Sherry Young: On concussions and football: Perspective from Steve Young's mom

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • nvfan Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 8:10 p.m.

    Soccer does have a number of leg related injuries and some concussions to its players, but football has much more deaths, paralysis and other major injuries. Cheerleading and gymnastics are two other sports with many serious injuries and death. It is not even close. Having said that, there is risk in all sports that parents need to be concerned. But that does not mean I will be pulling my kids off their sports teams. The benefits are too great.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    I also agree with Leave It To Lisa. My two sons played HS football without concussion problems. I can only think of 2-3 of their teammates who experienced concussions. My daughter played HS and club soccer, and I can think of 7-8 that experienced concussions. As Lisa stated, girls soccer can be rough, and is generally poorly officiated. I've also seen more ACL and other knee injuries in girls soccer than in football. I understand that women are more prone to knee injuries than men, but at three to four times more?

    At the speeds at which Little League and High School football is played, I think football is still a relatively safe sport. Safer than soccer for sure. Certainly, the faster the game and the bigger the athletes the more dangerous football becomes.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 23, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    Band and drama don't cause brain damage.

  • DenMom Corvallis, MT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    I agree with Lisa - girls soccer is brutal and my daughter has major bruises after each game. That said, football has actually been therapeutic for my son. He suffers from sensory processing disorders. Some kids with sensory issues will bang their head against walls to self-correct and kick their proprioceptive nerve into gear to help the brain process better. There are other ways to trigger these nerves through weighted blankets and other tight wraps. But hitting in football actually helps him 'level' out, so to speak. I would assume, those attracted to football might also have sensory issues that they are self-treating - in addition to their love of the game and all that is to be learned.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 22, 2013 1:45 p.m.

    A new study published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that NFL players may be at a higher risk of death associated with Alzheimer’s and other impairments of the brain and nervous system than the general U.S. population. These results are consistent with recent studies by other research institutions that suggest an increased risk of neurodegenerative disease among football players.

    The paper “Neurodegenerative causes of death among retired NFL players,” published in the 9/5/2012 issue of the journal Neurology looked at 3,439 NFL players who played at least five seasons between 1959-1988. The study relied on death certificate information for causes of death; at the time of analysis only 10% of the participants had died.

    The study’s authors highlight the fact that athletes, including professional football players, generally have a better than average overall health status than the general U.S. population. However, death involving neurodegenerative causes among the retired players was three times higher than in the general U.S. population, and the risk for two major subcategories, Alzheimer’s and ALS, were four times higher.

  • Leave it to Lisa New Harmony, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    I love football! I've been a fan for 40 years. My sons have played and learned many important lessons and didn't have serious injuries. However, my daughter currently plays high school soccer and has had more serious injuries than my boys experienced. Girls soccer is a sport that needs better oversight and better trained refs. I've coached and watched it for years and it just gets more physical each year. In addition, there is NO protection for their heads.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 22, 2013 6:27 a.m.

    We all know that there is potential for injury in all sports.

    The issue concerning the concussion lawsuit is that of concealment.

    IF, and let me stress IF, the NFL had information about the risks, then they had
    an obligation to share that information.

    Hiding the information for the sake of profit is the issue.
    And it is not uncommon in Corporate America.

    Fining the corporation only hurts the stockholders and is not a deterrent when profits are at stake.

    I contend that we should hold CEO's and other employees who knowingly conceal pertinent information from the public should personally responsible with personal fines and jail time.

    We could then get rid of much of the regulation.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Oct. 21, 2013 9:54 p.m.

    @ The Skeptical Chymist - SALT LAKE CITY, UT "As long as I have breath, I will work to dissuade anyone I care about from taking up this game."

    Your loss.

    Actually, that's a loss for your boys, too.

    Like Steve Young said, he learned discipline and a strong work ethic because of the game of football, and especially, he learned to OVERCOME his fears.

    There is NO price you can put on that.


  • TheBleak West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 6:35 p.m.


    youtube rugby's hardest hits.

    Just because there are no pads or helmets does not mean the hard hits would go away. They might drop in frequency, but it would just lead to more rugby hits like these.

    I am not too sure this issue will ever be resolved, just the risk you have to take, unfortunately.

  • hillplus Aurora, CO
    Oct. 21, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    No football for my boys. Not happening.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    Oct. 21, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    Re. football. Get rid of the helmets and pads. Then no one will hit another with enough G-force to do much harm. Play on!

  • Conservative Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 1:10 p.m.

    Our sons played football through high school 15 years ago. I honestly do not know if either suffered a concussion or any lasting injury.

    We are very concerned that collision injuries from football, basketball, or other contact sports can lead to serious problems years from now. Early-onset Alzheimers is being found associated with concussions. And of course we all know those that suffer joint problems and other physical deterioration linked to contact sports.

    Mrs.Young does not mention the long-term in her editorial. I don't think she really "gets it". That is unfortunate, because the long-term is the most devastating factor with concussion. Steve and her other sons may very well face serious long-term health problems because of their football years.

    Parents must make serious decisions in order to protect their children. I'm not suggesting over-protection. They can learn great things from team sports. But, football and boxing aren't worth the risks. These sports may be "good", but there are better and best choices for parents and youth to choose from.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    As long as I have breath, I will work to dissuade anyone I care about from taking up this game.

  • crazyfam10 SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    There have always been concussions, but the number and frequency appears to be increasing due to the style of play. I'm letting my oldest son finish out his Sr. year in HS, but I've pulled my younger boy specifically because of concern about repeated blows to the head.

    The next time you run across an ESPN show on the top all-time NFL defensive players, take a moment to watch. You'll get an opportunity to see in quick succession how tackling has evolved over the last 50 years, and things are dramatically different today. As recently as the 80's these defensive players would wrap someone up and drag them down. Today's players launch themselves at the ball carrier in an attempt to separate them from the ball with a bone jarring hit, and sometimes that hit is going to be to the head. I used to love to see those plays, but I can't stand them now.

    Asking a man who's devoted their whole life to the game to drop out because they've had some concussions isn't realistic; especially if they have loved one's to support (Austin Collie). Make the game safer.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    I can see what she's saying. We are a family, were in this together. Was the juice worth the squeeze. Yea, it was for them. In any game you can get a bad hand. You don't risk the farm on it. ya need a good support system [immune system] to help ya stay strong.