We have tried to bring you information that may not be easily found or looked for about concussions. Sometimes this includes stories about the destruction of sports as we know it. Let it be known that I do not believe that all sports, especially professional and high level-well monitored athletics need to be abolished. As we have constantly stated on here there is a solution for some of the problems, athletic trainers. Yes it costs money, but consider the day and age we are in, it will take new resources to keep everyone safe as we learn more about problems.
With that preface, here are some articles/snippets/quotes of some less traveled articles that have been forwarded to me.
Hank Pellissier wrote an article called Brain Damage – 83 ways to stupefy intelligence;
Concussions – 300,000 concussions occur annually in the USA in teen football programs. Loss of IQ can occur after a single concussion.
Drew Magary of Deadspin/Gawker and author of one of my favorite books, Postmortal, wrote in his weekly mail bag about concussions and football;
Are you going to let your son play organized football? We have a debate going on in our office since late fall about this topic. There are fathers of all ages with children ranging from kindergarten age to high schoolers. Most of the older kids play football and their fathers are adamant it was a “character building” experience that made them tougher and taught them teamwork. Most of the Dads with younger sons point to the recent medical reports that show small but constant blows to the head are as damaging as one big blow that results in a concussion. To them it doesn’t make sense to expose their boys to almost certain brain damage now that we have better medical data and understand the damage being done. Other sports also build character, instill toughness, etc. but don’t involve getting your brain turned to mush.
I would never encourage my kid to play football. That whole “character-building” angle is a huge load of shit. People who have played football aren’t suddenly imbued with more character that people who haven’t. Look at me. I was a football benchwarmer for 10 years. Do I look like a man of high moral standing to you? Any rational person knows that plenty of football players are DICKS, who think that playing football made them men of superior character, when in fact it has clearly distorted their egos and made them far worse. The whole notion of “character building” is a flimsy argument when thrown up against the piles and piles of medical data that suggest that football will murder your fucking head. Discarding all that evidence and being like, “Yes, but it’ll make him a MAN!” is idiotic. No sane American parent would encourage their child to play football.
They have a youth football league in the D.C. area and some of the kids that play start from ages as young as seven and eight, which blows my mind. There’s no point to tackle football at that age. No kid is better prepared to play ninth-grade football if they played in fifth grade. Everyone in ninth grade is still trying to figure out who the hell to block.
Even if you used every advanced piece of safety equipment and you taught your kids to never lead with their head, they’d still go out there and put their heads down. NFL players have a hard time helping themselves when it comes to putting themselves in harm’s way. And those are grown men. Kids, who are far stupider, are gonna happily discard those precautions for a chance to look all tough for daddy. And there’s no guarantee your kid’s pee-wee coach is gonna be a normal, logical person who wants the kids to be safe. Chances are, he’s gonna be a FUCKHEAD, some macho dipshit who makes first graders run the Oklahoma Drill because he couldn’t get a job coaching the d-line at the regional high school. Most youth coaches are morons at best and demented pederasts at worst. Kids that age should be playing flag football, and then moving onto tackle football in high school if they feel like it.
If my kid wanted to play football and was hellbent on playing and was old enough to make his own decisions, then maybe I’d be all right with him playing. You wanna go out there knowing all you know about this sport and what it does to people? Fine. Natural consequences, kid. But to actively want my kid to play football? No fucking way. It’s Competitive Ballooning for Drew Junior!
And finally Dave Dyer of the Eagle-Tribune wrote about the rise of flag football;
“Our first motivation was that we wanted to establish some kind of feeder program for the (Georgetown) high school, because we didn’t have anything of our own, but it became a great program (independently),” said MacDonald. ” I think it’s a nice introduction to the game. It’s wonderful for little kids, and kids who haven’t grown yet, and you can really teach the fundamentals.
“It’s just a nice alternative to Pop Warner, or youth (tackle) football, especially as far as the time commitment. With Pop Warner, you’re usually practicing three or four days a week at least and then playing your game. We practice once a week and have a game under the lights, Friday or Saturday.”