Charlottesville Breaking News
When people see my son, because of his large size they often say he’s going to be a linebacker. Many parents would be thrilled to hear such a prediction about a son, but I'm not many parents.
Before my son was born I decided he wouldn’t play football. Baseball, yes. Basketball, yes. Tennis, lacrosse, track: yes, yes, yes. But football, no.
The more we learn about football, the harder it is to justify allowing people to play it, especially children. When I was in middle school, a boy on our JV team had his femur snapped during a game. The sight made us turn away in horror. It was nearly a year before the boy could walk, and he never played football again. At the time it seemed the worst injury the sport could inflict. If only that were the case.
In 2009, the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, concluded a study on concussions in high school athletes that made a protruding femur look as serious as an ingrown toenail. As many as 40.5 percent of high school athletes who sustain concussions return to action prematurely; 16 percent of football players reported returning to play the same day they lost consciousness (remember not every concussion causes a blackout).
The study’s director “conservatively” estimated that high school athletes sustained more than 130,000 concussions in 2008, and the CDC reported that for kids ages 15-24, sports are second on...