Monday, March 19, 2018

3 Reasons I’d (Still) Let My Sons Play Tackle Football


  1. This all just depends...on what risks one is willing to take or allow a child to take. After that he is an adult. Whether he does sports, roughnecks offshore, or is a policeman...all relatively risky compared to an accountant at city hall.

    I went to high school in a small town. Most boys with significant playing time played 'both ways.' That is they played offense and defense. They trained for both positions as well. Not to mention many of these boys also played basketball or wrestling and track. It isn't easy on even young men. There were several guys who had multiple knee surgeries before they were 18 years old. Some were going to labor intensive jobs like farming, ranching and gas field workers. I don't know how they're getting around now 25 years later.

    College age athletes are of age to make their own decisions. I can see how athletics can be a ticket to an education of which pays for a degree. Statistically the risk, I imagine, is relatively low compared to the NFL.

    The NFL is a different story. One is doing this for several or more bone crushing years unless he is a kicker. To be surprised at long term heath fallout is just obtuseness. Unlike boxing you are not being routinely hit in the face by a fist but your body is absorbing head on collisions with 300 lb objects at 15 mph. Year after year. The NFL doesn't compare to high school athletics though the latter is not without risks.

  2. It's a calculated risk, but voluntary. If you wait until college/NFL, that's too late for most boys. Most boys lack the talent for college/pro-football, which is also more dangerous (as you note). So junior high/high school is their only chance. Also, even at the collegiate level, high school football is the conduit to college football/scholarships.

    Also, there's something special about junior high/high school football since they are boys from the same neighborhood, so that can cement lifelong friendships, unlike college/pro-football.

  3. Meanwhile in the rest of the world, football means soccer, which is much better than American Handball :P

    1. Soccer would be better if the nets were smaller. And then put closer together. With the ball shrunk down to a disk of a few inches in diameter. And instead of kicking it, you used sticks to bat it around. But keep the "no hands" rule, or at least if you touch it with your hand you have to use your stick before scoring. And put it on ice, instead of of on grass. Also have three 20-minute periods instead of two 45-minute halves. Plus five on each side, with the goalies. And naturally allow fighting, with the players who got into fights getting to take a 5-minute long break to learn their lesson.

      I would totally watch soccer with those rules.