Re: Report: Junior Seau Dead
I have a son who really wants to play football, another who is talented and would probably be a running back candidate, perhaps a linebacker. One is 12, the other 11. I have said no and feel like a hypocrite because I love watching football. I know he thinks I am being overprotective.
I read an article several months ago about concussions in young people, and told him that was why I don't think football is safe for his mental development. They talked about the brain damage incurred by young boys playing HS football because they are getting concussions while the brain is still in developmental stages. That's when I decided my sons would not play tackle football. If it keeps them from an athletic scholarship or making millions of dollars in the NFL, so be it.
But then, he is growing up in a middle class white home and will have other opportunities to maintain or improve his situation. What about kids growing up in poverty, who have the talent and see football as perhaps their main opportunity to improve their situation? And they may be right because of our cultural inequities.
I see the big hits and the guys stumble off the field. The safety measures being taken will never be enough. Helmet technology will never dramatically improve the incidence of concussive hits, or so I read. And larger numbers of athletes are able to make bigger and bigger hits with each generation.
I imagine it has gotten to epidemic proportions thanks to the ESPN effect, who call the big hits "plays of the week." I love the sport, have grown up watching it, have my football teams that I follow, but I don't think Plummer is completely exaggerating. You see the guys get up slow, walk to the sidelines after a big hit, walking off the field as if drunk---or getting carted off.
I am feeling more and more comfortable with my decision to not let my boys play football. While it is being protective, I think it is my duty to not let my children get involved in something that will inevitably be harmful to their health, just like I don't let them smoke, drink alcohol, take drugs. They play football outside in the yard, but they are not making vicious hits on each other. While I understand they can get concussions just playing around the house, that doesn't mean I should allow them to be involved in an activity that I KNOW is going to have a high probability of one occurring in the course of playing the game.
The boys are just going to have to be disappointed on this one and stick to basketball and baseball, where this type of injury, esp. in youth leagues, is probably no higher than getting a concussion playing in the yard.
But then I ask the broader question. Will more and more parents take the position I am? Why is football excelling in suburbia, (and forgive my generalization, but I think it has merit), where they are seemingly so concerned about healthy lifestyles, but are putting together football teams that dominate and compete for state championships, at least in Ohio? The evidence is mounting. Will football go the way of boxing as a barbaric, unsafe sport in another generation or two?
Can't win with 'em
Can't win without 'em
Last edited by traderumor; 01-10-2013 at 10:18 AM.