Denise Crosby has seen her share of football and admittedly loved every second her sons were playing; that was before knowing what she knows now. Crosby has written an op-ed piece for The Herald-News of the Chicago area;
Now, honestly, I wish the four of them had never donned pads and a helmet. Of course, that’s easy to say now that I no longer have sons playing under those seductive Friday night lights. Or that I’ll never have to tell a little Pop Warner superstar he’s hanging up his cleats and going out for swimming instead.
I’m enough of a football mom to understand why so many ex-athletes say they have no regrets about playing the sport, even those who have to bury their comrades.
Crosby also took time to ask others in the area about concussions and the risk involved for those that play. One such person was Kurt Becker, former Chicago Bear (teammate of Dave Duerson during ’85) and now an assistant coach on his sons football team. Becker once stated he would not let his kids play football due to the damage of the sport, his son is now a very good running back. Crosby quizzed him on the contradiction and he sidestepped the issue with some careful qualifications.
He is probably not alone, in fact we are all hypocrites to some degree, justifying decisions made with qualifications. Concussions are not much different; until we all get the actual real world experience none of us will really know. That is why Becker and coach Dana Wagner are correct;
“In my heart of hearts, I don’t think I could deny my kid if he wants to play,” she (Wagner) said. “I’ll just make sure (coaches and trainers) are taking every precaution available.”
There are, of course, no guarantees. “That’s why,” said Becker, “it’s all about prevention and education to minimize risk.”
Get the information, pass it along and make sound judgments for the sake of everyone involved.