I humbly offer a concussion prevention program that will have a 100% success rate. This is not a trick or an attempt to be clever. This is a bona fide solution for those folks who are afraid that they – or their kids – will be subjected to dementia or any other ill effect that may result from a concussion.
Here it is.
DON’T PLAY FOOTBALL. DON’T LET YOUR KIDS PLAY FOOTBALL. AND WHILE YOU ARE AT IT, DON’T LET YOUR KIDS PLAY HOCKEY, SOCCER, BOXING, X-GAMES STUFF, SKATE BOARD OR ANY OTHER SPORT WHERE CONTACT AND IMPACT ARE A REMOTE POSSIBILITY.
Do you get it? If aren’t comfortable with getting hit or your kid getting hit, stay away from sports. And if you really want to protect yourself and your kids, stay out of the car, off of motorcycles and bicycles and away from water. Do you know how many kids die in accidents around the house every year? I have news for you; fatal accidents that occur around the house should scare you a lot more than football. Stats don’t lie.
Football – and by extension every sport – is under assault from the forces of political correctness and by those who would have you believe that kids and adults are led into the competitive arena with a gun pointed at their heads. This is total garbage.
In 1970 – the era of plastic helmets, playing for the Ridge Runners in a league in Queens, NY – as a 7-year old, I knew that football was a rough game. All through my youth, high school and college years my friends and teammates were aware of the risks that came with the territory. We were also keenly aware of the fact that football wasn’t a game that just anyone could play.
It still isn’t.
Concussion awareness is all the rage these days and every story of a football player suffering a concussion seems important enough to become national news. Hundreds of thousands of youth football players are active every weekend from August through December and inevitably the stories that resonate from coast to coast and on the Internet are the literal handful of concussion stories.
Anecdotal stories and data extrapolated from scientific studies are pumped out on a daily basis and all with the same message; football is dangerous and that concussions can lead to brain damage. What isn’t reported are the hundreds of thousands of injuries that DON’T occur every weekend.
As Stalin said, “One death is a tragedy, a thousand deaths is a statistic.”
In the forty years since I started playing and coaching football, from youth to college, and working with athletes from every possible level, I know of one former player who suffered a major head injury. On the other side of the ledger I know of thousands of non-injury success stories; guys who played football, injury free, and who loved every minute of it. The worst thing that has happened to a friend or active player of mine are injuries that were suffered as the result of a household accident.
I know guys who played football twenty-five years older and twenty years younger than I am, and all of them have their faculties. I know guys from all walks of life – cops, Wall Street, the fitness business, restauranteurs, doctors, lawyers, firemen, accountants – who are successful and healthy.
Football shouldn’t be tarred and feathered because of what happens to a minuscule portion of the football-playing population. And it’s unfortunate that some guys made football more important than it is, but this isn’t a reason to blame the sport for their problems, for their being let down. There are life lessons to be learned from playing football, but it is still just a game and isn’t life or a substitute for life.
The liability issue surrounding football is nonsense and is a sign of both how ignorant and litigious our society has become. To avoid the risks of football, don’t play. If the thought of getting shot in combat scares you, don’t join the military.
People will always play football. Those who want to avoid the risks should sit on the sidelines.