Hell itself will freeze over before I let either of my boys play football, at least any variety more serious than the touch version played by the menfolk in the side yard at family gatherings. They both play soccer, which is bad enough from a concussion standpoint...at least in soccer it's not the explicit goal of the defense to flatten the opposing player who has the ball on every play, although sometimes it happens anyway. They play basketball, too, and anyone who thinks basketball is a non-contact sport has clearly never played the game. I speak from experience in this. It isn't that I don't want them playing contact sports, and I know that a freak accident can happen while doing pretty much anything, but the news out of football is just relentlessly bleak. Think about Duerson and Seau. Then take the latest, the story of Tyler Sash, the former NY Giants safety who died last fall at 27. Yesterday's media was full of reports describing the advanced CTE discovered in his brain. 27 years old. He was closer in age to Thing One than to me when he died.
I'm no fan of the Giants in particular or really of any pro football team, but as you all know, I'm a proud alumna of Notre Dame and I've religiously (ha) watched pretty much every game we've played since I started college lo these many MANY years ago now. (Before that I'd never seen a live game, Hong Kong Brits and Chinese not being much for playing American football...if my high school had fielded a team, there would have been nobody to play against, so we had a rugby team instead. Yes, I digress, although if you want to see a REALLY violent sport check rugby out sometime. ) My point is that I cheerfully and regularly watch a group of young men playing a sport that I won't permit my own sons to play. Wondering if that makes me a hypocrite or if this is just an extension of something I tell my own kids all the time (usually when they are complaining about something not being fair), that every set of parents makes their own decisions for their own kids based on what they think is best.