I can't believe you would discourage your son from playing football for Michigan. If I had a son and he played for Michigan it would be the proudest moment of my life.
Audio: The Solid Verbal - Would you let your son play football? with bonus MGoSurvey...
I hope by the time my child comes of age I feel football is safe again. As it stands though I feel that the NFL actively coverups the full impact of pro football on the body and there is little interest in studying the longterm playing of football on the brain. Basically training is significantly ahead of safety rght now. We're getting 300+ pound guys slamming into each other when they're 18 years old (the top recruits) and the safety equipment isn't keeping pace with the game.
Unless he gets ALL of your genes, I'm not sure you have to worry about it.
You could possibly put a golf club in his (or her) hand and retire early, though.
Well I never had the genes to carry me past high school ball, so not a threat. Although Nebraska does have a Korean offensive lineman, so you never know. He's buried on their 2-Deep, but he still made it onto the team.
And the way you describe most of her immediate family. She might have some long lost Uncle who's 6'6" and 280, but unless there's some recessive gene in there waiting to get out, any kids might be better suited where athleticism also doesn't require a lot of size.
I played a lot of football at many levels and the game is in my blood.
I have a son who just completed his high school career. Twice I watched him get carted off the field with concussive related injuries. The last time was his first game as the starting QB his junior year.
I've also coached football for a lot of years.
I believe the guys from my era and before have been subjected to a lack of understanding about concussions and adequate equipment. But I alo think people are using cases like Duerson and Seau and applying their circumstances to kids in high school. Personally, I think that's flawed. Today's high school players A) have much better technologically advanced equipment and B) aren't hitting with near the force that those guys were. I don't think you can use Mohammed Ali or any of these other guys who have repeated blows to the head while competing at the highest level of their sport as an indication of what MIGHT happen.
In my opinion the health risks associated with football are being inflated by the NFL's current issues. From Pop Warner to the NFL there is a vast difference of experience. The NFL has the largest people on the planet hitting each other nearly continuosly through training camps, countless practices, 20 games, etc. It's a lot more hitting than even college, by a lot bigger, stronger men.
My son has zero chance to ever play in the NFL, and probably not much chance to play in college, at least under scholarship. His risk of serious injury is virtually nil. Of course I would allow him to play, and as far as his talent would allow him to progress.
The benefits of playing in a structured team sport, learning a role, discipline, etc. far outweigh any risk.
I'd let my son play football because how can I tell him no after I raise him with an obsession for Michigan Football. I haven't taken a piano lesson since '99 but if I sat down in front of a piano today there is only one song I can still play, The Victors.
The key is soccer at a young age to help then develop good footwork and then around 6/7th grade move to football.
Plus by the time my sons (I'm not married so they are hypothetical) play the helmet technology will be improved and concussions will be way down.
If my [theoretical] kid wanted to play, I'd let him. A lot of it has to do with my parents not letting me play, but I think the head injuries are overblown. Yes, it's a serious concern and yes, I'd like to see the game do more to protect players. However, football is a great way for a kid to stay healthy as are most sports. If my kid develops a passion for it, no way am I going to stop him. Also, I think sports but football in particular helps develop life skills that will help him later on. So yeah, I'd let my kid play.
Also, the Ban College Football debate is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen.
He will be headed into 9th grade next fall. He has played since 3rd grade. Although I understand health concern, I feel the lessens learned through teamwork and competition as well as accountability outweigh the risk.
I was one of those kids whose parents keep them out of organized sports. That's an oversimplification: I did run track and cross country. But I didn't get to play basketball, football, or baseball.
My mother was the one who drove this, and I resented her for years because I didn't play. Finally, you get over it, but I regret her choice. We were a white family living in the inner-city of Chicago back in the 60's. She was afraid of gangs and what could happen if I was at the park without adults around, so I wasn't allowed to roam freely. Guess you could say she was the precursor of the helicopter mom. Anyway, if you don't start playing most sports at a young age, unless you have exceeding natural athletic ability, you are hopelessly behind.
The second reason I didn't play had to do with that natural athletic ability (or lack thereof.) I was average: neither particularly fast nor slow, strong nor weak, coordinated nor uncoordinated. Just another more or less average boy, like most of us. Problem was, my mom was a jock. She grew up in Texas, and swam and dived, played baseball, basketball, and volleyball. Volleyball was her forte, and she was tall, and mean. Eventually, she coached collegiately, until getting married and having kids relatively late in life. Mom realized that her kids were somewhat average, and would probably never play at the highest level. And so, she pushed us in other directions.
As a result, I never had the opportunity to learn on the field, to develop friendships and relationships with teammates, to be put through the drills and the discipline, to have those experiences some of you had. I do not regret not being a professional athlete. Very few have the talent or drive or luck to make this happen. But here's the thing. Boys and girls like to dream, and when you're a kid, you dream of being an astronaut, or a fire fighter, or a football player, or basketball, etc. And so you play. Eventually, most kids realize they aren't strong enough, or big enough, or fast enough, or driven enough, or they get injured, and so they quit. Which is just fine. But they had the exercise and experience in the interim.
Because I am 6'4", and weighed about 190 pounds, I wish I would have been able to play. In the overall scheme of life, how well I blocked or tackled or ran the ball, or caught the ball wouldn't matter a bit. After all, how often does someone over 50 tackle a grown man? It just doesn't happen.
However, this overlong post is meant as a warning to those of you who would keep your young children from an experience they may well treasure for a lifetime. Very few of your kids will make it to high school, even fewer to college ball, and a miniscule number to professional football. I simply believe that your fears of concussions and neurological damage are overblown, especially for children between the ages of 7 and 12.
Except this experience causes life long physiological damage, even with the micro concussions that may occur.
I know from your above post that you have done research in this area. So my question:
what is a link to a study or studies that shows conclusively there is life long physiological damage occuring in those who play team sports (particularly football) between approximately the ages of 7 and 12 as compared to those who do not. (I am willing to defer to your judgement, as regards college and pro football, and to a lesser degree, high school football.)
I also am interested in concussive damage caused in youth soccer and lacrosse. I'm assuming that the incidence of neurological trauma in youth baseball, basketball, track, swimming, etc., is much less.
My oldest is 8 and he has played 3 years and says he will play again this fall. I'm more aware and concerned that I used to be due the research that has been done more recently. Virginia Tech did a study with a sandlot league in a neighboring county last year. But I'm not concerned to the point that I will make him quit. Proper technique needs to be stressed and going forward we will probably change the way we practice to reduce the risk of injury, since most of the big hits that kids take are on the practice fields.
Honestly? Probably not. I played football a bit in pee-wee, and distinctly remember the time I stopped was after getting booted in the head when I was trying to tackle a kid. Wasn't bad form or anything, but just a kid fighting for yards and me trying to stop him. Had a headache, and realized that I was never going to make millions playing it, and I just didn't like the feeling I got from being hit. Maybe that makes me a wuss, but whatever.
If my child truly loves playing it (and I'm getting close to that age when I need to make those types of decisions), I'd support him or her to an extent. But honestly, there are other sports where you can get the same level of competition without the dangers of lasting injury. Hard to dispute that in light of what we've seen recently.
The recent high profile cases here:
These guys played ball in the 70's, 80's and 90's. Their formative years were all in the 70's and 80's. The equipment and mindset of coaches and players is SO different from what it was then. Unfortunately, it's impossible to look into the future and see if the current tactics are effective, but It'd be like saying you won't let someone drive wearing a three point safety harness because old fashioned lap belts were highly ineffective.
Before I'd let my daughter be a cheerleader.
I'll let him play, but by golly if he gets cut from the team, gets a bruise, or gets called an obscene name....I'm suing somebody for a million dollars in actual damages and 10 million in punitive damages. The emotional scarring is the worst, I say, the worst!!