Chamblee54

The Cost Of Football

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on August 27, 2010







Football is just around the corner. The teams are busy with the pre season, and soon weekends will be full of hitting and drinking. Perhaps this is a good time to wonder whether football is worth the human cost. Especially now, with a national debate raging about the future of our health care. Football injuries keep hospitals hopping during the autumn.

This is a recycled post. There is a bit of hypocrisy here, as PG enjoys watching the hits. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

On the local front, The Falcons have had back to back winning seasons. How they will follow this is anyone’s guess. Their divisional rivals, the New Orleans Saints, won the Super Bowl last year, and are probably due for a let down. Tech and Georgia continue to struggle to have schools the football team can be proud of.

Football season is here. While the games are fun to watch, the players are paying the price. Your health insurance premiums just might be affected.

Football is a contact sport. On every play, the linemen block other lineman to keep them from tackling a back. Someone gets hit on every play. Most of these hits are “clean” and cause only bruises. Some are “dirty”, and cause injuries. Even the clean hits can hurt someone.

It is estimated that 187,000 emergency room visits every year are due to football. What if an illegal drug sent 187k to the er annually? There would be a hue and cry to kill the pushers. However, football is different.

Knee injuries are especially prevalent. An estimated 45,000 knee operations are performed each year due to football injuries.

With all those helmets slamming into each other, head injuries occur.
“The researchers found that there is approximately one catastrophic head injury per every 150,000 athletes playing, or 7 catastrophic injuries yearly. There were 0.67 injuries per 100,000 players at the high school level and 0.21 injuries per 100,000 for college level football players.” Often, the coaches get caught up in the do or die spirit of a big game, and don’t get the player the medical attention that he needs. “Football is a very macho sport. Athletes are taught to play through pain,” …“But concussions range in severity and symptoms, so all a player may experience is a headache several hours after impact. High school players need to be educated in these symptoms and encouraged to self report.”
Even cheerleading squads are reporting more injuries, due to botched stunts.

When you see the players in their youthful glory, you don’t think what they will look like after they quit playing. Many players know this, but the lure of today’s glory justifies the pain of tomorrow. The heroes of yesterday often walk with pain today.





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