CultureThe dilemma of the modern football fanBy Ta-Nehisi CoatesJanuary 29, 2009ShareHow do we love a sport that is taking years off the life of its players? I found this suggestion to be interesting: Here's my favorite proposal to improve the situation: eliminate free substitution and go back to having the players play both ways. If they had to play both ways, there would not be so many of the freakishly large players on the field who create the lethal forces that endanger others' lives. An added benefit is that it would tilt the game more in favor of the best, most versatile athletes. Besides, super-specialization is a hallmark of the modern industrial society, along with super-commoditization and super-organization. Sports are supposed to be a way to bring back a taste of the more primitive life we left behind when we all became cogs in the giant industrial machine. I'm going to be doing some reporting around this for an upcoming piece. Can't wait to tell you guys what I find.