Constance…there is a huge HUGE issue looming in our midst, and it might seem unusual for me to speak about this, but really, not. I care about people, and even more about how people interact with people and the resulting structures and things that spring out out of those interactions.
Currently, the game of football is an absolutely huge part of our culture. It is actually considered by wide segments of our society to be a rite of passage for young boys. Men believe that there are communicated things that speak of the essence and truth of what being male is and what being “a man” is.
Other vast swaths see the benefits of participation in the sport as a teaching ground for life in general.
Still others view it as a great way to provide purpose and structure for (predominantly) young males who would otherwise look for stimulation and purpose and vision else where (including destructive ways).
All of these things are true, to at least a degree…but the problem is this:
It is killing those who play the game. For real.
Constance, if you have a child who plays or wants to play football, you owe it to them to thoroughly read of the effects of blows to the head on the brain. I did this, and it made me fear for my own self given the level of football I played earlier in life. It is absolutely chilling.
I let my sons play football…if I was doing it over now, there is no way. None. It is flat out a darn near guaranteed thing that every person who plays football at any level of contact intensity is going to be physically damaged, and damaged with a damage that will never heal when it comes to brain trauma.
But I love the game…yes. I began to play flag football to please my father, and when we got old enough for tackle football I hated it! It scared me, depressed me…and ultimately for a short period of time, it changed me into a person who dealt out punishment and violence on the field because I was big and fast, and older men told me that was what made me a man…and God knows I had no inherent idea or understanding of what that was.
Eventually I listened to my heart and got out of the sport…and got involved with coaching flag football. And it was one of my life joys in being able to synthesize all the good things with very few if any of the bad about the game of football and feed them to young boys.
The healthcare costs that are coming just from football are significance…the lawsuits that will come are sobering…and eventually the economic impact of abandoning a sport that generates literally billions and billions of dollars every year will catch up to us too.
But in the meantime…flag football gives a great alternative…as this article points out so well.
Constance, I know the level of investment at a heart level…by not only the participants but by parents as well. I am not trying to tell you what to do, but I am asking you to count the cost…the long term, overall one.
Blessings today and always…