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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Football Insanity

     Recently the National Football League has become stricter on how concussions are handled.  This has come about because of the number of retired players developing health conditions that were a result of untreated concussions.  This issue is one that didn't come home to me until this weekend when I attended a Pee Wee football game where a relative of mine had a son who was playing.  What I saw concerned me more than what is happening with the NFL.  Somehow seeing the violence played out with 7 and 8 year old kids seemed insane and bordering on child abuse.  It is one thing to see adults in prime physical condition make this choice to participate in violent aggression but something else to see this played out with kids.
     Pee Wee football has weight and age restrictions to try and keep the competition fair.  The problem was that the weight limits were from 50 to 80 pounds.  Thirty pounds might not be a big difference for an adult but it is huge for kids at the lower weights.  In wrestling we had weight ranges that were about 5 pounds apart to be fair.  And we weren't running into each other at full speed.  Watching the game before my relative's child was playing, two players, at this same level, had to be helped off the field.  One even returned after a couple of plays.
     I have been around coaches from a wide variety of sports and have certainly heard coaches yelling at young players in pointing out their mistakes.  These coaches took the yelling to a new level with exhorting their players to "stick it to them" and "don't wimp out in your tackling."  Teaching aggressive to our youth---just what we need more of in our culture.  Coming of age for many of our young boys dealing with adolescent issues doesn't need a layer of brutality.
   Momma don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys, Ravens or Steelers.

P.S.
    This does lead me to probably give up following the Ravens to some extent.  Hard to go cold turkey but the process will begin.

P.S.1
   
Last night's sunset over Blandair Park.

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