalwart in goal for Minnesota soccer teams for approximately 87 seasons.
*And finally, Shane Nackerud's post about women and makeup doesn't have anything to do with sports whatsoever, but it still made me laugh. And given that I started this post writing about head injuries, maybe it's good it ends with a chuckle.
That's my time; enjoy your weekend. It's still nice and warm out there. Get outside and enjoy it, before it all goes away and we're once again trapped in our homes by toe-freezing cold.