OT : Future of Football?

I was just reading about the tragic death of a college football player here in Texas (<LINK_TEXT text=“http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2734 … =editorial”>http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2734198-robert-grays-dies-at-age-19-from-injuries-sustained-while-tackling?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=editorial</LINK_TEXT>) and just feel so bad for the young man’s family and friends and have a question for the board.

I know all on this board love the game, especially the college game like I do. It just seems with the speed and size of the players these days, it has gotten so dangerous especially with concussions, brain injuries and neck injuries. My nephew is junior in high school and blew out his ACL in a game last week and of course I hated to see it…however, in the back of my mind I felt some relief that it was lower body and also he would not be playing the rest of the year taking hits.

Do you think football will be played 50 years from now? If so, will it be thru rules changes, technology changes or game changes like no helmets or weighted shoes to slow players down.

I think people have been debating the future of football since it began. Around the turn of the 20th Century there was a demand from many to abolish the sport because of too many deaths and serious injuries. It took an intervention from President Teddy Roosevelt to save the game; he summoned several of the top university leaders to Washington to create a comprehensive reform in rules that essentially planted the seeds for what we see today.

In my opinion, football is too popular for it to ever go away. It will never be devoid of risks, including death, but I think it is probably safer now than it has ever been because the technology that goes into manufacturing helmets and padding is continually improving, and proper concussion protocol is finally a priority at all levels.

What you’ll see - and I think you’re already seeing it - is more parents not allowing their child to play the sport, or at least holding them out until they are older and better understand the risks. I think you’ll also see an increase in bone, joint and muscle injuries because of the emphasis that is put on being bigger. I’m not sure our bodies are meant to look like or do some of the things that are asked of football players.

Matt is right. There is a fascinating book about how T. R. saved football titled The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football, by John J. Miller.

Amazon Book Description
[quote]John J. Miller delivers the intriguing, never-before-told story of how Theodore Roosevelt saved American Football—a game that would become the nation’s most popular sport. Miller’s sweeping, novelistic retelling captures the violent, nearly lawless days of late 19th century football and the public outcry that would have ended the great game but for a crucial Presidential intervention. Teddy Roosevelt’s championing of football led to the creation of the NCAA, the innovation of the forward pass, a vital collaboration between Walter Camp, Charles W. Eliot, John Heisman and others, and, ultimately, the creation of a new American pastime.

I was able to catch some of Tommy Tuberville’s speech at the LR TD club on the radio Monday. TT had interesting things to say about this topic. He is the current president of the FB Coaches Assoc (or some such org). One of the things he said… Pop Warner (PeeWee) Football participation is down 40%. He thinks there’s a real problem.

I think use of the head in blocking and tackling will be completely banned. Which may require, or lead to, the return of soft helmets. You’re not going to go head-to-head if your only protection is a thin layer of leather or soft plastic. I’m not sure that’s the best idea but I think that’s where we are headed.

There is definitely a movement from parents to keep their boys out of tackle football. One of my grandsons is an excellent athlete playing baseball, flag football and basketball. He plays on a select baseball team and is one of the best players on the team. But his best sport is flag football. He is a beast on defense and coaches are all over my daughter and son-in-law to allow him to play tackle. He’s really big for his age just like his dad was at that age. His dad refuses to let him play tackle and I’m proud of that decision. It worries me for the kids that play. I had my bell rung a couple of times when I played Jr. High FB in the 60’s and I saw at least 1 really bad concussion back then.

I’m somewhat torn on how I can love to watch football but don’t want my grandsons playing the game. Long term I believe it’s going to cut down on the number of players.


Good replies, thanks BaumbasticHawg, I will have to check this book out. Looks like a great read.