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Thread: The End of Football

  1. #31
    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha 680 View Post
    I read a study that you have to be heading the ball with the frequency of professional players before it can begin to be a risk. As in hundreds of times over the course of one season. Which brings me to my question for those that are afraid to let their kids play football: there has always been risk of serious injury in football, but doens't all the data coming out suggest that it is the repetitive subconcussive blows over many years that lead to CTE? It is my understanding that NFL players are experiencing CTE because they spent decades getting subconcussive and concussive blows on a regular basis. Are there any documented cases of someone who just played to a through high school developing CTE, or through college for that matter?
    I read (or maybe heard) a report that suggested this was the case. In fact, it might have been a freakonomics radio podcast.
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  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by YOhio View Post
    This is where I think most people stand. Did anyone think the game was safe? Are these stories and findings really that much of a surprise to anyone?
    This is one of the main issues regarding how the NFL has handled things. The league has been saying that concussions didn't lead to long-term brain damage, that independent doctors' studies - peer-reviewed, published studies - were flawed, that NFL players are somehow less prone to brain damage than the general population, etc. They were telling players the game was safe.

    Tagliabue approached the situation like a lawyer: gather/create as much supporting evidence as you can, and attack/deny sources of contrary evidence. Goodell has been walking a line of getting the league into a more responsible approach w/r/t head trauma without admitting the league was unreasonable in its previous actions. That's why most of the statements from the league have a "we're learning more each day" type of statement in them.
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  3. #33

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    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...11072125138740

    But it would be grotesquely misleading to suggest that the average football player is likely to be consigned to dementia and early death. Scientists at the University of Montreal tracked a group of middle-aged men who had played contact sports in college 30 years before and sustained concussions while doing so. According to a 2012 study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, the researchers found no evidence of cognitive impairment beyond the effects of "normal aging."

    Presumably there is even less impairment among the vast majority of football players who never compete at the college level. Indeed, a 2002 study by Mayo Clinic researchers, who surveyed 915 football players between the ages of 9 and 13, found that injuries were relatively rare and, when they did occur, were mild, the most common being contusions (i.e., bruises).
    Little kids playing football have not the mass nor the velocity to do CTE type damage to themselves very easily.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha 680 View Post
    I read a study that you have to be heading the ball with the frequency of professional players before it can begin to be a risk. As in hundreds of times over the course of one season.
    When I played in high school I headed the ball hundreds of times in the course of a season. Think about this: Goalie drop kicks the ball which flies high in the air and comes down fifty yards down field. Five players gather under the falling ball and jump hoping to redirect with their heads. In the attempt to head the ball two of the guys band their heads together pretty hard. The guy who actually gets his noggin on the ball gets enough force on the ball to redirect it thirty yards or farther down field in the opposite direction. I'd submit to you that a soccer ball coming down at that speed can put significant stress on a helmetless head. It's probably worse than anything I experienced in football.

    From personal experience I think soccer is far worse than the study you cited.

  5. #35

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    There will likely be many more rules changes that come about. I've wondered if they'll outlaw any hits from the shoulders up.

  6. #36
    It is NOT a monkey! creekster's Avatar
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    I guess the issue is if this means the end of football or the end of football with the current rules and equipment. If all we are talking about is the latter, then it is almost certainly correct. If the former, I think it is almost certainly incorrect. But for purposes of making a thread title, I guess it sounds better than something like "Confirmed: hitting your head really hard again and again is not good for you."

    A lot of folks think we should get rid of helmets and follow the rugby model.
    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

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    Senior Member byu71's Avatar
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    I am glad my grandson has chosen not to play football. He is too good at baseball to risk getting hurt playing football. I hope the lure of it in H.S. doesn't get to him.

    It wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit if they ended football. I wouldn't have to take crap from the rosy eyed homers on here over my educated and well thought out positions on BYU football.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha 680 View Post
    Are there any documented cases of someone who just played to a through high school developing CTE, or through college for that matter?
    You aren't familiar with former BYU offensive coordinator Mike Borich?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/sp...ions.html?_r=0

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    Quote Originally Posted by creekster View Post
    A lot of folks think we should get rid of helmets and follow the rugby model.
    I've seen that argued and it makes sense. My son plays both and he is more apt to lead with his head in football than in rugby. I do think playing rugby has helped him learn to tackle better - wrap up, get low, etc. There are concussions in rugby and they do have a type of helmet but it doesn't offer near the protection of football helmets.
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  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by hostile View Post
    I've seen that argued and it makes sense. My son plays both and he is more apt to lead with his head in football than in rugby. I do think playing rugby has helped him learn to tackle better - wrap up, get low, etc. There are concussions in rugby and they do have a type of helmet but it doesn't offer near the protection of football helmets.
    Agreed. lol: "scrum caps"

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaka View Post

    From personal experience I think soccer is far worse than the study you cited.
    http://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/14/us...in-soccer.html
    I remember when this study was in the news. I think soccer is a good example that there are risks, often ones we don't tend to the think about, from playing sports.
    Quote Originally Posted by byu71 View Post
    I am glad my grandson has chosen not to play football. He is too good at baseball to risk getting hurt playing football. I hope the lure of it in H.S. doesn't get to him.
    I used to say I did not want my boys to play football. Then my 2nd boy came around. He is only 6. He is a nice kid with a good sense of humor. He loves to run and smash into other kids and push them and drive them around. He thinks its fun. It took a lot of work as a nursery kid to get him to not do this at church.

    He recently played soccer and kept getting pulled out for being physical. The league he was in had kids up to 2 years older and there really weren't any other kids his age. He is stocky and really tall for his age, but he was only the same size as the older group of kids, and he was way less coordinated. The other kids would get mad at him (and nobody blamed them) and start smashing him. He really got knocked down hard sometimes because they would get him when he wasn't looking and his lack of coordination did not help him recover from the "bumps". Our other kids would have cried and the other kids on the other teams would cry. He would smile ignore the bloody knees and run down the field looking for a chance to nail them if they got around the ball. It was really frustrating trying to get him to "get the picture", stop doing this, and play soccer. His coaches tried. We tried, but there was nothing we could do to stop it. He laughs a lot and would go after the ball, but it was clear he was looking for the kind of contact that pisses parents off. We did not sign him up again this season.

    I think there will always be a place for an aggressive game that involves contact like football or rugby. My 2nd son has been this way his whole life. I don't think he is going to grow out of being aggressive. It's just fun for him and I think his size is what gets him into trouble. When he gets old enough I don't think I am going to stop him from playing football if he wants to.

    We all know high school is the end of the line for almost all kids, but being part of a team doing what you love is great for them. It teaches them to work hard, practice, and be part of a team. I think that benefit needs to weigh into the equation as well. There are lots of boys who are going to find their best fit in a game like football, rugby, or something like it. Or they will just turn all the other sports into an aggressive contact sport.

  12. #42

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    I watched Dashon Goldson play safety last year and he was penalized for a bad every other game. Goldson left in free agency and the Niners drafted Eric Reid.

    Reid is a significantly smarter player and I can't recall a time where he committed a personal foul (a "Goldson"). Reid tackles and hits in a way that doesn't get flagged and would seem to produce far fewer concussions.

    I think the NFL needs to ban those old school Riddel helmets immediately. There are far better helmets yet the league doesn't require them.

    I also think they need to install more rules that promote better form tackling. I also think personal fouls that are called under these rules need to be reviewed to see if the player really committed the penalty.
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  13. #43
    Senior Member Katy Lied's Avatar
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    Believe me, no one loves football more than I do. I just think that some day the link between CTE and football tackles will become undeniable, and football will become so different that you may as well call it soccer with a pass.

    Scientists at the University of Montreal tracked a group of middle-aged men who had played contact sports in college 30 years before and sustained concussions while doing so. According to a 2012 study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, the researchers found no evidence of cognitive impairment beyond the effects of "normal aging."


    The problem with these kinds of studies are the methods they use to assess impairment to the brain. CTE manifests itself with the flooding of the brain with Tau. (Im the first to admit I am not familiar with the technical details). You have to cut open the brains of dead guys to find this. Otherwise, you're looking for parkinsons and depression and other symptoms that may not have a clear link to CTE.


    Presumably there is even less impairment among the vast majority of football players who never compete at the college level. Indeed, a 2002 study by Mayo Clinic researchers, who surveyed 915 football players between the ages of 9 and 13, found that injuries were relatively rare and, when they did occur, were mild, the most common being contusions (i.e., bruises).


    Again, the insidiousness of CTE is that it doesn't manifest itself until years later, even when the subconcussive injuries occurred years before. So surveying teen aged players is not going to tell you anything about CTE in later years.

    I'll admit that it is hard to pinpoint CTE, unless you have the family's permission to dig through the brain of the dead player. That chasm in years between the cause and the later CTE effect will buy just enough doubt for players that "it won't happen to me." But if parents are making the decision, they might not be so careless with their sons.


  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by hostile View Post
    I've seen that argued and it makes sense. My son plays both and he is more apt to lead with his head in football than in rugby. I do think playing rugby has helped him learn to tackle better - wrap up, get low, etc. There are concussions in rugby and they do have a type of helmet but it doesn't offer near the protection of football helmets.
    I was hoping someone with a rugby background would wiegh in as I've never played rugby and am not familar with the equipment/gear. I would guess the shoulder pads would be different as well between football and rugby. Without all the protective gear, those hard hits that result in concussions and other serious injury would be reduced.

    Coaching will also have to change and adapt. I remember getting yelled at by coaches for sacking a QB (blindside) but not hitting him hard enough. Coaches were not happy when the QB jumped back up. We were coached that a good tackle was not enough, one had to hit hard enough to knock the ball loose and make the ball carrier afraid of getting hit. So a QB would errantly throw a pass too early out of fear, a WR would take his eyes off the ball, or a RB would run out of bounds prior to contact. Those tactics may have to change but it will be progress. When I was in HS, the players had to "earn their water" during two-a-day practices in the summer heat. Players fainted but the coaches thought it toughened us up. So progress is possible.
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  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    I would say that there have been substantial changes to helmets, pads, etc. over the years. But I don't see anyone claiming that it was "the end of football". Sure there will be an ongoing series of tweaks and adjustments to equipment and rules, but to say that football will be killed off in 20 years strikes me as nutty hyperbole.
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  16. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by wally View Post
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...11072125138740

    Little kids playing football have not the mass nor the velocity to do CTE type damage to themselves very easily.
    I'll agree that little kids aren't going to do themselves long-term damage, but the idea that your average high school player isn't going to suffer long-term consequences is a myth. I come across studies literally every week (it's a hot topic right now) indicating that the risk to high school football players is as great or greater than to college/pro players. Here's just one of a very large number:
    http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/35/7/1075.abstract

    The problem is partially due to poor medical supervision, which can improve, but really to a limit. Delta High School is never going to have a trainer or doctor well-trained in sports medicine or head injury restrictions, not to mention that the guidelines for return-to-play are still very up in the air, even for those who stay current on them. Additionally, poor technique and coaching contributes to higher risk behavior. It's a problem that's not going away any time soon.
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  17. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    I'll agree that little kids aren't going to do themselves long-term damage, but the idea that your average high school player isn't going to suffer long-term consequences is a myth. I come across studies literally every week (it's a hot topic right now) indicating that the risk to high school football players is as great or greater than to college/pro players. Here's just one of a very large number:
    http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/35/7/1075.abstract

    The problem is partially due to poor medical supervision, which can improve, but really to a limit. Delta High School is never going to have a trainer or doctor well-trained in sports medicine or head injury restrictions, not to mention that the guidelines for return-to-play are still very up in the air, even for those who stay current on them. Additionally, poor technique and coaching contributes to higher risk behavior. It's a problem that's not going away any time soon.
    If we are talking strictly about high school aged players, then let's also talk about other high risk activities high schoolers engage in , driving for instance. Is football more dangerous than teenage driving? I don't know. I am guessing (and might be wrong) that teenage driving is significantly more dangerous to a teenagers health than football. Yet, we put our children in cars as soon as they turn 16 for our own convenience.

    Are we getting carried away in the fashionable crusade for protecting kids when the most dangerous risks are right in front of us? The benefit of teenage driving is more autonomy for the parent and the child. Presumably a parent weighs the risk versus the benefit and makes a decision. What are the benefits of football? Are they worth the risk? Is there a great disparity between these two risk-benefit analyses?


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  18. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by wally View Post
    If we are talking strictly about high school aged players, then let's also talk about other high risk activities high schoolers engage in , driving for instance. Is football more dangerous than teenage driving? I don't know. I am guessing (and might be wrong) that teenage driving is significantly more dangerous to a teenagers health than football. Yet, we put our children in cars as soon as they turn 16 for our own convenience.

    Are we getting carried away in the fashionable crusade for protecting kids when the most dangerous risks are right in front of us? The benefit of teenage driving is more autonomy for the parent and the child. Presumably a parent weighs the risk versus the benefit and makes a decision. What are the benefits of football? Are they worth the risk? Is there a great disparity between these two risk-benefit analyses?


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    Yeah, that's a good point. I'm not advocating that it be banned. I just think kids and parents need to be aware that this is not a risk isolated to the NFL, as seems to be the common perception.

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  19. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    Yeah, that's a good point. I'm not advocating that it be banned. I just think kids and parents need to be aware that this is not a risk isolated to the NFL, as seems to be the common perception.

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    Word.

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  20. #50
    Chronic Poseur USUC's Avatar
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    A physical medicine and rehab physician I work seems to think that the speed football played on artificial turf has contributed to the problem, increasingly so as more and more high schools are converting their natural turf to artificial.

  21. #51
    lollygagger hostile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paperback Writer View Post
    I was hoping someone with a rugby background would wiegh in as I've never played rugby and am not familar with the equipment/gear. I would guess the shoulder pads would be different as well between football and rugby. Without all the protective gear, those hard hits that result in concussions and other serious injury would be reduced.
    For the most part protective equipment in rugby consists of a sturdy sweater and shorts. Front and second-row players tape their ears to prevent cauliflower-ear.


    The helmet equivalent is a scrum cap which has evolved from ear protection

    to provide some cushioning.

    Their use is not required and very few professionals wear them on a regular basis. As you can see they differ significantly from American football helmets.

    The use of shoulder pads is probably more common, but the amount of protection they provide is minimal c/w football.


    I think equipment has some bearing on the potential decrease in head injuries. Rules also help: A tackler must wrap up or it is a penalty; no first downs so no real benefit of stopping anyone short of anything but the goal line.
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  22. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    I'll agree that little kids aren't going to do themselves long-term damage, but the idea that your average high school player isn't going to suffer long-term consequences is a myth. I come across studies literally every week (it's a hot topic right now) indicating that the risk to high school football players is as great or greater than to college/pro players. Here's just one of a very large number:
    http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/35/7/1075.abstract

    The problem is partially due to poor medical supervision, which can improve, but really to a limit. Delta High School is never going to have a trainer or doctor well-trained in sports medicine or head injury restrictions, not to mention that the guidelines for return-to-play are still very up in the air, even for those who stay current on them. Additionally, poor technique and coaching contributes to higher risk behavior. It's a problem that's not going away any time soon.
    Almost every high school I've ever worked a game at, including Delta, had a qualified trainer. Also most coaching staffs have at least one coach that has been through training on dealing with concussions. I went through the training as both a coach and an official. There is a protocol in place to deal with concussions mandated by UHSAA. Any player in the Wasatch Front at the high school level or below, who is suspected of suffering a concussion, can't return as a player until a qualified physician clears them to play. While I'm sure there is abuse most of the time the protocol is following stringently.

  23. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaka View Post
    Almost every high school I've ever worked a game at, including Delta, had a qualified trainer. Also most coaching staffs have at least one coach that has been through training on dealing with concussions. I went through the training as both a coach and an official. There is a protocol in place to deal with concussions mandated by UHSAA. Any player in the Wasatch Front at the high school level or below, who is suspected of suffering a concussion, can't return as a player until a qualified physician clears them to play. While I'm sure there is abuse most of the time the protocol is following stringently.
    Lol. I feel nervous about clearing athletes following head injuries and I went to medical school, evaluate head trauma as an every day part of my job, and have taken a special interest in the subject. But I'm glad you and Delta's trainer feel comfortable with it!

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  24. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    Lol. I feel nervous about clearing athletes following head injuries and I went to medical school, evaluate head trauma as an every day part of my job, and have taken a special interest in the subject. But I'm glad you and Delta's trainer feel comfortable with it!

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    I think everyone knows you're a doc. I also appreciate the condescension. The point is there are qualified athletic trainers at most high school and little league football games. Also most high schools have a doctor who attends their games.

    Those who control amateur football, at least in this state, are doing a decent job addressing the problem.

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaka View Post
    I think everyone knows you're a doc. I also appreciate the condescension. The point is there are qualified athletic trainers at most high school and little league football games. Also most high schools have a doctor who attends their games.

    Those who control amateur football, at least in this state, are doing a decent job addressing the problem.
    We had a trainer and a doctor on our sideline (he was my ortho). They also always had an ambulance with paramedics at the field.
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  26. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfah View Post
    We had a trainer and a doctor on our sideline (he was my ortho). They also always had an ambulance with paramedics at the field.
    There are paramedics at all the games too. Most little league venues also have paramedics on game day.

  27. #57

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    I was just going to say that generally the field doctors are orthopedic surgeons, who are not required to have ANY special training in head injury evaluation or clearance. Some have it through sports medicine fellowships (or special interest), but they're also not going to be working in Delta, UT.
    Paramedics. Lol.
    The key factor here isn't even necessarily the on-the-field doctor, since once there is any concern about a concussion, that player better not be returning to the game (I've seen this happen several times, by the way). It's the return to play later on. That's where things can get really problematic without qualified personnel.

    I think I'll bow out here.
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  28. #58
    lollygagger hostile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    I was just going to say that generally the field doctors are orthopedic surgeons, who are not required to have ANY special training in head injury evaluation or clearance. Some have it through sports medicine fellowships (or special interest), but they're also not going to be working in Delta, UT.
    Paramedics. Lol.
    The key factor here isn't even necessarily the on-the-field doctor, since once there is any concern about a concussion, that player better not be returning to the game (I've seen this happen several times, by the way). It's the return to play later on. That's where things can get really problematic without qualified personnel.

    I think I'll bow out here.
    I've covered several games by virtue of being at one of my kids games. I'll be the first to admit that I have very little training in head injuries. I know what to look for as far as severe trauma. Regarding concussions, if a kid has any symptoms they come out. I don't consider putting them back in. I tell their parents that they need to see an MD who has training in closed head injuries/concussions. That is the hard decision, when is it safe (enough) to play again.
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  29. #59

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    I think I just found the solution to this problem, and it comes from SWEDEN of all places!

    http://jalopnik.com/swedes-develop-i...ium=socialflow
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  30. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by pellegrino View Post
    I think I just found the solution to this problem, and it comes from SWEDEN of all places!

    http://jalopnik.com/swedes-develop-i...ium=socialflow
    You dropped a lot of knowledge there too. Cars ARE so yesterday and bikes ARE the future!!!!

    It is an interesting idea. It seems like it would be most popular in cold areas.

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