Why football is a sport worth saving

Richie Incognito was the last thing the game needed -- now it's time to fix it

Updated: November 7, 2013, 1:32 AM ET
By Ian O'Connor | ESPNNewYork.com

The fear of the pending ritual is more memorable than the pain inflicted during it. Thirty-five years ago, inside a high school football locker room, I was a 14-year-old stripped down to a jock strap preparing to crawl on hands and knees through a gantlet of upperclassmen fixing to strike my backside with the cleats and wet, coiled-up towels in their hands.

This was freshman orientation, minus the faculty lectures, and I can still picture the eager looks on the seniors' faces as they waited ...

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