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Toucher & Rich: Impact Of 'Concussion' Movie Can't Be Overstated

BOSTON (CBS) -- On Monday, Sony Pictures released the trailer for the upcoming film, "Concussion." The film stars Will Smith, who portrays Dr. Bennet Omalu, the man who discovered CTE in the brain of Steelers Hall of Famer Mike Webster.

Certainly based on the trailer, the film -- which is due to be released on Christmas Day -- could present some problems for the NFL in the upcoming months.

CONCUSSION - Official Trailer (HD) by Sony Pictures Entertainment on YouTube

Toucher & Rich discussed the trailer, and its potential impact, on Tuesday's show.

"The story of this doctor and the NFL just ignoring [him], and then more of these neuropathologists would get involved with this. And the league would just ignore it and brush it off. And it makes no sense," Fred Toucher said. "It makes no sense."

Rich Shertenlieb chimed in: "Sure it does. It makes sense if you believe the NFL is following the money and they don't want this out there and they're doing everything they can to keep this information well-hidden."

"But the worst thing that could happen to you is your retired heroes -- Mike Webster is maybe the greatest center of all time, and you've got Jim McMahon running around now and he's got brain injuries -- wouldn't you think that you would want to, in all your power, make sure that you could contain this and try to correct this? Or at least help out the people you've destroyed?" Fred said.

Rich said that fear of lawsuits kept the NFL from acknowledging the studies.

Fred referenced the GQ article on Dr. Omalu, which said:

It didn't much help that one day Omalu got a visit from a sports reporter who had come for some quotes, who saw Webster's and Long's brains sitting in tubs in the living room and had said, "Get these out of your house! Someone could come in and kill you and steal these brains! Do you know what you're dealing with?"

Overall, the movie spells trouble for the league.

"[The NFL is] being ridiculous with this deflated ball crap, but at least up until 2009 it's criminally despicable what they were doing, in my opinion, if you believe this doctor and his story," Fred said.

Later,'s Michael Hurley joined the program, and he said the impact of the film could be "massive."

"I think the advertising aspect of it -- during games, you can't advertise for that during games," Hurley said.

"And you can't dismiss it," Fred added. "You can't easily dismiss it, because it affects your kids. So this is something that is far-reaching. That concussion issue, we don't have to talk about it every day, but it's not something where you can go, 'Oh, I'm bored.' Because it doesn't just affect the guys playing at the NFL level; it affects your kids in high school, it affects kids in middle school, it affects youth programs that may no longer exist. It affects a lot."

Hurley noted that the owners discussed their planned response to the film during meetings in July, but "I still think that trailer was probably worse than they could have imagined. That, in two minutes, is as damaging as the League of Denial book and the [documentary], because maybe 1 percent of the population at most read that book and watched the documentary. But everybody is going to see this trailer."

Fred added: "And then you'll go back and read the article that started the whole thing, and then you'll go down the rabbit hole of all the information that came out."

Rich noted that the film has a chance to transcend just the sports audience.

"I think this has 'Moneyball' potential," he said. "That was a sports movie that even people who weren't big sports fans went and saw. And if it's good ... I mean, it's being released during Oscar season, so maybe it's being pushed."

Listen to the full discussion below:

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