How long before they take away our football?

So sad.

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Should Your Child Play Football?

By John Guida November 11, 2014 3:40 pm

To the partisan battles of red and blue America, we can apparently add another culture clash: football.

Yes, the N.F.L. remains widely popular, despite its annus horribilis — among other things, the abuse scandals of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson and, above all, the medical discoveries of the professional sport’s damage to a player’s brain.

Yet for all its popularity, the ground is shifting. As David Leonhardt writes for The Upshot at The New York Times, “Blue America — particularly the highly educated Democratic-leaning areas of major metropolitan areas — is increasingly deciding that it doesn’t want its sons playing football.”

He cites a poll conducted by the RAND Corporation for The Upshot: “Nationwide, only 55 percent of respondents said they would be comfortable with their sons playing football. The numbers for baseball, basketball, soccer and track were all above 90 percent.”

The ostensibly “liberal” view holds that football — especially at the professional level — poses risks both to players’ health and to American society at large. At The Los Angeles Times, Steve Almond, author of the book “Against Football,” criticizes “the cynical commercialization of the sport, its cultish celebration of violence and the more subtle ways in which football warps our societal attitudes about race, gender and sexual orientation.”


Over/Under 10 years, what do you think?

The push to make our kids as soft and overly sensitive as possible is well under way.

Why is there no outrage over other sports that have just as high injury rate or more than football?  How come all these people don’t take their kids off of bikes?


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Types of sports and recreational activities

Consider these estimated injury statistics for 2009 from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Basketball. More than 170,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for basketball-related injuries.
  • Baseball and softball. Nearly 110,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for baseball-related injuries. Baseball also has the highest fatality rate among sports for children ages 5 to 14, with three to four children dying from baseball injuries each year.
  • Bicycling. More than 200,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries.
  • Football. Almost 215,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for football-related injuries.
  • Ice hockey. More than 20,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for ice hockey-related injuries.
  • In-line and roller skating. More than 47,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for in-line skating-related injuries.
  • Skateboarding. More than 66,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for skateboarding-related injuries.
  • Sledding or toboggan. More than 16,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for sledding-related injuries.
  • Snow skiing or snowboarding. More than 25,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for snow boarding and snow skiing-related injuries.
  • Soccer. About 88,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for soccer-related injuries.
  • Trampolines. About 65,000 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for trampoline-related injuries.

It’s the same people who say we should hand out participation awards just for showing up.  It’s the same people that are trying to tell us that we’re not supposed to appreciate beauty (and I get the difference between a creepy leer or inappropriate comment toward a woman vs a plain old compliment).

Jeeze I hope we don’t lose our football.

17 thoughts on “How long before they take away our football?

  1. Settle down. Ain’t nobody gonna take away your/OUR football, or your guns, or your bible, or your right to group anyone into a nasty little “liberal” group. I happily thought I had escaped the fear mongering mindset when I moved to MA. Guess not

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      1. Joey, I shot on a rifle and a shotgun team from age 11 through age 18. No football for me, but I’m ALL FOR IT. And by the way, I suffered zero injuries while shooting. Now Westminster MA wants to ban cigarettes and some moonbats want to ban football for kids? What the heck is wrong with this country these days? These fools want complete safety in our world, and seem willing to yield their liberties in pursuit of such a fantasy. And for the record, sorry that pesky Second Amendment prevents the banning of guns as well, thank God for the Constitution. Liberty, pass it on…

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  2. This post brings up interesting points but is also the definition of a Straw Man Argument. That is, you pile up on one side all sorts of undesirable traits and attitudes then you tear them down.

    On the one side: football and cheerleaders and tail-gating and the Patriots. I like all of them. You didn’t mention all of these but the football side has them by default.

    On the other side you have piled liberals and pantywaists who want to give trophies and medals to every child no matter how uncoordinated. Oh wait, and they are the same people who don’t like you looking at a woman even if you don’t say, “nice ass honey!”

    Then the added twist of considering kids are hurt as well doing anything when let out of the house so why pick on football?

    So to answer the question since I am a liberal pantywaist I need to ignore your strawman argument. When Ted said he was done with football after freshman year I was relieved. Football is built on contact and addling the brain is the result. Look closely at the lawsuit just being completed by the old NFL stars who speak slowly and have early onset dementia. Other sports break bones, lose teeth, but no other sport has a goal of addling each and every brain on the line at each snap.

    My fix would not be to get rid of football. It would be to get rid of the pads and the helmets. I put Ted’s helmet on and could not believe it. I got a crick in my neck just looking to the side. Turn the clock back and make football like rugby. TJ Ward would not think of spearing Gronk’s knee with his head if he didn’t have a helmet on.

    No pads and no helmets you might get even more injuries but they would be the ones like those injuries in all those other sports. Stitches, teeth knocked out, an ACL torn every once and a while, but no incessant rattling of the brain matter. Boxing was a huge sport. Now, no one watches it. No one with any sense wishes their son to be a boxing champ. Because they have seen what it did to Mohamed Ali.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As for all the injuries suffered by school-age kids in sports other than football, how many/what percentage of them are head or spinal-column related? The writer has a point insofar as skate-boarding and bike-riding are probably as dangerous as football, but if he really believes that “The push to make our kids as soft and overly sensitive as possible is well under way” then he may been playing football without a helmet himself.

    And I agree with Joey’s comment 100 percent.

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  4. take all the guns and the footballs before high school..the statistics don’t say what kind of injuries..a dislocated finger from an errant baseball is not the same as a concussion . young brains need to protected.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The point of the Upshot article (as opposed to the Op-Ed piece reacting to it) was not that liberals wanted to ban high school football. It was that as more parents have worries and reservations about their kids playing more schools will find it harder to field teams. These are two different things.

    See the original article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/04/upshot/football-the-newest-partisan-divide.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C%7B%221%22%3A%22RI%3A7%22%7D&abt=0002&abg=0

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  6. I don’t think there is a “they,” but I do believe the current all-encompassing passion for football will dwindle due to the latest information about brain injuries. And yes, it may leave the schools (there will continue to be private leagues). It’s the repetitive hits to the head–not concussions, but rather butting heads even slightly over and over–that are proving to be the devil in the details and make football unlike any other sport. Once a parent has this information, they either figure out a way to not allow whacking helmets together, or the game fades away. I get that many people dig the game as is–I come from Texas, where is is religion–but we need to consider these new studies and then make our own decisions. I personally believe a few small rule changes (mostly the head thing) would still allow it to be a fantastic game, especially for youth leagues. It’s a good thing to discuss.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good post! Thought-provoking. My kids and I love to watch football but my 8-year-old sports-loving son will never play organized football. Sure, he plays soccer and baseball and rides a bike but the injuries incurred in those activities are nothing like the concussions that occur all too often among kids his age and younger in football. Call me a liberal or whatever you want, but this is his brain we’re talking about, not a sprained ankle or skinned knee. The concussion that the 6-year-old boy at our Gloucester school bus stop sustained last week playing football was a good reminder of that.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love football and all sports. Of course we need as parents and coaches to make sure the kids are safe. My kids always played sports. The issues of kids playing through pain is not correct, if a child is injured they need to stay off the field until totally healed. When a coach or parent states to a child to play through the pain, it is wrong.

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  9. being 70 years old I morn little kids playing pickup games and choosing teams on a hourly basis and no parents or coaches in sight as compared to those who morn the death of 6 year olds running around in uniforms ,helmets,pads and what all before they even understand the game or have a chance to grow and get coordinated out of the almighty spotlight that illuminates every detail of kids activities today.Even comments like “kids being made soft” from adults seem not to understand the nature of children. They are not little adults and have plenty of challenges besides the sports playing field.
    Kathy Slifer

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Just saying, from the liberal, lefty, commie point of view, that my Dad played college football for Florida State. While there, he sustained back and knee injuries, which have caused him pain his entire life. He has had several knee and back surgeries, resulting in only very minimal relief from the pain.

    With that in mind, when our very active and wonderfully athletic son became interested in playing for a local team at around age six, we guided him towards anything but football. From the get go, it was soccer, soccer, soccer. I worried tremendously about heading the ball, but fortunately, that is discouraged at the younger levels. Heading was especially worrisome after he was in a bike accident, which resulted in a concussion and stitches.

    It is impossible to shield a young person from soccer, biking, or football accidents, nor do you want to place your child in a situation where there is the potential to receive life altering and/or life threatening injury. I don’t think my son would trade for anything the experience of inspiring coaches, awesome teammates, thrill of competitive play, practices, and fun, spontaneous pick up games. Even his birthday parties were one giant soccer game, where he organized all his classmates and teammates for games over at Swenson’s Field (with a little cake and ice cream thrown in)! There is nothing comparable to a positive team experience and I sincerely hope that a way is found to make football especially less injurious to both children and professionals.

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    1. All valid points from the comment section.
      I find good and bad in both hard core liberal and hard core conservative politics.

      What I find interesting is how in lockstep the hard left and hard right are, 99%of the time on all the same issues of the day and using all the same buzzwords.

      For the hard right it’s Fox News.

      For the hard left, The New York Times Op-Ed, Jezebel and The Huffington Post, right?

      What is there for guys in the middle like me?

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      1. This isn’t a liberal, conservative, or political issue. This is a safety issue.

        For the past decade or so, the conversation about football safety has focused on concussions. One concussion is bad for your long-term health; two or more are terrible. Playing football causes concussions, and therefore playing football is potentially hazardous to your health.

        But in the past two years, the conversation has changed dramatically, based on new research. We now know that it’s not just the concussion that are bad; it’s the cumulative effect of the many low-impact collisions that occur on every single football play that cause the most damage.

        These collisions are minor, and have no immediate impact on the players’ awareness or mental faculties. But accumulated over the many plays of each game, and over many games, they do long-term damage. Even to players who have never received a concussion.

        My kids will never play football because if what I know about the damage the game does to the developing brain. They play soccer, but they are under strict orders not to head the ball, because of what I know.

        The more we learn, the more we realize that football is dangerous. So what is your reaction to this? If it’s a political conversation, I’m not interested. If it’s a discussion about risk, then I’m interested.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Well maybe I’m in the middle. I don’t see it as a political issue – liberal versus conservative. I love the sport and believe it will not, and should not go away. I do believe however, there is a real issue here and needs to continue to be addressed. I have faith that injuries will diminish as the sport evolves.

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  12. Very good post! And life is full of risks each day we are in it!

    I grew up playing all the sports trhough and after high school and loved them nothing was ever forced on me rather my choice to play with the known risks and of course when under 18 other’s had a say to it. We have come leaps and bounds in safety equipment compared to 50’s, 60’s, 70’s. We played tackle pick-up football in the fields by days pond with no gear there were some bruises, cut’s, and sore knee’s and ankles yes indeed a bloody nose from time to time. Remember the family talks with Mom, dad, Grammy, grandfater etc…The pro’s and cons were brought up then and yes sometimes you were over ruled. There does need to be strong safety risk assessments and mitigation where possible.

    I do see both sides to this and respect that… What makes America so great is the freedom to choose! For guys like me and those including me, in the middle well I own this and the consequences that may come with the action or choice. Growing up that way our coaches did not push us when hurt or if they did we spoke up.

    🙂 Dave

    “This is to remind us all of the sacredness of life to walk gently, with dignity, integrity, and respecting one another and all our differences.” Estella Loretto

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