Should kids play football with the possibility of concussion/brain injuries?

The AJC’s Steve Hummer wrote a piece on Sunday looking at the heated debate about whether it is safe for kids and teenagers to play football.

From the AJC:

“Hundreds of former players — their numbers seemingly swelling by the week — are suing the NFL. They say the league mishandled their head injuries, leaving them with long-term brain damage.”

“Within just the past month, two former pros, Junior Seau and Ray Easterling, have committed suicide. Had their minds been shorted out by football? Were they martyrs to our lust for violent sport?”

“The answers to those questions could fundamentally impact America’s chosen game.”

“At the household level, it comes down to one intimate question:”

“Should my child play football?”

“The question has been asked by worried parents since Pop Warner was coaching the single wing and is being posed even more so now here in the Age of Concussion Angst.”

” ‘I just got off the phone with an old friend whose son is starting ninth grade spring football practice. We talked for a half an hour about that very issue. It’s on everyone’s mind,” said Bruce Hagen, an Atlanta attorney who is co-counsel for more than 200 players who have filed suit against the NFL.’ ”

Second thoughts

“Former Super Bowl-winning quarterback and current NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner stirred the pot last month when, asked if he preferred his sons not play football, he candidly responded, “Yes, I would. Can’t make that choice for them if they want to, but there’s no question in my mind.”

‘He has since backed off that stance, but didn’t until some of his peers roasted him. Included among them was ESPN’s Merril Hoge, whose own playing career was cut short by chronic, devastating concussions. He called Warner’s opinion ‘irresponsible and unacceptable. ‘”

“Others disagree.”

“A couple of years ago, Adam Cohen, a general counsel for the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, wrote an essay for the New York Times about his 10-year-old son’s reaction to a concussion he suffered during a youth game.”

“Young Will Cohen no longer plays. He instead runs track and cross country. And dad is hardly heartbroken.”

” ‘I was ecstatic [he quit football],’ Adam said. ‘I am a football fan, have been a Philadelphia Eagles lover for 35 years. But I learned very quickly I had no desire to be a football parent, to have to vicariously worry about the sorts of permanent damage he might be doing to himself.’ ”

“The testimonies of players who have come forward with tales of headaches and memory lapses and depression have so affected Cohen that he’s reconsidering his relationship with the game as a fan.”

” ‘It brings up a great deal of conflict within me,’ he said. “Am I somehow complicit when I switch on the game on Sunday or we fly back [to Philadelphia] and go to Lincoln Financial Field and root on a big hit by Trent Cole? I wonder, is this something morally I need to step away from?’ “

So what does the medical community say? From the AJC:

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 55,000 cases of traumatic brain injury — concussions mostly — per year throughout all of high school football. More awareness has meant more reporting of concussions, and the growing numbers have prompted the CDC to declare sports-related traumatic brain injuries an epidemic.”

“Facts sometimes fail parents who are looking for a definitive to-play-or-not-to-play solution. Any long-term damage done by playing football has not been quantified.” “In fact, the CDC’s Institute for Occupational Safety and Health just released a records-based study of more than 3,400 NFL players who were in the league for at least five years between 1959-1988 and found that they had a lower death rate than the general population. That included death by heart disease, cancer and, yes, suicide. The Institute plans to similarly study the incidence of early Alzheimer’s and other cognitive issues.”

“Dr. Steve Kroll of Georgia Sports Medicine estimates that he has seen more than 1,000 concussion cases in the past two years. Maybe 20 percent of those involve football. Other sources may surprise you.”

“One in particular is cheerleading,” he said. “They don’t have pads. They don’t have helmets. And they actually suffer quite a few concussions.”

(I’ve only pulled parts of the article. Please click and read it Steve’s whole story. He’s interviewed many sports experts, coaches and parents. He did a great job on it.)

I absolutely think in Georgia (and probably in most of the South) there is a greater pressure than in other regions for kids to play football. I think it comes from parents and the other boys. While kids play football in Arizona, I definitely do not feel or see the same mania about the game as in Georgia. (Those ASU fans think they love their team but they have never been to a Georgia game!)

So what do you think: Do recent news stories about players make you rethink your position on the sport? Do the medical stats worry you or do you feel like they don’t support there being a great risk?

Is the risk worth the reward of playing? Can kids get the same team building and “man building” experiences through other sports?

Do you worry/pray if you son is playing? Is head injury a constant worry? Do you feel that way during other sports?

41 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

May 21st, 2012
6:15 am

I did not grow up in a sportsy family. I had two sisters and, as a family, we were never into sports. My Dad watched some games on TV but that was about it. My middle sister’s sons were very much into basketball and played all through HS. My son went to UGA and daughter is there now. I have never been to a football game there, nor is it in my bucket list. I am not into crowds and noise. We just got back from a week at St. Augustine and we go now in May, is it is relatively empty and quiet. I loved it that way and cannot stand a crowded beach. I met someone last week who was talking about NYC and how she love it. I told her that if someone gave me an apartment and told me I had to move there…I would not want to.

That being said, I did not really want my son to play football. He played soccer, t-ball ( when he was little) basketball and karate and loved all of it. He was and is a big kid. Came in at 10 pounds 8 ounces and is now 6 foot 2 inches and wears a size 14 shoe. I did not tell him no, that he could not play but I did not encourage it. Who knows where he may or may not be if things were different. He seems very happy now that he has met his goal. He loves football and enjoyed every game he went to at UGA. He also loves the Braves and goes to as many of those games as he can.

TWG…you are correct about other states not having the same affinity for football, although I think the Nebraska Cornhuskers are also pretty serious about it. I have been there on game day and ( to me) it is comical. Are southerners simply more passionate about college football? Just curious. Different parts of the country do things differently and, at 52, I have seen a lot of different things. It is mind boggling to me, when I am speaking to teachers in Alaska who have to take a plane into their village as they do not even have cars there nor can they drive them to get from one place to another. They own a snowmobile.

motherjanegoose

May 21st, 2012
6:18 am

P.S. I have met some wonderful men who have never played football. Do you have to play football for “man building” what is that anyway? I guess I surely missed it.

Jeff

May 21st, 2012
6:20 am

I played up through high school. As a small boy, the head injuries weren’t a threat because we weren’t all that fast or heavy. So, for me, it’s no more dangerous for young kids than any other sport.

If the child shows some talent and passion for the game, then let them play. When they start to rack up injuries, and it’s no longer worth it, pull them out. That goes with anything, not just football.

malleesmom

May 21st, 2012
6:35 am

It’s not just football. Now that our family as moved to MN we hear about concussions everyday as it relates to kids playing hockey. The Jack Jablonski story is HUGE here. Our school sports questionnaire repeatedly asks about head injuries so that coaches, doctors etc are involved. That being said, we have girls so no football in our world. I would agree with Jeff. If the child has a passion for the game, play. Once repeated injuries get in the way, be done with it.

shaggy

May 21st, 2012
6:48 am

OK, in my day, we used to play full contact, sand lot football, every Sunday, just like the pros, except we didn’t wear any pads. We thought that made us tougher than the grown up version.
Talk about dangerous, we routinely had broken fingers, arms, legs, collar bones, and butts. Many times, we had to come up with creative lies, so the grown ups, who we were at constant war with, wouldn’t make us stop playing. It was a badge of honor to come to school the next week all bandaged up, with a thrilling story about a 360 degree landing, and holding on to the ball, while another kid, put a huge hit from the blindside.
Yep, those were some great times. We still talk about it over beers, or while bivouaced in a June snowstorm, waiting for our chance to make summit..hey that’s right around the corner for me…WHOOPEE!

For the most part, kids today are weaker, so yes, they can play ridiculous soccer, and badmitton, so they won’t hurt their texting/video gaming appendages. It’s OK to be weak. However, when the tough times come, just who do you think will survive?

shaggy

May 21st, 2012
6:50 am

OK, in my day, we used to play full contact, sand lot football, every Sunday, just like the pros, except we didn’t wear any pads. We thought that made us tougher than the grown up version.
Talk about dangerous, we routinely had broken fingers, arms, legs, collar bones, and butts. Many times, we had to come up with creative lies, so the grown ups, who we were at constant war with, wouldn’t make us stop playing. It was a badge of honor to come to school the next week all bandaged up, with a thrilling story about a 360 degree landing, and holding on to the ball, while another kid, put a huge hit from the blindside.
Yep, those were some great times. We still talk about it over beers, or while bivouaced in a June snowstorm, waiting for our chance to make summit..hey that’s right around the corner for me…YIPPEE!

For the most part, kids today are weaker, so yes, they can play ridiculous soccer, and badmitton, so they won’t hurt their texting/video gaming appendages. It’s OK to be weak. However, when the tough times come, just who do you think will survive?

shaggy

May 21st, 2012
6:51 am

Theresa – post went into your wretched filter. It was clean, except I wrote “butt”. Fish it out if you want.

motherjanegoose

May 21st, 2012
6:52 am

@malleesmom…love Minnesota in the SUMMER…you betcha!

Jeff

May 21st, 2012
7:49 am

MGJ, think of male bonding in sports as the equivalent of female bonding centered around shopping. It just is. I don’t understand the shopping thing, but some people don’t understand the sports thing.

Vince

May 21st, 2012
7:52 am

Hell yes! I wont my sons to play for the Dawgs! I played most of my life. Just can’t member what school the Dawgs are….

motherjanegoose

May 21st, 2012
8:05 am

@ Jeff…thanks for your insight…I live 3 miles from the Mall of Ga and if you told me I could never go in there again, it would not bother me a bit. I do not understand the shopping thing either. My Mother was a shopoholic but I am not. She was also on a strict budget from my Dad and I am not. If I want to buy a $500 purse, I can do it but this is something I would never do as I am too frugal. I guess I am pretty much unglued as I rarely bond through shopping. I laugh to think my husband would ever be married to someone who used his credit card to purchase anything. This does not happen at our house but if he were married to someone who shopped on his credit card, it would be an eye opener for sure. He does not know what it is like to live like this and I know that other men do.

I prefer meeting teachers at schools, friends on a walk in our neighborhood or meeting people from this blog for lunch or dinner. I visited 11 schools last week in Florida and met dozens of nice teachers and hundreds of children. That is more my style.

I cannot remember when is the last time I shopped with a girlfriend. I take a book to the mall, on the rare chance I go with my daughter, and sit on a bench and read while she shops. I am simply not about the latest and greatest things as they will wear out and then something else will show up.

Super Dad

May 21st, 2012
8:11 am

My 9 year plays, and my wife went from a skeptic to a hard core football Mom after the first game. A lot of it is coaching, helmet to helmet hits in chidren occur when the offesive play drops his head and leads with it. A good tackle is putting your shoulder pads between the numbers and the waist. Helmet to Helmet hits on properly coached kids should be very rare.

Augusta

May 21st, 2012
8:48 am

We have become such a pansy society, that I would not be at all surprised if football was totally done away with. And that would be such a shame…….I LIVE for Sunday Falcons Football!!!!!

Fred ™

May 21st, 2012
8:49 am

On one hand I’m surprised there hasn’t been more of a negative response from all the helicopter mom’s on here but then I thought about it………..

They are raising little sissy boys who wouldn’t be able to play football anyway.

but seriously, I have a girl so it’s not an issue. If I had a son I would try to steer him to other sports even though I played football.

Yawn.....

May 21st, 2012
9:09 am

MJG you sound like a lot of fun……(sarcasm intended)

jarvis

May 21st, 2012
9:12 am

I will support my boy in whatever he wants to play.
If he chooses to play football we will reinforce proper techniques to reduce the chance of head injury.

As an aside, I played football as a kid. Did not ever have a head injury…ironically in the 8th grade I suffered a fairly severe concussion competing in the tug of war at field day.

Susan

May 21st, 2012
9:25 am

I have a high school freshman daughter who suffered a concussion during a soccer match. It did not appear to be a particularly hard hit, but she failed the computer test and had to sit out a number of weeks. Even now, several months later, I catch my breath every time she heads the ball or gets into a tangle of players. I’m glad that there is now a greater awareness of concussions in high school sports and that the coaches and trainers take it seriously. I wouldn’t take her out of her sport, though, unless it became more of a problem. You can get a concussion falling off of a bicycle or just goofing around. Unfortunately, it’s not just a ‘boy’ problem!

Anthony J

May 21st, 2012
9:41 am

I have a 9 and 4 year old son. My 9 year old has been playing Baseball, Basketball, and Football since he was 5 years old. He is a very talented, left hand pitching, baseball player, and really enjoys competitve basketball as well… (Before anyone think we push him into too many sports, he also is a well rounded piano player)… But I digress to the topic of this post… Youth Football…
I have been coaching my son since he has been playing football, and I played all my life as well. My wife (who happens to be a nurse), and I are always concerned about the safty of not just our boys, but all of the boys whenever they take the field. We have had conversations with our son about limiting his sports as playing 3 sports at one time is very time consuming and he can not focus on everything. My wife would like him to concentrate on Basketball, and I perfer Baseball… but my son… absolutly loves football. He is not the biggest kid, not the star, and does not score a lot of touchdowns, but he loves the ability to be physical, and learn the complexities that come with the game of football. I try to stay as close to the field with him as possiable, but my wife and I have just come to the conclusion that he is a 9 year old boy, and 9 year old boys like to hit each other.
We have relaized that we can not put our children in a bubble… they can fall off a bike, out of a tree, or on the monkey bars… things happen and will continue to happen, no matter how many precautions we as parents try to take. The best quote I saw in the story was this… “Children will play, Mothers with Pray, and Football marches on”… Amen… #thatisall

Techmom

May 21st, 2012
9:44 am

I’ve seen injuries in all kids’ sports; some more than football. My son played football starting at age 6 and through his freshman year of HS before deciding he didn’t really want to play anymore. He never had any serious injuries and if he wanted to play again, I probably would be fine with it. I’ve known more kids who have gotten concussions while playing baseball, softball, soccer and wrestling than football.

My husband referees high school football and the new rules are such that the refs can send a kid out of a game if they think the kid has a concussion and the coach puts him back in. He doesn’t really agree with it since the teams usually have a trainer who should make that call but I guess it’s just another safety net. He says it would have to be pretty blatantly obvious for a ref to make that call but he’s worried that if a ref doesn’t make that call, that the refs can be held liable even though it’s really the coach’s (and the parents’) responsibility. Hopefully it will never come to that but in this litigious society, I’m sure it’s bound to happen.

Jeff

May 21st, 2012
9:52 am

MJg, I had a feeling you weren’t into the shopping thing like the stereotype of women implies, but it’s the closest gender-bonding angle I could relate it to. I could never be in another relationship with a big shopper, but I think my ex was a bit out there when it came to shopping.

catlady

May 21st, 2012
9:54 am

“I played with loaded guns when I was his age. I never killed myself or anyone else, so he should be able to play with loaded guns, too. We shouldn’t baby these kids so much.”

[...] He’s interviewed many sports experts, coaches and parents. He did a great job on it.) I absolutely think in Georgia (and probably in most of the South) there is a greater pressure than in other regions for kids to play football. I think it …Should kids play football with the possibility of concussion/brain injuries? – Atlanta Journal… [...]

jarvis

May 21st, 2012
10:06 am

That was a fantastic point catlady. Kudos.

K's Mom

May 21st, 2012
10:16 am

My husband and I both LOVE college football. We can literally spend an entire Saturday watching all of the SEC games. I am about as knowledgeable about SEC football as my husband and am proud of it.

As the mom of 2 boys, I am not excited about the prospect of them playing my favorite sport though. As someone else said, if they show a genuine interest, I will let them play,but I am not going to force it. Of course that is what we will do with any extra curricular activity. I would prefer they join swim team, but we will see what they want to do and go from there. And of course they could drown in a pool.

DwayneL

May 21st, 2012
10:26 am

And the wussification of America continues!!! You can’t protect your kids from everything that could possibly injure them and why would you want to? We learn from taking risks in life whether it be in sports or other tasks. My boys play lacrosse and football, both very physical sports. You buy them the best equipment for protection them teach them the right way to play and enjoy. Life is a team sport and these kids learn more from it than those that don’t play.

doug

May 21st, 2012
10:27 am

i have played football from the age of 6 to the age of 32. i have had many concussions, never once did i nor do think about killing myself. put the blame where it belongs. way too many coaches are concerned about x’s and o’s and forget about teaching fundamentals and the importance of it. i now coach football ( youth and adult) and see too often coaches worried about getting 100 plays taught in 12 formations in 2 weeks. at the same time neglecting the safety of the kids. see the real problem is selfishness and greed, then sprinkle in PRIDE… SPORTS should mean more to us than a way to make money and a place to drop our kids off for a few hours. AND PARENTS AS A COACH I ASK… please work with your kids on proper mechanics at home as well and you will see the number of concussions drop. FEAR and poor training causes CONCUSSIONS!!!

FBCoach'swife

May 21st, 2012
10:54 am

My husband played football all the way through high school. He did not receive one concussion and played defensive end. I however played softball and basketball and received 5 concussions and blew my knee out. I can no longer play sports. It is not just football that is the cause of concussions. I would definitely let my son or daughter, yes daughter, play football. Common sense would tell you that if injuries become a problem, then you should remove the child from the game. Don’t shelter your kids from everything physical.

iRun

May 21st, 2012
10:58 am

My 11 year old has been playing for 4 years. He really loves it. Like Jeff said, I am not worried about that kind of injury at this age. But as they all get bigger it will be something I keep an eye on. If he gets just one concussion I probably will pull him out. And he already knows that AND after the stories of these guys and their brain injury, he says he agrees.

He also plays soccer (6 years now) and does wrestling. Two sports that take a lot of athleticism and strength. As he gets older I hope he gets into long distance running, like me. We make him run a mile a few times a week as part of his chores (his chores include exercise, reading, writing, and music as well as actually doing stuff for the household).

DB

May 21st, 2012
11:01 am

Well, well, well . . . I suspect I am about to be vilified . . .

My son didn’t play football in school. Oddly enough, it was my husband, more than me, who was adamantly against it, which was even more odd when you consider that he had been taking our son to college and professional football games since he was 4 years old and is a huge, huge fan. The middle school football coach had been eyeing my son hungrily since 4th grade, when he was a head taller than everyone else and showing signs of becoming the imposing 6′3″ man that he is today. He played year-round club soccer — more cardio exercise than football, with all the constant running around — and when he wasn’t playing, he was refereeing it from a very early age. My husband’s contention was that at our son’s size, his most likely place would be the front line and didn’t like the stats for knee injuries for those players at our school. Yes, there are injuries in every sport, but football presented enough risks that, for my husband, they tipped over into the “unacceptable” category. My son wasn’t keen on it, anyway, but you’ve got it right on the peer pressure to play in the South — he was one of only two eligible boys in his middle-school class that didn’t go out for football. The coach was heartbroken, and went to my son. We had told my son to feel free to blame his parents if it took the heat off of him, so he just told the coach that “my mom doesn’t think it’s a good idea” (interesting how it wasn’t “his DAD didn’t think it was a good idea”, but I digress). The coach chuckled and said, “Oh, I’ll talk to your mom, don’t worry, she’ll change her mind. At that point, my son looked at the coach incredulously and said, “You don’t know my mom, do you?” Don’t make the mistake of labeling him a “wuss” — he played high-level year-round competitive soccer for years, ran cross-country, swam competitively, and loves doing triathlons. He’s not a couch potato, by any means.

A few years later, we talked to the team’s (unofficial) orthopedic doctor a few years later, and he confirmed that he, too, felt the injury levels were unacceptable to the point that he as a parent and another doctor-parent had approached the coaching staff and made some suggestions as to how to minimize injuries that were incorporated in the training. That, and more aggressively conservative treatment of injuries seemed to cut down on the number of injuries and repeat injuries — all good things, IMO. But talk to an orthopedic doctor, sometimes, on the effects of joint injuries as high school football player get older.

One last observation: While football is a “team” sport, it isn’t a life-time sport in terms of maintaining fitness, etc. Playing football doesn’t keep you in shape — you have to stay in shape in order to play football. Most high school kids will not play football in college, or professionally. I think there’s fewer things more pathetic than a football has-been, who is still eating with a training-table mentality (’because I’m a big guy!’) and limping because of an ol’ knee injury aggravated by weight. There’s a lot of that in the South, too.

Matt

May 21st, 2012
11:02 am

@Doug, I didn’t play until I was 32; my playing days ended with high school. I also don’t coach youth football, so I won’t claim to have the same knowledge about football and proper technique that you probably have. However, I have to take issue with your statement that “FEAR and poor training causes CONCUSSIONS!!!”. I would find it scarcely believable that players such as Junior Seau, Mike Webster, Kurt Warner, and the more than 100 other former NFL players that are currently suing the NFL had either fear or poor training.

I agree with you that fear and poor technique on the football field makes injury much more likely, but I still don’t think that we can dismiss the inherent dangers in the game.

One part of the football debate that seems to not be covered is that the people with the manifested brain injuries are long-time NFL players who would have been playing football for upwards of 25 years (assuming several years of youth football, 4 years of high school, 4 years of college, and a 10-12 year NFL career). Drawing conclusions about the safety of youth football based on issues that are present in former NFL players is probably a little bit of an overreaction. For one, the vast majority of kids will not play football past high school at best. Second, the collisions will be with other children rather than the freaks of nature that have inhabited much of big-time college and professional football for the past 25 years.

jarvis

May 21st, 2012
11:06 am

@shaggy, soccer is weak?

That’s an ignorant statement. Lots of endurance and physicality are needed. It’s very close to basketball in terms of physical contact and certainly waaay more physical than baseball.

motherjanegoose

May 21st, 2012
11:50 am

@yawn…don’t worry…I will not be asking you to meet me for lunch and endure a few hours of me being not fun. I have several others on this blog who will do it and we always have fun. Two hours just flies by!

Years ago, my husband used to go with me to my meetings and often the teachers would stop by him and say,”Your wife is so much fun…she must be a blast to live with!” He then smiled at me and told me,”Um I did not tell them that you are a blast to live with 24/7… that would not be true!” He is correct… no one is fun 24/7. The most frequent comment I get on my workshop evaluations is FUN FUN FUN. Since you do not know me, I cannot expect you to know that YES I can be fun! Guess I am not fun since I do not like Nascar, Garage Sales, Rock Concerts, Cats ( sorry catlady…I do like you), Cigarettes, Camping, Ballcaps on men in restaurants, Mc Donald’s and the list goes on.

@DB I always feared that my son’s size would also put him in harm’s way and that is why I did not want him to play football. I have witnessed your last paragraph. I also know kids who were super stars in small town HS teams, never went to college and thus their life is spent looking in their rearview mirror at what once was and not through the windshield of the wonderful things that could come ahead. Seems kind of sad to me. Just my opinion.

FCM

May 21st, 2012
12:23 pm

Most of life has an assumption of risk. Let the kid play ball.

Warrior Woman

May 21st, 2012
12:25 pm

Everything has risks. You have to decide if you want to live an active life, and assume and manage the risks that implies, or be a couch potato and assume and manage the risks that choice implies. Football, soccer, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, hockey, cheerleading, biking, rock climbing – all have concussion risks. Any activity that involves running risks ankle, knee, and hip damage, along shin splints, etc. Weight lifting, tennis, lacrosse, bowling, etc., risk arm, elbow, shoulder and wrist injuries. Being a screen-bound indoors person threatens obesity, lack of cardiovascular fitness, and skeletal injuries from lack of muscle tone. Excessive screen use threatens eyesight and repetitive motion injuries. If you want to avoid all possible health and injury risks, you would have to just avoid life.

At youth sport and high school levels, the risk is relatively low, and can often be managed with conditioning and coaching approaches. Most coach certification programs incorporate injury avoidance and safety training. College and especially pro are more dangerous, mostly because of the size and strength of the opponents and less coaching emphasis on player protection v. winning.

Techmom

May 21st, 2012
12:30 pm

Matt, I agree with you that these level of life-threatening injuries aren’t happening in pee-wee football but in people who have been playing for 20-30 years. I knew my son wouldn’t play football beyond HS due to his size so I went into pee-wee football knowing it was just for fun and didn’t feel like I had to restrict him for safety reasons as it would naturally occur as he got older.

Too many parents, IN ALL SPORTS, have aspirations for their kids to be professional athletes and push them to keep playing even if they continue to encounter injuries.

[...] “Facts sometimes fail parents who are looking for a … … See the article here: Should kids play football with the possibility of concussion/brain … ← Special Concerns of the Female [...]

malleesmom

May 21st, 2012
2:52 pm

@MJG – agreed about MN summers (at least that’s what I’ve heard) LOL. Trust me, moving from GA to MN was definitely not the desired plan.

shaggy

May 21st, 2012
5:13 pm

First…sorry about the double post this morning. I was just trying to get around Theresa’s filter that seems to not like “butt”, except in certain context….go figure.

jarvis – Yeah, I should have just said boring as watching paint dry, except the players look excited, running to and fro, while never actually scoring, until the time runs out, or they have to carry the spectators out on stretchers that have passed out asleep. I used the wrong analogy…just find soccer to be absolutely useless. However, soccer can be a good sleep aid, with all of the zero scoring and such.

Thermopraxis

May 22nd, 2012
8:48 am

There is something that can be done for football players (NFL, college, high school, youth) now and your help is needed to spread the word about it. Thermopraxis has created a revolutionary in-helmet device that can be used to drastically reduce the devastating consequences of concussions using therapeutic hypothermia (cooling). The sooner this product reaches the market, the sooner these types of injuries can be reduced in helmet-wearing athletes. For more information, please see the “Concussion Crisis Solution Campaign” on YouTube and http://www.thermopraxis.com.

davecisar

May 22nd, 2012
9:09 am

The Mayo Clinic study stated clearly that youth football injuries including concussions were very rare in a study they did of 913 players. Ive coached youth football for over 25 years and none of my players have ever had a concussion. Teach the boys properly and it simply doesnt happen. http://winningyouthfootball.com

OTOH

May 25th, 2012
11:02 pm

I think too many are so happy to have another reason to hate football that they over play the rates in football and ignore the rates in other sports. 60 concussions per 100,000 player games and practices for football. Sixty per one hundred thousand. BTW, better get your daughters off the basketball court – they get twice as many concussions as boys do playing basketball. They also get 70% more concussions playing soccer than boys do. Doesn’t sound like it is the game or the size or the level of aggression in basketball and soccer. In other news, Tae Kwando scores the highest rate of concussions for girls on a per player basis.

My anecdotes: Only 1 of my 3 football playing sons suffered a concussion – oldest son had one in 8th grade football ( played 6yo thru State HS sr) and one in rec basketball (played rec, AAU, and HS). Basketball tore up his ankles. Out of 4 kids, only one broken bone – playing in the living room, age 5. The neighbor who would not let her son play football because of potential injuries saw him break his collar bone twice, several concussions, torn ACL all from soccer.

The point is, it is not football, it is moving that puts one at risk. If your kid wants to play enough to learn to play it right, let him or her play.