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Old 04-24-2012, 08:03 AM   #1
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A discussion on concussions.. Kids and football

So I'm hoping for a lively and considerate debate here. Over the last few years we are becoming more and more aware of just how bad it can get for someone that has had numerous concussions. Especially when they haven't had enough time to recover from a concussion before having another one. Now we not only see lawsuits, but former NFL players killing themselves after having long bouts with mental illness. Dave Duerson even shot himself in the chest so his brain would be left intact for examination.

So here I am with a 12 week old child. I'm practically brainwashing him to love football and the Saints. But I have to admit, I'm starting to wonder if this is wise. Frankly, I'm hoping that technology catches up to the problem and coaches go back to teaching good tackling instead of going for a big hit. My older brother was a really really good football and basketball player through high school. He was scouted by several colleges but all that ended when he blew out his knee in a football game. His son is as physically gifted as he was but he won't let him near a football field. Letting him instead focus on other sports (he practically a golf prodigy). The concussion scare just solidifies his decision for him. I'm starting to wonder if I should do the same with my boy Carpenter.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:00 AM   #2
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can't really offer much - though i am also really paying attention (i have a 4 yr old)

thinking back though, i am curious about the relationship between "having your bell rung" and possible concussion - wonder if we've all had concussions we didn't know about or are we becoming hyper-vigilant??
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:02 AM   #3
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Don't think that soccer doesn't have it's concussion issues. Those guys are getting laid out left and right. Of course like all the major sports, they mostly go unannounced.

http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/new...rotect-players
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:36 AM   #4
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Ive really got nothing for this debate.

To sum things up, we pretty much have a few options.

1) Let football continue as its known, teach better tackling habits amd hope medical amd technilogical advances occur to treat the injuries. Also, make people fully aware of the risk of the sport.

2) Water down the sport for safety purposes.

Outside of that, there really is not much else that can occur. Personally, my vote is option 1. Simply because there are so many.sports that are safer. Between track, golf, baseball, basketball, soccer (which could be debated), and a slew of others to choose from, I see no point in watering down football for safety purposes until football players come hard.

Pee-wee is already played extemely softly by children. Its till 8th grade/high school the hits start getting really violent and risk of major injury really represents itself. At that point, just don't play it.

I wouldnt let mine play it.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:57 AM   #5
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I've been on the sidelines every Friday night as a healthcare professional for the last 15 yrs. I also worked for 3 yrs in indoor football. I played football from the age of 7 to 18, suffering a torn PCL and one concussion. I've been a Saints and Southern Miss ticket holder since 2000. I love football. That being said if my son, who is currently 11 months old, never plays football I will be more than fine with it. I would however like to teach him the game of golf. There is some real bonding when you spend 4hrs on a golf course with your son. And it's something you can do together at any age.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:06 AM   #6
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To me, it is an acceptable risk for my 10 yo. The liklihood of concussions, spinal injuries, etc., increase as kids move up through high school, college, pro. At the same time, the chances of him having the skills necessary to play at those levels progressively decrease. So his playing now causes me zero concern that he will end up like Dave Duerson. Now, if he were to eventually make it on a big time college team, I would be a lot more cognizant of the risks of a continued career in football.

That said, if my son does get a concussion, I will be very cautious about letting him back on the field. None of this "the team really needs you" stuff. But before all of this blew up, I probably would have been the "you're OK, shake it off" type.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:20 AM   #7
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There's really nothing to gain by playing, when you compare it to what there is to lose. I'm not letting my kid play football.

Plenty of other sports offer good things without the same risks. And it's unlikely that my kid is going to turn into a 250 pound beast of a middle linebacker or something. Even if he did, that's when it would get really dangerous.

Just don't see the point, other than some stodgy traditions.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:04 AM   #8
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There's really nothing to gain by playing, when you compare it to what there is to lose. I'm not letting my kid play football.

Plenty of other sports offer good things without the same risks. And it's unlikely that my kid is going to turn into a 250 pound beast of a middle linebacker or something. Even if he did, that's when it would get really dangerous.

Just don't see the point, other than some stodgy traditions.
Maybe so, but my son loves it. (Him a week ago) "Dad, I miss football. I need to hit somebody. (laugh) I'm ready to light somebody up! (laugh)" I pointed out the laughter so you won't think I'm raising a menace to society. He likes playing basketball and baseball, but he loves more agressive stuff like football and wrestling.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:22 AM   #9
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I'm glad I have girls so that I don't have to tell them they aren't allowed to play football. The responses here are very interesting to me though. I thought I was one of the few who wouldn't let their kids play football. With all of this horrible new information about concussions and their after effects this might really herald a sea change for the state of the NFL. I admit that I've moved away from football a bit and have become much more involved as a basketball fan. I just can't help wondering what Sproles' brain is going to look like in 10 years every time he takes a hit, much less what could happen to my kids.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:37 AM   #10
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If I have a son, I will teach him to love watching football and playing it in the backyard just like I do.

Running full steam and hitting a guy with his face in hopes that he can cause the dude pain? Not so much.

I love football, but I prefer to watch other people's children play it. I wouldn't enjoy one second of my own kid playing the sport the way it's currently played. And I would put myself in danger of getting jailtime after finding out a coach played my kid with a concussion, or encouraged him to knock a guy out with his head or whatever.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:50 AM   #11
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I have girls. However, I would let my boy play if I had one.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:05 PM   #12
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the dude played football last year...at his age, they aren't hitting each other...most of them are scared to make contact...

that being said, it's the coaches and parents of many of the kids that caused me to not allow him to play again....they all think their kid is the next Brett Farve

they have a fall baseball league that he will play in
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:05 PM   #13
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at his age, they aren't hitting each other...most of them are scared to make contact.


Scientists at Virginia Tech might disagree.

bs:0" /> bs:0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" wmode="transparent" allowfullscreen="true" width="535" height="302" bgcolor="#000000">

Watch Young Football Players Take Big-League Hits to Head on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.



Edit: Can't seem to embed this properly. Here is the link

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/healt...its_04-02.html
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:54 PM   #14
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the dude played football last year...at his age, they aren't hitting each other...most of them are scared to make contact...

that being said, it's the coaches and parents of many of the kids that caused me to not allow him to play again....they all think their kid is the next Brett Farve

they have a fall baseball league that he will play in
All of those parents are idiots, and they really get on my nerves. Everybody should know that my kid is the next Brett Farve.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:54 PM   #15
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My son is a football player -- it's what he does and it's kind of who he is. He started playing when he was 10 in 4th grade.

Now, he has a scholarship to play in college. I understand all of the concerns about football...I only had to convince him to play his first year -- after that, the lure of the team, the "guys" -- the hits -- all of it were enough to keep him motivated.

He couldn't play anything else because he is legally blind in his right eye. Baseball, basketball...even shotput were difficult because of his vision.

My son will probably play football for two more years, three, if he gets redshirted...he thinks he will get a D2 offer...that's his goal. That means he has at the most 4 or 5 years...and when he quits he will be 24. He won't play professionally -- he's just not skilled or tall enough.

He broke his arm this year, senior year and played 2 weeks from the night he broke it . He had 8 screws and a plate in it -- He had a cast and had it wrapped up and kicked butt -- it was senior night, his last night at home and they won...it was also on TV in Kansas City -- it was magical and afterward, he was filled with a can do attitude about everything and he believed then and now that desire and committment are 3/4 of the battle.

When he started playing, he was shy and quiet and he was kind of a loner...football changed all that...he came out of his shell and he became the "real him"

It's been good for his esteem and his self concept. He's learned to put aside personal inconvenience and personal wants for the wants of a team. Football is the ultimate team sport and just like in life, everyone has their own skills and abilities and every person has to capitalize on their own skills for the team to succeed.

I can't be sorry for his playing this game or for wanting to play it. The look on his face when his team won is priceless -- the tears I saw his teamamates shed when he broke his arm, The way 16, 17, and 18 year old boys came up to him and cried when he walked off the field with his arm shattered and told him with no reservation, "I love you, man" THe way they looked when he came running back on the field and said he was cleared to play -- all of that make ALMOST anything worth it.

I don't know of any other game that gets at hte most vicseral, primordial character building that football does.

I can't regret what he's done and where he's doing. I know he wouldn't have it any other way.
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