Football: No Game is Worth a Brain

Hard physical contact is a gridiron reality. But many are questioning if more changes need to be made to protect football players—specifically the player’s brains. 

Former Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman’s career was cut short due to numerous concussions, and he declared that no son of his would ever play football. 

His sentiment was echoed by President Obama, in an interview in The New Republic, “I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.”

According to the Center for Disease Control there are over 300,000 sports-related concussions each year. 


Concussions aren’t merely bruises or bumps—they can lead to serious issues. Enough NFL players have suffered the effects of head injuries that medical experts are linking concussions to subsequent maladies such as depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and a host of other neurological disorders. 

With thousands of players lining up to sue the NFL for negligence, perhaps it’s wise for school districts nationwide to consider their own liabilities.

Tommy Farris

During the time my son played high school football, a player from a nearby school, collapsed in a coma after a head-on tackle. As a star player, he was soon cleared to play again. 

Not realizing the extent of his injuries, he finished the football season, but he had severe headaches, numbness in his legs, lack of concentration, and loss of balance as he walked. This wasn't the senior year he'd imagined and it diminished his future hopes.

While my son went on to graduate from college and begin his career this young man still deals with numerous disabilities, including epilepsy. Since high school, his life has been on hold—with much time spent in doctor's waiting rooms and courtrooms. 

With elementary aged grid-kids playing tackle football and emulating their NFL heroes, the aggression can start young. But there's one way to avoid needless suffering—change the rules. 

The NFL has made attempts to penalize helmet-to-helmet contact, and while it may be having some net benefit, the professionals get paid to play—so their injuries are part of the job.

Young players don’t anticipate an injury that redefines their future. And too many kids are living in pain because football was more important than common sense.

The debate is far from over—and until a balance between safety and sports action is reached, parents might want to take the advice of Troy Aikman and President Obama and find a safer sport for your child. No game is worth a brain.

Reebok CheckLight beanie

The NFL and the NCAA are asking for more research for help in accurate brain injury diagnosis. Reebok recently debuted a "brain beanie" to be worn under the helmet. Sensors in the beanie will detect the severity and location the potential concussion. Moderate hits trigger a flashing amber light. A red light indicates a severe blow. However, this does nothing to prevent the concussion.

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