The devil has his grip on the business of the NFL. Former players, like Aikman, who are still profiting from their NFL image, see little benefit in questioning the safety of the game. Any such comments would be met by the league as a betrayal, and he would probably be relieved of his post as Fox’s No. 1 guy. And you can be sure he won’t let that happen. Troy Aikman has his dream job, and he will echo the company line. Aaron Rodgers’ brain could be leaking out of his earhole, and Aikman will be talking about James Jones’ inconsistent hands… .

Players like Aikman and Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders, two Hall of Famers and a future Hall of Famer, represent the extreme minority of the NFL experience. Yet theirs are the voices that fans listen to. They are the ones people look to for guidance, because their Hall-of-Famey-ness makes them giants. Their greatness as players also defines them, and to question the validity of the game that has made them superheroes is to cast their own capes into the fire. They will never do this. They will be the last line of defense in the fight against science. And I can’t really blame them. Even Steve Young, an extremely cerebral man who was forced out of the league by multiple concussions, can’t find the strength to weave even one controversial thread of commentary. The waters are that deep.