3 Stories: Abolishing High School Football, Oakland A's, Sportsperson Of The Year

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What will be the future of high school football and Friday Night Lights? (ishutterthethought/Flickr)
What does the future hold for high school football and Friday Night Lights? (ishutterthethought/Flickr)

More than 1 million high school students nationwide play football. Despite the sport's immense popularity and staying power, some are calling for a total ban of the game at the high school level.

That's the first topic on this week's edition of "3 Stories You Should Know." Patrick Hruby of Vice Sports and Claire McNear of The Ringer join Bill Littlefield.

1. The Future Of High School Football

Earlier this year, Russell Davis ran for the school board of Nevada's Clark County — the country's fifth-largest county — on a platform of eliminating tackle football from the region's high schools. Davis was met with strong opposition and did not win a position on the board. But Patrick Hruby thinks the issues Davis raised aren't going away, and Hruby's also built a case for getting rid of high school football.

Schools are supposed to be in the business of protecting and nurturing young brains. So what are they doing sponsoring a sport that seems to be putting those brains at significant risk? And why are taxpayers subsidizing that? All these things that are true and good benefits of high school football — you could get all of those without the tackling. And that kind of speaks to: What is it that we all really like about this sport? Is it all of the other stuff? Or is it actually the violence?

2. Ownership Troubles In Oakland

After finishing the 2016 season at the bottom of the AL West, the Oakland A's received more bad news this week when the terms of the MLB's new collective bargaining agreement were finalized. The organization will be phased out of baseball's revenue sharing, which could push the franchise in a number of different directions, including toward the building of a new home stadium. Claire McNear thinks the solution might be a change of ownership in Oakland.

The strange thing about the A's is that when the owners, the current owners, bought the team in 2005, they were one of the richest ownerships in baseball. And, they've just not really invested in the team. And they like to blame the attendance problems on the Coliseum, which, to be fair, is a dump. But, you know, it seems like the problems might go beyond just that.

3. LeBron James Named SI's Sportsperson of the Year

After bringing the city of Cleveland its first championship in 52 years with one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, LeBron James earned Sports Illustrated's 2016 Sportsperson of the Year honor. But what about that other great comeback ... in the 2016 World Series ... for the Chicago Cubs? Bill Littlefield weighs in with his selection for this year's award.

Almost nobody now living was alive when the Chicago Cubs last won baseball's North American Championship, called by some the World Series. How could SI not have named the entire Cubs organization Sportsperson of the Year? And if they had to give it to just one person, fine. Give it to Ernie Banks. He's dead, but so what? They gave it to a horse one year. It's a silly award anyway. But, it certainly should've gone to the Chicago Cubs this time around. Missed opportunity.

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This segment aired on December 3, 2016.


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