by Josh Gross
One of the best podcasts around is Intelligence Squared, a show that attempts to ape the legendary Oxford Union debates in the United Kingdom by inviting leading thinkers to take up some of the touchiest issues of the day, then having the audience vote on a winner.
This week, the show took up the topic of whether college football should be banned. Topics covered included risk of head injuries, the roles of universities, effects on recruitment and even how you can't have freedom without the dumb. It was a rousing and passionate back-and-forth with plenty of laughs, insight and some truly surprising results.
But a major part of what made the debate so fascinating is that one of the debaters arguing for the motion was Pulitzer Prize-winning sports journalist Buzz Bissinger, the author of the legendary football book Friday Night Lights. He's hardly the sort you'd expect to come down against football.
A few teaser highlights can be seen in the video below, but the full video or audio are worth a listen for anyone interested in sports, education or how public funding is used. And it's especially worth considering as Boise State's football program continues to garner national acclaim, and the university considers potential expansion plans.
And a special note to commenters: It's probably a good idea to hear the whole debate before chiming in with your two cents because many of the arguments made and the results might surprise you.