I love sports. I was lucky enough to be a coach for soccer, track, and cross country for several years when I taught middle school. Every year, I had to go through a required concussion training (find something similar here). Every year I walked away with one thought: if I ever have a son, he will NEVER play football. While we are at it, boxing and wrestling are out too.
I know it seems like an unfair generalization to say the word “never” to one sport. After all, one bad whack to the head while walking down the steps could seriously injure a person. However, the statistics and likelihood of it happening in football are staggering simply because of the nature of the game.
According to an article published by the American Academy of Pediatrics: “Most injuries sustained during participation in youth football are minor, including injuries to the head and neck. The incidences of severe injuries, catastrophic injuries, and concussion, however, are higher in football than most other team sports and appear to increase with age.”
I mean, it is a sport where people are continuously and purposely banging their heads and bodies. Yes, they have helmets, but let’s be real. No matter how good the helmet, you are still pounding your head over and over. Yes, I know they aren’t supposed to hit the head. I know the rules, and I’ve also watched a lot of football. We all know just because they aren’t supposed to, doesn’t mean the players and coaches follow the rule.
Football has been an important part of my life since I was a little kid.
My birthday is at the end of January, and the Super Bowl has fallen within one day of my actual birthday eight times in my life, three times ON game day. I can remember birthdays as a 90s kid in Texas when the Dallas Cowboys were in their glory. My extended family would come to our house for a birthday/Super Bowl party, and I got my cake during halftime. The family would all do a touchdown dance to Tag Team’s “Whoomp There It Is” every time the Cowboys scored.
The football obsession didn’t end there. My sister and I grew up playing football in the streets with our mostly boy neighbors. My sister was the best player and taught me how to throw a perfect spiral, which I can still do to this day, thank you very much. I was pretty much a tomboy who never minded a little dirt, sweat, and tackling.
I never missed a home football game in high school, and only missed one in college due to me having a late evening exam right before the holidays. But I digress…
My point is, I am a football fan. It is super fun and highly entertaining to watch. But it in no way means that I want my kids to play it. If my son ever asks, the answer will be a resounding no. I know I won’t be able to stop him from throwing the ball around in the street like I did, but I can stop him from ever joining a school or city team. There are simply safer sports where the likelihood of him getting hurt or having permanent brain trauma is drastically reduced.
I’m a firm believer in cultivating a lifelong sport.
I want my kids involved in sports that can be enjoyed at many stages throughout life like swimming, tennis, golf, or running. Most football players can’t physically play later in life because football takes such a toll on the body. I mean, beyond your head getting smacked around, imagine your body getting tackled to the ground day after day for hours at a time. It’s a hard pass for me and any of my kids. Don’t Want My Son To Play Football
My children will no doubt have a love for football as they grow up. Between my side of the family being Cowboys fans and my husband’s side being Cleveland Browns fans (sorry in advance, kids), football is a part of our culture. It’s never going to go away, and I don’t want it to. But as for joining an actual team – nah, we’ll pass