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Rated: 13+ · Editorial · Activity · #1975364
Covering the controversy of prohibiting your kids from playing football.
The Football Controversy

There's been quite a bit of concern lately about the injuries suffered during football games.  I suppose most of the recent interest in the subject is due to the Superbowl, which aired on Sunday February 2nd, but I've seen references to it through the whole season.

Some parents seem to be in sort of a "panic mode" when it comes to allowing their children to participate in the sport.  You would think that football would be the sport where players are most easily, and seriously injured, but statistics say that basketball is the #1 most dangerous sport, producing more injuries than football.

Another interesting fact is that bicycling sits at nearly the same level as football in the injury category, but far surpasses football in fatalities. In fact, since the beginning of pro football in 1892, there have only been three in game deaths. Two from neck injuries and one heart attack, (not actually attributed to the game).  In Major league baseball there have been four deaths attributed to the game, three from being struck by a ball and one from a player to player collision.  In the NBA (basketball), no deaths were reported due to playing the game, yet it remains the game with the most documented injuries.  The sport of professional boxing records some 25 deaths in the ring most resulting in brain or spinal injuries.

Very close to the injury statistics for football, are the injuries received while trampolining and skateboarding.

My point here is that yes, these sports do associate risk factors for injury with them while being played, but the benefits outweigh the risks tremendously.  HOW?  Let me show you the big picture...

The average salary for the previously mentioned professional NFL, NBA and MLB players is 3 to 5 million dollars a year.  They number between 3,000 to 3,696 players each year, joining the 16.5 million Americans that are currently millionaires here. That's 8% of US households. 82% of those millionaires are married.

Now we get to the good part.  Although a good sum of their dollars are saved in investments, they still have enough capital to pay for tons of goods and services, which means that allot of American workers are benefiting from their wealth.  The largest negative is that wealthy people often leave the country on vacations, hindering the success of our tourism industries.  I hope they are realizing this, and will do more sight seeing here in the states.

The average millionaire purchases a pretty decent home or has one built, which positively effects the timber and other construction industries.  They also purchase appliances and automobiles which support manufacturing and steel industries.  A typical millionaire will do some sort of home remodel every 5 to ten years, including redecorating, which helps the home furnishing industry.  If they have kids, you can bet that even more consumer electronics are purchased, since kids have to have their phones and video games.

Almost every wealthy household has weekly and monthly expenditures that aid the economy and provide jobs.  Let's take a look at some of those.

House keeper, Pest control, Landscape maintenance, Hair dresser / barber, dry cleaner, Dog sitter, Security company, Heating and air tech., GYM, swimming pool tech., and a Nanny (in some cases).

Many of these individuals purchase season tickets for sporting or arts entertainment, such as the ballet, and a large tax write off is granted for funding charitable donations.  Many athletes have paid the medical bills for untold numbers of children with desperate, life threatening illnesses, and they encourage the kids with personal visits.

Quite a few of these pro athletes come from inner city communities, and have few chances to follow any dream in life except for sports.  A sports program can help keep them off drugs, and out of prison.  Many of them also have naturally high testosterone levels which make them more aggressive.  Participating in sports is a great way to positively channel that aggression.

My question to the parents who want to prevent their sons and daughters from playing these sports is why do you let them skateboard, ride a bike, shoot hoops with the neighborhood kids in the street, or bounce on that huge trampoline in the back yard, when the odds of injury are as great if not greater than they are playing football or almost any other sport?

Kids will be kids and they will get hurt.  As parents we can't put our kids in social straight jackets or they will come to hate us.

I'll finish with a personal memory of playing tackle football with 6 to 10 neighborhood boys and girls in the large, grassy, median strip in the middle of the road, in front of our house.  I can't imagine my mom saying "Ron...I don't approve of that sport, stop playing at once and come inside."  Even though we didn't wear helmets or padding of any sort. 

In all of my very active young life, I never saw anyone get seriously injured.  A broken leg or an arm on occasion, but that can happen just playing leap frog, so let the little warriors be warriors, cause that's what they want, and it's allot better than sitting around doing something destructive like drugs.  Lighten up moms and dads, sports are good for all of us!             
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