Published: Wednesday, Aug. 6 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT
Next thing you know we will be wrapping out kids in bubble wrap before sending
them out the door.I will admit, I coach football. And a lot has
changed since I played some 37 years ago. Today, we have instituted "Heads
Up" football. Will it prevent all injuries. Nope. Will it reduce the
number. Yep.But lets be real honest here. Football is a violent
sport. But that does not equate out to the number of injuries and types. In a
2013 study, there were 1.35 million youth who visited the ER with some sport
related injury - this is kids 12 - 19. Of those, 14 percent were related to a
head injury. Looking at other sports for example, the report says "Among
youth basketball players, for example, 11.5% of girls seen in the ER are
diagnosed with concussions, compared with 7.2% of boys. Among soccer players,
it's 17.1% of girls compared with 12.4% of boys."Based on
this, the next thing you know we will have our kids out there playing soccer
with helmets on. We do need to protect our kids, but over protecting them can
do as much harm.
I think that high school football has reached a high water mark. Parents are
becoming increasingly concerned as negative information on the sports effect on
the body, and brain, is revealed. My high school age nephews
participate in swimming, track, and baseball, but their parents are steering
them away from football. I think football is going the way of
boxing, and is will rapidly become a sport of the lower socio-economic classes.
I never played football in high school, though I was encouraged by the football
coach. I choose other sports and today, some 35 years later I am very grateful
I did. I did push my kids to play sports of any kind, but if they wanted to I
supported them. I didn't need to discourage my son from football as he had
no interest in playing it. If he had wanted to, I would have let him, but would
have done everything possible to get him to change his mind. Football is dangerous, as any real sport is, but with football you run the
normal risks, torn ligaments, sprained ankles, etc. but on top of all that,
there is the ever present danger of head trauma, with results that can last a
lifetime. I can handle a permanent limp, a bad ankle or twisted fingers, but
mood disorders, no memory, or the many other symptoms from head trauma are just
not worth the 'glory' that comes playing football. Stick to other
sports that are safer and just as rewarding.
"And yet, kids keep lining up to play"Actually, there not!
Kids are leaving football in droves! Lacrosse and other sports are taking them.
Football is on notice. Time to shape up!Head injuries are only one
part of the reason. The main reason is overbearing parents and ego maniac
coaches. Everyone thinks that their little boy is going to the NFL and they
better get a jump start on things in 3rd grade and go crazy.You are
wearing the rest of us out....and your own kid too.Let's get
back to where football is fun and parents and coaches are not obnoxious clowns.
Football may be on the way out. I did not want my sons on the football field,
but the youngest went anyway, and was ok as a player, but once he had a neck
sprain that was it. My first son wasn't interested, the second went to
wrestling and track.
Football would be safer if coaches would actually teach kids how to tackle.
Nowadays it's all about spearing, leading with the helmet, etc. Kids are
trying to make that "hit" that they see on SportsCenter instead of
making a good fundamental tackle (get low, lead with the shoulder, wrap up). I
wonder how many concussions in youth football could have been avoided if ESPN
weren't glamorizing these violent-but-fundamentally-poor tackles on their
nightly top 10.
I think your nuts, if you honestly believe football is going away. It has to be
the top spectator sport in the nation, and much of the popularity is due to the
physical nature of the sport. I agree with the title of the article, It will
never be safe. But honestly, what activity is? The statistics show that many
other sports have high injury issues also. The only way football is going to be
reduced in popularity, is if you start tampering with the rules in the name of
safety. If you remove the competitive physical nature of the game, then it might
become less popular then some other sports.
"Actually, there not! Kids are leaving football in droves! Lacrosse and
other sports are taking them. Football is on notice. Time to shape up!"Funny thing is Lacrosse - very popular out here and my kids play it as
well - has a higher injury rate than football, including head injuries.
Something about swinging a stick and heads don't get along. I think one of
the contributing factors with Lacrosse is the age of the sport - there
aren't as many qualified coaches out there that can teach kids how to play
safely. As it matures, I am sure some of the more needless injuries will go
away. That and Lacrosse and Football dont share the same season,
and many of the kids playing football are also playing lacrosse. All in all
though - developmentally - I think lacrosse is a better sport for kids - high
I'm amazed at how adamantly some try to insist that "kids are lining
up" and "the numbers are through the roof". If Texas Pop Warner
football is closing down leagues and saying that youth football numbers are in
decline, I would think that a smart person would at least agree with what Red is
saying and that Football is indeed, "on notice". All it will take for
football popularity to wane is that one set of parents who will not allow their
extremely talented son to put on pads and play football. They will have that kid
participate in another sport and the club system will keep that kid engaged.
Folks? This is happening as we speak. I would be willing to bet that every high
school football coach in America will be missing one or two key athletes this
season. When the truly great athletes are somewhere else--the sport will
decline. Even parents who are desperate for scholarships are beginning to
say--"What good will his education be when he's plagued by migraines or
can't tie his shoes? Let's move him into basketball, baseball, soccer
Xert, has a good point. My nephew is a big athletic kid, and the family was
very relieved when he decided to quit football and concentrate on his first
love, baseball.I decided to pursue other sports in high school when
I watched the local country doctor stick a large hypodermic needle into the knee
of our star player, "Kong". He sucked out a syringe full of fluid so
that Kong could play the second half of the game. I almost fainted, and quit
the team shortly after.
One thing for sure though is Jay is not in synch with his employer. The DN is
running dozens of stories promoting football, both at the college level and high
school. Seems the DN has no ethical issues making money off of a sport its
editorial staff says is unsafe for kids. Kind of the same irony of FoxNews
bashing immigrants as much as they do all the while having a sister station that
broadcast soccer for a spanish speaking audience. From one side of
my mouth, I am against you. From the other side, I don't mind making money
off of the very activities I object to from people I object to.It is
good that DN can have dissenting viewpoints within the same organization. I
just wish DN felt the same liberality when it came to subjects other than
sports. The truth about football lies in the middle, just as it does on many
UtahBlueDevilDurham, NCPay more attention to syntax, Fox News,
DN, immigrants, football, you're all over the place. Making money off
reporting current sports and everything else is what every newspaper does.
Selectively criticizing the DN for reporting on football in the state of Utah is
I don't know if football is going to decline but I sure hope so--especially
school sponsored football. With the budget problems the schools are facing, why
in the world are we spending anything on risky sports? Intramural sports can
involve a lot more students, aren't as dangerous and don't cost a lot
of money. BYU-Idaho did it and the students love it. As long as the pschools
continue to fund inter school athletics, I will never vote for a tax increase
for the public schools. It's a flagrant waste of money.
When there is more to risk, there is more to gain. Football is intense, you
hike the ball and execute a plan while the other team charges you and tries to
tackle the ball holder. To complete a play and move the ball forward requires
teamwork, discipline, and physical labor. The rewards for this are
numerous. Yes people are hurt playing football. People are also hurt driving
cars and using the stairs. Lets stop this nonsense of bubble wrapping our
kids. They NEED to be exposed and participate in real life, not some simulator
that will do them no favors once they are on their own.
Common sense & basic physics dictate Football at any level is not safe. Its
a violent game played by big men moving fast. That said, I
can't wait until the NFL & college get under way.p.s. HS
football should NOT be televised nationally. 1) I don't care about teams in
FL, TX, etc... 2) It sends the wrong message to kids.
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments