Not sure how to feel about football anymore…

The memorial for Junior Seau is tonight. It’s sad for him and his family, sad for his many fans and sad for a game that’s toll on it’s players may be to high.

We started hearing about issues related to multiple concusions about 10 years ago. It hung in the background and many, including players and the league seemed to ignore the risks. Guys like Christopher Nowinski have been pushing the concerns as hard as they can and for the most part nobody listened. Now guys are dying, a lot of guys.

The modern game of football is killing people.

Not on the field mind you. But the link of football realted concusions and the high number of former player suicides seems pretty solid. Granted I am not a doctor though.
I have already decided there is no way my kids are playing football. Now the question is can I continue to watch and cheer for a game that is so damaging to the men that play it.

We have fans claiming that all the new rules about late hits and shots to the head are making the game weak. They scream about how much tougher guys were back in the day. The truth is guys back in the day couldn’t hang on the mordern gridiron. Guys like James Harrison are monsters, physical monsters. They are so much faster and stronger than guys even 10-15 years ago, let alone guys back in the ’70s.

At some point it has to give. The human body can only take so much and it looks like in football they have reached that limit. No matter how much you pad the head it’s still going to slam against the inside the skulls wall when hit with great force.

Junior Seau’s story is tragic. Maybe it will ramp up the conversation and get some real change.

If you have a second look up Christopher Nowinski, he is an intersting guy.

-K-

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3 responses to “Not sure how to feel about football anymore…

  1. Well said. Baseball has been ridiculed and questioned for the steroid controversy, I’ve always felt like the NFL gets a pass, even though the concussion thing is even worse. With steroids, the players are making their own decisions to put that crap in their body. Yes, the system should do anything and everything to limit the incentive to take steroids, but in the NFL, players are put at risk just for deciding to play the game.

    It’s also interesting that professional wrestling has seen similar issues with retired wrestlers – there certainly could be some concussion risk there (and steroids, too).

    Both baseball’s and football’s situation though have one common thread – the player’s association has stonewalled the leagues attempts to address these problems. In the most recent collective bargaining agreement, the NFLPA rejected a proposal to put aside more money for retired players because they weren’t willing to share their fair portion. And the MLBPA has fought Selig tooth and nail against steroid testing that actually protects the health of its constituents. Kind of makes me feel less sorry for the more recent players.

  2. Well written, and chuckneo added a good point about wrestling (there is very much a link). I too and struggling with football – it has been my favorite watchable sport for a long time and to find out that many of the people playing it will have debilitating brain issues (aside from the expected joint issues) is really terrifying. I know a lineman named Jacob Bell just retired after 8 years because, like Robert Smith and Barry Sanders before him, he wanted to hang up his cleats before life hung them up for him. Can’t blame the guy at all.

    I’m wondering how I’ll feel come football season…but lately I’ve been kind of subconsciously avoiding football (aside from my Seneca collection) in favor of basketball, which I didn’t use to watch much. It’s easier to watch now though knowing these guys aren’t getting concussions at nearly the same rate.

  3. I am 13 and play Junior High Football. I’ve already decided I won’t play past High School if even then. I would rather play basketball and baseball and make less then take a chance on getting seriously life threatening injured.

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