Should football be banned?

tobr24u(z6 RI)December 10, 2012

The evidence is mounting that brain damage is becoming a major concern at least at the NFL level, but could happen at any level. Thus, I would advise any parent to encourage their children to try other sports, and surely you should, too....

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Why? Doesn't physical risk enter into most sports? Especially most full contact sports? I think so. It's part of training, part of the sport, and surely if a person doesn't want to go there, he shouldn't.

But ban? Ridiculous. Why not ban everything so we remain an unhealthy, obese, sedentary nation where no one ever risks anything for any reason or purpose?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:21AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Certainly sports like baseball and basketball, for example, are much safer. There is the pleasure of violent aggression that enters into football and hockey that many players and fans love...

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:33AM
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Boring! Not my sports of choice.

But combine skill, proper training, and good sportsmanship following a match... and you have the makings of an exciting sport where the end result, the win, is well deserved, and there's no animosity between fighters or teams.

Humans are aggressive in some forms by nature, it seems... I'd rather watch a UFC or Strikeforce match than see the death toll from an unnecessary war... and surely, you would, too.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:40AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Would you encourage children to participate in these extremely physical sports?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:53AM
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If that's what they wanted, yes. Part of being a parent is remembering not to choke your own offspring with those apron strings. If my boys, or my daughter for that matter, had wanted to train for a full contact sport, and I could afford the best in training, I'd be delighted they showed a dedication to being the best within that sport. Why wouldn't I want to see them happy and fulfilled as human beings?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:01AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

As a parent you are responsible for their health and might want to think twice about encouraging them to participate in violent sports in my never humble estimation...

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:04AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

Richard are you trying to compete with the boxing thread? Oh wait, never mind. That thread is a subtle attack on the Romney family for attending and the women following their men.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:09AM
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Or... I could encourage them to train properly, eat properly, and do everything thoroughly, creating the best "total package" for the sport involved... and avoid injury caused by stupidity or laziness... and surely you agree.

As parents, it's not our job to live our lives through our children, smother them, lock them in a glass case for safekeeping, nor is it up to us to decide their eventual fate.

While their general safety is a concern, one can be concerned... but one still must temper the desire to stifle them completely and never allow them to experience life and what it has to offer... and surely you agree.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:37AM
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Posted by brushworks Zone5-Ohio (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 10, 12 at 7:09

Richard are you trying to compete with the boxing thread? Oh wait, never mind. That thread is a subtle attack on the Romney family for attending and the women following their men.


I disagree on one point.

The attack on the Romney family of what they do with their personal leisure time and Mrs. Romney's womanhood was hardly subtle.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:45AM
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I am pretty ambivalent about sports like football, I have friends who have elementary age sons who play Pop Warner football, and love it.

I suspect part of the problem is that the nature of the game has changed so much - with 300 pound players crashing around, and bounties for injuring or taking out opposing players.

I don't see the NFL going back, that violence sells seats and wins games. And winning is the only thing that matters.

The NFL just has to make sure it has a good fund for all the disabled players they'll have to support in the coming years.

FYI - the Romney family made themselves public figures, he even spoke to one of the boxers from that public podium, so he, and his wife, are fair game, subtle or not.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:44AM
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I would agree, Mom. And then, not everyone is cut out for rough sports, either... so there are considerations.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:56AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

All sports should be band except ice skating . But that is because it is the only sport I like and watch.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:04AM
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The problem with children playing any sport is that the coaches are adults and often push too far seeking adult satisfaction from 'their' winning teams. Rules, training and equipment don't stop brain injuries in football -- for kids or pros.

Soccer is another 'brain injury' sport. It is more dangerous for girls than boys due to the difference in the distribution of weight between the genders.

"Amateur" sports are often cleaner and safer than the brute force encouraged in the pros. However, I won't forget the death of the top boxer at my university (in my freshman year). Freak accident? Possibly, but he would not have died if he didn't box.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:52AM
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david52 Zone 6

I tuned into the Washington / Ravens game yesterday just in time to watch the hit and the slow-motion repeats of RG III 'hyper-extending' his knee. See link.

In May of this year, my DD15, a much-better-than-average soccer player, did the same thing right in front of me, trying to score a goal on a cross-pass, hitting the thigh on a defender. Completely severed her ACL and ended her soccer playing dreams.

So watching this yesterday made me physically ill.

/she scored. But was on crutches for a month, had reconstructive surgery in July, and is just now running again.

Here is a link that might be useful: OUCH!!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:00PM
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one of my sons had a bad head injury that may shorten his life. One of his brothers hit him on the head with a soft drink bottle. He actually needed sewing up and had a bad headache afterwards.

I say, we should ban children with siblings from drinking out of bottles.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:20PM
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Knowing what I now know, I would never allowed my son to play football. Fortunately he ran track and golfed instead. Now he's a ranked mountain bike rider in the east coast which in itself is dangerous.

Daughter was/is the real jock in our family...playing field hockey, basketball and track in HS and College and still, in her 40's, on a soccer team. She gets injured but no head injuries.

Grandson is an uber soccer player on three teams, and I worry about his headers which he does frequently. I would prefer him to be a runner which is another sport where he's really at the top. THAT'S where the college scholarships will come from. Low risk for runners.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:31PM
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We did not allow our son to play football. Any youth sport that by rule has to have an ambulance and paramedic at the game is not the sport for my kids.

We offered flag football as an option, which he declined. Fine with me.

Ice hockey was another one I wouldn't let him play. He never asked to play that one. Actually, I would let him play youth ice hockey because it's not violent at all. There is no checking allowed. But, once they could check, he'd have to stop playing. But, since he never asked to play, it didn't matter.

He plays and loves baseball. Baseball, although not violent like football, has its own risks. When my son pitches, he wears a face mask. Parents are always asking us how long ago did he get hit. They are always surprised by our answer that he's never been hit. We prefer to protect him before he gets hit in the face by a batted ball traveling over 60 mph (at age 12, it will get faster as he gets older).

In my opinion, all youth sports do not take head injuries seriously enough. I hope that is starting to change with all the research that is happening on this subject.

I also think the NFL does not take safety seriously enough. The head injuries are horrible. The only thing that will make them change is money. Hopefully, the law suits going on now by ex-players will force them to make it safer.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 2:12PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)


    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Not at all - too many people including the players take pleasure in it. Personally, I wish it and any other sport with an indeterminate finish time wouldn't co-opt the start time of "60 Minutes" so I could program my DVR, but that is just me being selfish.
I took my son rock climbing when he was 12. My daughters shared caving/spelunking experiences with me at a similar age. Both sports can result in injury or death but not at the hands of another.
My granddaughters participate in soccer/basketball and my grandson loves baseball/basketball. I'm their most loyal fan.
Funny part is, my kids are worried about me taking a solo backpacking trip through Central America this February. I think life takes on a more Technicolor aspect when there is a little risk.
OTOH, I hate seeing young, vibrant people maimed/paralyzed for life.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:01PM
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My kids weren't all interested in full contact sports, but that doesn't mean we would not have allowed them to play if they had wanted to. Actually, our middle son did play football in high school, and our daughter played volleyball. His father-in-law was his coach, as it turns out.

My husband was a full contact fighter for many years, way before MMA became popular, and he would have been happy to teach our kids any of the martial arts he knew, if it turned out they were interested. As it turns out, they simply weren't.

We were supportive of any activity our children chose to participate in... but then, to each his own. We all have to parent as we see fit.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:04PM
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It is the specter of injury and death that gives that extra dazzle Steve-but each person when they are young seems to think it will happen to someone else. I have known mountain climbers who have stories of friends who go 'screaming down the mountain' as in slip off the end of the rope in a repel. They dont usually internalize the experience until they are about 30 and realize they are also mortal. They give up climbing.

The cumulative damage of many smaller head injuries is just as bad for you as one biggie and that is the sort of injury that sports delivers to young things. Those of you who dont care all that much about your childrens older age arent going to care about that-after all they are having so much fun now. You might not even be around when they have that stroke that puts them in the nursing home-so who cares? Life should be exciting. Who want to live to a healthy old age anyway. I on the other hand am purely astonished by people who constantly harp on about healthy eating and yet would have no problem with their kids and grandkids head smacking on a weekly basis. It makes no sense to me. Eating well vitamized food when you are 50 is not going to fix the scar tissue on your brain made when you are 15.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:42PM
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Thanks, patriciae. It will take a while to educate about this, but I see it changing.

BTW, does anyone remember "North Dallas Forty"? (Although it is something of an irony to see that an actor like Nick Nolte is still alive.)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:34PM
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The good news is that the NFL and Nickelodeon have teamed up to produce shows for kids, shows which are already available!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 8:23PM
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I would have a terrible time allowing my child to play a regulated but yet still very rough contact sport so often involving the head - such as football - now that so much is known and still being discovered about even the minor, unknown head injuries that are sustained, the kind that can happen and the person just get up and go back to playing, hardly registering that they, in fact, had their head and thus their brain shaken - and how even the minor head collisions are so often devastating the not so very later lives and minds of the injured.

Why would I have a fit over my child wanting to sign up with the certainty of going to war and the injuries he might suffer for all his life when making that decision-

(his own choice and decision to make though, if he is of age)

and not have the same worry about a contact sport involving the head such as football, when so much is known about now even minor head collisions - these decisions and agreements I would actually be responsible for making such decisions because he would not be of age to do so.

I'm awfully glad such a decision is no longer mine to face. I know what I would choose as a concerned and informed parent - and understand the difficulty of facing the probably prolonged fall-out sure to come due to that choice.

You can't protect a child forever and you shouldn't either - a full life is full of chances taken - but as a parent, I would not want to take such a chance of HIS future brain health because I feared saying 'no' and the grief and perhaps alienation I would both feel and cause by saying 'no' when I felt that saying no was really the only right and responsible thing to do.

There are other wonderful sports that don't include the frequent chance of even slight or unknown head injury that could come back to haunt him at as early an age as in his thirties.

I'm awfully glad I'm no longer in such a position as this.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:11PM
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You're right mylab. You can't protect a kid forever. I did what I did when I had control. Now I just stay blissfully unaware. I know SIL had several concussions playing soccer and had the sense to give it up. He's in his 40's and was playing with Brazilians in their 20's. I kinda wish daughter would give it up too, because she does headers. Many times we see son, and he has deep gashes on his legs from falls from his bike. He does wear his helmet all the time.

Tonight we ran into him at the gym and his dad was giving him heck about not getting a flu shot. I had to remind him that son was a middleaged man!!!!lol

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 2:25AM
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I never played a full contact, or any other sport, during school... and I've had several concussions and one nasty head injury as a result of accidents that I surely didn't cause, nor did I see coming... so, I would have to say that sports aren't the only dangers this world has to offer. Just crossing the street can result in an injury one never expects to happen!

I've also known people who never smoked a day in their lives that have died of lung and other cancers...

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:54AM
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It's one thing to sustain injuries by unavoidable accident and something else to ignore the increasingly evident odds of serious injuries 'for sport'. Bad things happen. That doesn't mean you should put yourself in their path.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 12:23PM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

I don't particularly care for football, all the coverage and hoopla gets in the way of me enjoying the basketball season so yes, I believe football should be banned.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 12:33PM
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Oh, kwoods, they can both be enjoyed at the same time! I like the overlap (especially with no NHL this year). Go Knicks!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 1:14PM
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At least we are hockey-free for now. Kinda sad for dentists though.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:29PM
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I don't think it means we should live life in a constant state of paranoia, either. People have to live life, and kids have to have fun and learn certain things... like good sportsmanship, teamwork, etc...

Let's face it... it's risky to get out of bed in the morning... you could trip and fall and split your head open right there, next to the bed! But that doesn't mean we should avoid living!

Personally, I think kids need to be active, to be physically active and involved in learning life's lessons. Some of those lessons are learned while being part of a team, while physically interacting with others... and while not all kids want to participate in the more physically challenging sports, I don't see anything wrong in allowing them to spread their wings, experience some of the more challenging things, and try! If the coaches are decent, and safety measures are in action, I don't see the problem.

Accidents happen whether we want them to or not... and as a parent, I'm always concerned that something may happen, but I'm not going to stifle my kids' lives by refusing to allow them to participate... on the grounds that something may happen. What may happen is... they could have a blast! They could learn a lot, and they could be a part of something bigger than themselves, something fun and interactive, something challenging, making friends, etc... and in all the time they're engaged in a sport, maybe nothing negative will happen.

Would I allow them to play a rough sport without the proper equipment or proper teaching? No. But when all is said and done, I see nothing wrong in letting my kids take on challenges I know they can handle. I just don't see a valid reason to tell them they can't participate if they want to.

There are a lot of "what if's" to letting kids... or adults, for that matter... participate in many areas of life. I don't regret letting my kids play in the sports they wanted... but I think I would regret not letting them at least try. I don't know... that's how I look at it.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:49PM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Thanks, mom...

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:20AM
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Let's face it... it's risky to get out of bed in the morning... you could trip and fall and split your head open right there, next to the bed! But that doesn't mean we should avoid living!

See, when you say stuff like that it's hard to keep reading. If you can't see there is a big difference in the risk of getting out of bed in the morning and allowing your child to play a sport proven to cause brain injuries, a discussion on the topic cannot happen.

Yes, I know you were exaggerating to get the point across.

I don't allow my son to play tackle football. He does and has played lots of other sports where he's learned all the lessons you talk about. Denying him the opportunity to play tackle football is not going to have any negative consequences on his life and what he can do and what he learns. Allowing him to play has a decent chance of denying him the chance to reach his full potential due to life altering injuries. Can and do injuries happen in other sports and life in general? Yes, of course. But, that doesn't mean I allow him to do something known to be dangerous.

You bring up proper equipment and teaching. You clearly haven't been around football or youth sports very much. The very large majority of youth coaches really do not give a crap about anything other than winning. Unfortunate, but true. And, for football in particular the equipment is just not up to the job of protecting kids or adults. That may change someday. I hope it does. Until then, I wouldn't allow my child to participate, just as I wouldn't allow him to play in traffic.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:10AM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

I would not have been happy had my son decided to play football... however, I didn't disallow my son from playing football. I admit I did discourage him though. I showed no interest in football, told him there were better things to do, encouraged him to pursue other activities then supported him when he did so.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 1:15PM
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