Scott Simon speaks to sports reporter Tom Goldman about the NFL championship game video games on Sunday, and how concussions are restricting insurance coverage alternatives in the league.



SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for sports.

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SIMON: We are so near the Super Bowl now that we can smell the nachos. The NFL’s championship game video games are tomorrow. We’re signed up with now by NPR sports reporter Tom Goldman. Tom, thanks a lot for being with us.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Not consuming nachos this early however hi, Scott.

SIMON: Let’s begin with the early video game – Rams-Saints. They satisfied previously this season. The Saints handed the Rams their very first loss of the season. It was a high-scoring video game – 45-35 However I collect tomorrow’s match, as so frequently occurs in the playoffs, boils down to defense.

GOLDMAN: Yes, it may. And I’m going to toss out a number of names of protective gamers who might have substantial effect. May and could, Scott. I’m feeling strong today.

SIMON: Yeah.

GOLDMAN: Aqib Talib – a veteran defensive back for the Rams who was missing out on from that earlier video game you spoke about, and the Saints had a field day tossing and capturing the ball in his half given that he’s back for this video game. And After That Sheldon Rankins for the Saints – he’s an exceptional run-stopping protective lineman. He’s out with an injury. The Rams have an excellent running attack that can just take advantage of his lack. So I’m not going to state these circumstances the Rams win since of him, however they do assist LA.

SIMON: Drew Brees, the Saints quarterback, is 40, and he has actually been so precise this year. Tom, he might divide an apple in 2 off of your head with the point of his football if he wished to.

GOLDMAN: (Laughter) You understand, that has to do with the only thing he didn’t do this season. He set an NFL record, finishing almost 75 percent of his passes. Now, The Wall Street Journal studied all of his insufficient passes, and there weren’t numerous. And it discovered …

SIMON: 2.

GOLDMAN: Yeah, precisely. And they discovered most were not his fault, suggesting receivers dropped them or captured them and after that protectors rattled the ball loose. Just about 9 percent of Brees’ overall passes were bad tosses. So if the Rams wish to beat New Orleans, put an apple on somebody’s head. No, I’m sorry. They can’t depend on Brees beating himself.

SIMON: And After That, obviously, there’s Tom Brady. I’m not going to call him old. He’s41 He’s a veterinarian. Kansas City quarterback, an excellent one, is young – Patrick Mahomes. And last time they satisfied, the Pats took the video game in the last seconds. You believe tomorrow’s video game going to be as close?

GOLDMAN: Definitely, unless it’s not. Can you inform I’m hedging my bets this time, Scott?

SIMON: Time will inform. Time will inform, yeah.

GOLDMAN: Right, right. However both quarterbacks can develop offense so well, so whoever falls back, there’s a great chance of capturing up. Mahomes is fantastic at avoiding pass rushes. He does fantastic things when he’s required to run for his life. Brady requires strong defense to do his thing since he’s not as mobile, and he’ll require that defense versus a great Kansas City pass rush. Scott, Kansas City is a minor preferred, and I believe they win this one.

SIMON: All right, a forecast. I – news I need to ask you about today around the NFL really may be more crucial long term. We’ve really got a movie clip from the movie “Concussion.”

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UNKNOWN STAR: (As star) If simply 10 percent of the moms in America choose that football is too hazardous for their kids to play, that is it. It is completion of football. Kids, colleges and ultimately, it’s simply a matter of time, the expert video game.

SIMON: May not be the moms, however, right, Tom?

GOLDMAN: That’s right. Ends up, in this age of concussion awareness, it might be insurer that choose the fate of football. Today, a report by ESPN’s “Outdoors The Lines,” an extensive report, stated insurer are leaving business of guaranteeing football since they hesitate, you understand, they’re going to need to pay billions in legal and medical expenses. Currently some programs at neighborhood colleges and city rec departments have actually been removed since of the absence of insurance coverage or increasing insurance coverage expenses. The head of Pop Warner’s youth football program is priced quote as stating “individuals state football will never ever disappear, however if we can’t get insurance coverage, it will.” Scott, it’s an interesting read and a frightening situation for those who enjoy the video game, which is still this nation’s most popular sport. However the concern is, for the length of time?

SIMON: And obviously – however for those who enjoy the gamers, it’s likewise essential to check out.

GOLDMAN: Definitely.

SIMON: NPR sports reporter Tom Goldman. Tom, thanks a lot for being with us.

GOLDMAN: You’re welcome.

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