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Comments about ‘Jay Evensen: High school football will never be completely safe’

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Published: Wednesday, Aug. 6 2014 6:41 p.m. MDT

Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 6 2014 6:41 p.m. MDT

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UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

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.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

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.

Mark from Montana
Davis County, UT

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.

Red
San Antonia, TX

"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.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

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.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

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.

HaHaHaHa
Othello, WA

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.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

"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 sticking aside.

xert
Santa Monica, CA

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 or track."

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

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.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

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 other subjects.

4601
Salt Lake City, UT

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Pay 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 disingenuous.

JSB
Sugar City, ID

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.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

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.

GK Willington
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

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