I Don’t Want My Son To Play Football. » VSB

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I Don’t Want My Son To Play Football.

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The movie Concussion, starring Will Smith and his odd African accent, opens on Christmas Day this year. It’s a movie about a forensic pathologist, Dr. Bennett Omalu, who came to odds with the National Football League (NFL) over his research and study into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can be the end result of one too many hits to the noggin in the form of concussions. Dr. Omalu found the link between concussions and CTE, which in several NFL players, led to death via suicide. Obviously the NFL was none to pleased with this as they’ve been slow until more recently in acknowledging just how damaging the sport can be. While I love football dearly, the NFL’s dealings with concussions and head trauma has left much to be desired, especially by former players. They’ve attempted to make some changes in areas that are most likely to be the highest impact collisions – and those most likely to cause real damage – like moving the kickoff up 15 yards and reducing open field collisions, causing most returns to be touchbacks. as opposed to guys like Desean Jackson taking their lives (and Redskins’ seasons) into their own hands, but it’s hard to soften the blow from a sport where people intentionally take aim at you, physically.

Man, that was a bonehead play.

But I’m not here to argue about how terrible the NFL is. If you’re a fan of the sport, and I am, you already know how much of a clusterfuck the NFL, their rules, studies, PR, and ideologies can be. I love the sport in spite of how it’s run. Besides, football is the most popular sport in America, so what do I know?

What I do know is that my son won’t be playing football.

I am a southerner. While I didn’t live in the south for all of my youth, I come from a family of southerners and football players. I’ve had at least four cousins make it to the NFL. I went to high school in Alabama at a school constantly in the conversation for state titles, though we always run up against Hoover, and anybody familiar with high school football is familiar with Hoover (Birmingham). Point is, Friday Night Lights is a real thing down south. I saw it. Me? I witnessed it from afar because what I learned early was that since I wasn’t going to the NFL, I might as well take up this thespian thing. But my southern-ness means that football is a thing for me. One of my nephews plays football (another is into mixed-martial arts and wrestling).

I know that all of these kids aren’t going to get injured. I know every kid isn’t going to get a concussion. I know that you are just as likely to get a concussion playing soccer as you are football as a youth. I’ve been hit upside the head with a metal baseball bat and in an attempt to hurdle my back fence once, failed, and went face first into the concrete. I’ve had concussions. I’m a boy. We get those. All anybody did was keep me awake. And I’m still here.

It’s not really the concussions, and the possible CTE, that lead me away from football. It’s the gruesome injuries I’ve seen that tend to turn me away. I realize that many of them are freak accidents, but good gracious. To be fair, I do realize that freak accidents can happen in all sports (see Ware, Kevin; University of Louisville), but when something tragic happens in basketball, it’s a shock.

Meanwhile, it seems like every summer we hear about some high school kid dropping dead on a football field. And the high school years and beyond are what have me most concerned. (I realize that the likelihood of significant injury in Pop Warner is very, very low.)

At one football game in high school, I remember one of my friends, and football player, having his arm shattered by one of our own players who irresponsibly attempted to spear a pile of players on the ground. My friend was carted off the field and his arm never worked right again. My former barber in Alabama broke his neck playing high school football and luckily wasn’t paralyzed. Almost every week on television, we see some player go down with who knows what kind of injury. It’s a sport that requires injury. And while I enjoy it, I look at my son and want to toss a basketball in his direction. Maybe (well, most likely) he won’t go pro, but he’s more likely to end up in one piece.

Granted, I also know TONS of people who played football in high school and college who are perfectly fine and operating at full capacity in society. And letting the extreme incidents color my entire perspective about my child’s ability to play a sport that is absolutely one of the best ways to learn teamwork, camaraderie, and discipline is extreme in and of itself. It’s entirely likely that my son could play football, max out in high school, or college and then go off to be a neurosurgeon, world-class blogger, or the guy who invents that thing you don’t even know that you need yet. But mine eyes have seen too much. They’ve seen severe injuries. And I can’t shake that.

If my son tells me he wants to play football, I’m going to have to sit down and have a talk with him about why I’m not comfortable and that might suck for him. But the way I feel right now, I can’t in good conscience walk my son onto a football field. Even with all of the stats and research at my disposal, what we DO know, is that some not-insignificant number of football players are going to get injured, some severely, and even die during practice. It might not be statistically significant, but you can’t tell me that reading about a 16-year-old who died at playing football isn’t signficant in a holistic sense. Even one is too much for me, and there are always a few  per year.

I love the sport and I would never tell anybody else what to do with their child. Again, I have lots of family that plays and even my nephew loves it and I encourage him to be great.

It’s football, baby. I watch it religiously. I argue about players and stats with my friends and hope to do the same with my son while he prepares for basketball, soccer, or track and field. Or baseball. One of the some-risk/high-reward sports as opposed to the high-risk/high-reward unless you blow out your knee world of football. The cautionary tales are just too hard for me to ignore.

So I won’t.

#HTTR

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Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Animate

    Every time you mention you’re from AL I try to piece together the clues as to what part. I don’t think you’ve ever directly stated the area.

    • I think he’s straight mentioned Huntsville before.

      • panamajackson

        I have. lol. and you’re right. Right outside of Huntsville (suburb of Madison) is where I lived.

  • Damon Young

    I played football up until 8th grade. And I was actually good at it. (Well, I was a great receiver and a terrible, terrible, terrible cornerback.) But I stopped after 8th grade because I was involved in a gang tackle on a punt returner that literally had his leg looking like a pretzel afterwards. It was — and still is — the worst thing I’ve ever seen in person. And, sadly, the kid never was able to walk right again. We learned later that by the time all the surgeries he needed were complete, one leg was like an inch shorter than the other. I finished the season, but that was the last time I’d ever play on a football team.

    Ironically, I never got any serious injuries playing football. But, in my basketball career I sprained both ankles a dozen times, tore the ACL in my left knee, had a bone bruise in my right knee, separated my left shoulder, tore my right hamstring, and even once bit a hole through my bottom lip after getting elbowed in my chin.

    But even with that injury history, I share your concerns about football. And while I don’t have a son, I wouldn’t want my son to play either. Injuries happen with sports. But football is the only major sport where colliding with someone to induce pain (and possible injury) is a foundational part of it. And we’re barely at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we know about long-term brain damage. So yeah, I’ll continue watching. Because I’m a hypocrite. But that hypocrisy doesn’t extend to my feelings about my children.

    • I have a question for you since you’re a basketball dude in an area better known for its football. Do you think that kids will shift to other sports like basketball or soccer due to injury concerns? Or will kids not play team sports and go rock climbing or something. In New York, a lot of athletic kids don’t really play football in an organized way, and it’s not a big deal. I also know NY has a weird sports culture compared to the rest of the country.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        NYC is land locked and it’s hard to find football fields to support multiple teams from pee wee to high school.

        • Bullsh*t. All of the soccer games I see (which requires the same size field) tell me you’re wrong. My HS has never had a football team, yet played on one of the first FIFA artificial turf fields in the world. (Actually it’s because they rented their field from a local powerhouse youth program, but point taken.)

          • Sigma_Since 93

            I never saw any NYC high school soccer teams growing up and there’s more money to be made renting fields for soccer than for football.

      • Damon Young

        there have already been articles in the papers here about less kids coming out for football on the pee wee and high school levels.

        http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/high-school-football/2013/09/06/Varsity-Xtra-Football-rosters-dwindle-with-concussions-as-culprit/stories/201309060144

        part of that is definitely due to kids just having more options for sports now. but also, you have less parents — especially parents from affluent backgrounds — allowing their kids to play. also, from what I understand, the insurance necessary to protect these leagues is getting more and more expensive.

        • I am curious where those kids are ending up. Or are they just spraying themselves among the other sports with no particular pattern.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          Add in the AAU culture of year round swimming, basketball, and soccer teams AND some schools implementing pay to play fees (looks at my school district) and folks continue to tap out.

        • (2nd comment to avoid looking like a dirty delete)

          Also, the time and travel required for hoops and baseball is becoming a huge deal. Travel baseball is a huge phenomenon that’s blown up over the past 20 years, and grassroots basketball is going nuts with 10 year Olds doing regional and national tournaments. If the article you posted is a guide, that would be a huge deal, particularly in an area with relatively stagnant population growth. Football has the smallest time commitment, and is the easiest to cut off.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            “Football has the smallest time commitment, and is the easiest to cut off.”

            B.S. flag thrown

            Football sucks up just as much time if you are doing it right. Back in my day, you lifted in the off season and maybe ran track. Now, you’ve got “voluntary” lift days, spring ball, 7 on 7 tournaments, team football camps. My son’s friends stay immersed in football activities after the season.

            From a cost prospective it’s the easiest to cut because it costs the most; look at how many schools dropped football to effectively reallocate dollars to be in compliance with Title IX

            The costs for equipment, equipment refurbishment, busing, food, and insurance is putting a strain on many school districts.

        • Thanks for bringing up the fact that insurance rates are playing an influence in the way the game is played.

          I said awhile back that football was going to have to change, not because of the fans, as much as everything else outside of the fanbase having an influence on the sport.

    • Val

      “…football is the only major sport where colliding with someone to induce pain (and possible injury) is a foundational part of it.”

      And hockey.

      • Hockey is slightly less than football. You can be a finesse player in hockey if you’re skilled enough. Not so much in football

        • Val

          Finesse or not most players in hockey get seriously jacked at some point. I’ll always remember how that Black player got jacked. (The one that was knocked out) He’s a finesse player, isn’t he?

          • DBoySlim

            One dude died on the ice. He was revived and asked to be put back in. Tough as nails.

            • Val

              Lol Wow. That’s crazy.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Don’t sleep on soccer concussions.

        • Val

          Yep. Lots of girls suffer concussions in soccer. Field hockey too.

        • QuirlyGirly

          Oh yeah- It can be good to collide with someone and or try to hit the ball with your head as it is going XX miles per hour

          • Val

            A lot of leagues for kids are outlawing ‘headers’ altogether.

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          Nothing like American football. But yeah, soccer concussions can be bad…

    • Your mention of a gang tackle brought up something about football that irks me- The length of time it takes officials to blow a play dead when forward progress stops when a guy is stacked up. Every time I see it I think about Marcus Lattimore’s leg.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        That hit was the Joe Thiesman moment of this generation

  • Meh, I’m not buying the end of football talk. Besides, the two sports that would benefit the most are my two faves: basketball and baseball. I’m waiting for the inevitable hoops boom down South so that they can get fully introduced to the City Game. And besides, the worst hoops does to you is bad knees. It’s not insignificant (ask Champ for living proof), but you can still function in society with bad knees.

    • Val

      “I’m not buying the end of football …”

      I agree, too much money is involved.

      • QuirlyGirly

        True- they will work on playing more safely to reduce injury but they will not be an end to the game.

    • panamajackson

      I don’t think in any way shape or form the end of football is near. I love it. I’m just speaking for me. There are millions of people playign football every year. Football will continue to try to get safer. I just don’t want my son playing.

      What other folks do with their kids is fine by me and I’ll continue to watch and cheer.

  • DBoySlim

    Lacrosse, Hockey, Rugby. Let’s diversify.

    • Earlier this season, the Australian National rugby team and Notre Dame football held some joint practices to exchange ideas on how to reduce the injury risk. I’m curious to see what filters out.

      • DBoySlim

        There are many football teams that have been getting trained by rugby coaches. The lack of collisions force them to be better tacklers. If the U.S. embraced the sport, we would dominate.

        • Alison

          Because the US is exceptional. At everything. Even things they haven’t done yet. Noted.

          • DBoySlim

            When you create a eugenics program (Slave breeding) to make stronger and faster people, this is what you get. We descendants of the diaspora are athletic marvels.

            • Val

              *cringe*

              • All the upvotes Val. You can only rig the game so much if you’re really about winning. We’re hungry and driven out here. Where ever merit and fairness exists, we will show up and excel

            • There wasn’t enough time for selection. If I didn’t have to study so much genetics I wouldn’t know that.

              • Another reason why we need more Black Scientists in movies…and Everywhere.

          • Epsilonicus

            Because we would invest money, talent, etc that many other countries don’t

    • DG

      I read an article some time ago about the limited # of Div 1 scholarships available for the big sports (football, basketball). Every year, you have 1000s of elite athletes competing for a finite # of spots…understandably, not everyone is going to get picked up. The article went on to talk about the transference of skills from one sport to another, and how black athletes in particular could benefit if we just diversify in the types of sports in which we participated. Same skills used in one sport can make one excellent in a different (albeit similar) sport. That 6’2 guard with hops who can’t crack the college squad would make a great striker in volleyball. That def back with good closing speed would make for an excellent lacrosse player. Still D1 level, still on ath scholarship, just a different sport.

      • Unfortunately, it’s harder to cash out in sports like volleyball for men. Basketball and football offer the chance to get picked up and play professionally if you’re good enough.

        • DG

          Oh, I realize that. But if we’re being real, everyone ain’t going pro in football or basketball..some of our boys (and their families, friends, etc) be on that pipe dream status. Your last sentence, “…if you’re good enough” is key.
          Personally, I’d much rather see more black men get their degree on a lacrosse/volleyball/track scholarship than to washout trying to go pro in the other two.

          • There isn’t enough “glory or glitz” in lacrosse for our people lol Track is right up our alley because we still get the Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Puma, etc. endorsements and the Olympics always draws a crowd. Lacrosse isn’t really on the black folk radar as far as sports are concerned.

            • DG

              Very valid points…but like I said, everyone who dreams of playing college or even pro ball ain’t gonna make it. Just like every dude with dreams of being a rapper ain’t gonna make it. That’s the issue…many of our young men are limited in what we want to do, whether it’s athletics, music or whatever.
              And you’re right, lacrosse generally ain’t on our radar. But maybe it needs to be.

              • I think there needs to be a serious discussion on careers outside sports and rapping with our black boys. Yes, aim for the stars and such but being an athlete or a rapper isn’t the only way to “make money”. There are mid-level associates who pull twice the amount of the average football/basketball player. Also, being a musical artist = massive debt. Those ironclad contracts are set up for artists to fail, miserably.

                There are so many more options and I hate that black boys only see sports or music as their proverbial “ticket out”.

                • DBoySlim

                  Forget the contracts, the start-up is expensive. I’m self-financing a music project and it has numerous costs. Studio time, mixing and mastering and acquiring beats adds up. You’re going to be in the red way sooner than you’ll be rolling in dough.

                • Sigma_Since 93

                  The perceived view of what the ROI is is the problem. A great analogy is working 9-5 vs the crack game. The crack game is perceived have a greater ROI because you see that cash in your hand faster.

                  Parallel it to sports, football is perceived to have the biggest ROI because when you make it, you’re on the big stage vs toiling through the minors. What doesn’t get factored in is the average NFL career, (3 yrs), taxes, and physical toll on the body.

                  There’s also a disconnect between balling out and being comfortable. If you can make $150K – $400K running track, playing lacrosse, or minor league baseball, it’s better than your current situation and better than most folks doing the 9 to 5 gig,

                  • Wow only 3 years? I thought it was closer to 5. I stil don’t understand why more black parents don’t push their sons to play baseball.

                    You don’t even have to be in peak physical shape for baseball!! Also, baseball players consistently pulling 9 figure contracts??? Sign me the fuck up!!!

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      Socioeconomic. Too many urban areas have had their baseball fields replaced with parking lots. Good baseball takes place on the AAU level and the costs of equipment and weekly travel can be cost prohibitive.

      • AlwaysCC

        my brother excelled in football because of the years of soccer he played when he was younger (instead of playing peewee football). cross training definitely works!

  • miss t-lee

    “Point is,Friday Night Lights is a real thing down south. I saw it.”

    Definitely, there’s a reason the best selling book was made into both and movie and tv show. Pretty much how it goes, my life growing up in small town Texas. I can’t even act like I wouldn’t want my (non-existent) son to play, but I’d leave that decision to him, and it definitely wouldn’t be until junior high level.
    Many of my family members have excelled in the sport, enough to go on to the college level, and my uncle had a tryout with a NFL team back in the 60s. Have a younger cousin now in HS who is likely headed to play for a D1 school. It really is so intertwined in our family life, and I don’t see that changing. Even with all the risk.

    • Val

      Football culture is amazingly strong in Texas.

      • miss t-lee

        Indeed. Like, I know no other way…lol

      • panamajackson

        It’s strong all over the south. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida. Everything rotates around high school football in these towns. I remember our high school going to one of those towns where literally everything shut down for the high school football game.

    • I’d love to see Friday night Lights for real one day. As a NYer, it mind as well be from Mars. HS football often gets played on random Saturdays or Thursdays around here, and no one really shows up. I’d love to soak up that atmosphere once.

      • miss t-lee

        You definitely should check it out. If any friends are here during FB season they’d definitely be going to a game with me…lol

      • Pinks

        We’ve started going to random games we may pass on the weekend. Those kids be playing their hearts out and don’t anybody be in the stands sometimes lol

        • Sigma_Since 93

          That’s the beauty of having sports towns; many of the places I lived worked with parents who have kids that play so they can be in the stands cheering them on.

          I have a love /. hate relationship with golf. High school matches start at 2, summer tournaments start at 7:30 am, my sons tee off on different holes and I’m running around the course trying to make sure both see me equally. If I wore a Fit bit during a golf match I’d easily get some award for steps walked. lol

          • Pinks

            This is so foreign to me, the idea of an entire town rooting for one school, but that’s because we have like 10 schools within a 20 mile radius lol. There are too many people here for it to work like that, but it’s dope that companies make concessions. I would want to be at every game.

            Heck, my friend’s father was at every practice. Talk about being involved.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              It’s like that in some towns in Upstate NY. We used to play in places where town would close down for football whether it was Friday night or Saturday at noon. They used to love to try to stick it to the rich punks lol!

        • miss t-lee

          See, I can’t even imagine this.
          Even the JV and Freshman games be packed…lol

          • Pinks

            Now that we have two boys, hubby is thinking we need to get out of NY and have them experience what it’s like when football is life. I can’t imagine entire towns shutting down for games, but that’s what I’ve heard goes down in some places.

            • miss t-lee

              It most definitely does happen.

            • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

              Trade off is that that just about all there is in the town. I know how it is…in addition to basketball I mostly played Soccer (football) in HS. Talk about no juice for a sport that is fanatically adored just about everywhere but in American cities.

      • KB

        Go to Texas, it’s on another level. You have high schools that have $45M stadiums. Florida has some of the best hs athletes though.

    • Yeah, it’s a lifestyle down here. My high school played for state on Saturday and the county was more empty than normal. It’s a cult like obsession. I’ve always maintained that my kids who aren’t real won’t play until high school. I also agree that football isn’t going anywhere.

      • miss t-lee

        Oh yeah a state championship game? Everything is a ghost town. It’s like that here when UT plays, best time to move about town…lol

  • I’m curious as to why Will releases bummer movies during the holidays. If I recall Seven Pounds came out during the holidays too.

    • miss t-lee

      I’m still mad I watched that movie at the theater.

      • Me too. Rosario couldn’t even save that movie for me.

        • Val

          She was the only reason I kept watching it. Lol

        • miss t-lee

          hahhahah

      • Me too!! I felt cheated, it is literally the worst movie I have ever seen.

        • miss t-lee

          It’s #2 for me, next to Vanilla Sky.
          I legit will punch Tom Cruise in the face if I ever see him.

          • Damon Young

            vanilla sky is the worst movie that has ever been made. i will not argue with anyone about this

            • Val

              Worse than Soul Plane?

              • QuirlyGirly

                To me – yes- at least with Soul Plane there was something you can find funny or clown as stupid. But with Vanilla Sky, it just left me with more questions than answers and the acting was bad.

                • Val

                  Okay well I’ll know to avoid Vanilla Sky. Lol

              • miss t-lee

                Yes.

              • panamajackson

                Soul Plane ain’t even that bad. I think it gets the “everybody says its trash” moniker. But if you watch it now, its no worse than most “bad black movies”. And at least it’s funny.

                It’s definitely no worse than freakin’ Ride Along.

                • miss t-lee

                  I still can’t believe Ride Along got a sequel.
                  For why?!

                • Siante

                  soul plane is one of my favorite movies – I really don’t understand why people hate it so much?

            • miss t-lee

              There’s no need to argue. We know this to be truth.

          • QuirlyGirly

            I saw Vanilla Sky on DVD at a friends house. I would have rather stayed home and played with my feet. It was AWFUL!!

            • miss t-lee

              I took that dvd and frisbeed it into the street.

              • QuirlyGirly

                A dog should have come along and peed on it and it should have gotten rained on and a truck should have run it over and break it to pieces.

                • miss t-lee

                  one can only hope!!!!

      • QuirlyGirly

        Man, I spent my money on that mess too and was legit MAD. I liked to walk out the theater but I needed to see the end cause I wanted to make sure the whole movie was basura

        • miss t-lee

          Everybody was mad.
          EVERYBODY.

      • Val

        He kept making that weird face all through the movie. Kind of creeped me out.

        • miss t-lee

          Seriously.
          It was almost at my Vanilla Sky level of disgust.

          • 2011k

            I need to see Vanilla Sky so I can hate it

            • miss t-lee

              Report back.

              • 2011k

                Ma’am yes ma’am! (If I remember, lol)

                • miss t-lee

                  LOL! I just wanna see what your take on it is…lol

    • Val

      “Cuz he (and the studio) knows those movies are weak. That’s the only reason to release a non-Christmas movie on Christmas.

      Then you blame the weak numbers on the holiday, to save face, and get it to dvd as quickly as possible.

  • Damon Young

    also, i have absolutely no faith that concussion will be anything other than terrible. like, zero faith.

    • I may just watch the Frontline documentary again just to avoid that movie.

      • miss t-lee

        Exactly. I’m just gonna watch the actual guy…again.

    • Whys_Words

      Is it because of the terrible accent? That last part of the trailer where Will Smith says “Tell the truth!” (in that bad accent) just didn’t get me excited to see the movie at all.

      • QuirlyGirly

        Besides sitting there listening to a terrible accent, I don’t know if I would want to pay $13-$15 to see Will Smith in another “non-holiday” movie. Seven pounds kinda did me in

        • Whys_Words

          I can dig it! But truthfully I don’t like paying $13-$15 for any movie that doesn’t have some explosions, sci-fi elements, or dynamic visual imagery. Don’t need a massive screen and state of the art audio to only watch people talk, fuss, cry, and talk some more.

          • Epsilonicus

            “But truthfully I don’t like paying $13-$15 for any movie that doesn’t have some explosions, sci-fi elements, or dynamic visual imagery.”

            I feel like my money is a waste, even if the movie is good

            • Val

              Netflix! I haven’t been to a movie theater in forever.

              • uNk

                You know I just heard that Netflix has an option to let you stream new movies in theatres for like $30 a month….its what we’ve all been waiting for

                • Val

                  Interesting.

                • QuirlyGirly

                  WORD?!

                • Mochasister

                  What?! I might have to look into that. The few times I’ve gone to the movies this year I just haven’t felt safe.

          • Lol, which is why Michael Bay exists…and rubs it in our faces too.

          • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

            This is exactly how I feel. And I am by no means against substance film. I love drama, documentaries, etc., but in general I want to go to movies to see things I can’t see in real life or something visually incredible.

      • Mochasister

        Horrid accent. Just terrible. I saw the trailer and I thought to myself why.

    • Dustin John Seibert

      TELL DE TRUTH!! TELL DE TRUTH!!!!!!

      • QuirlyGirly

        I hate that I laughed at this

    • miss t-lee

      LOL
      The accent alone had me side eying, and I watched the documentary featuring the doctor already, so I’m good.

      • And the damn Golden Globes folks got the nerve to nominate Will Smith for that? I rolled my eyes so hard.

        So. Damn. Hard.

        • miss t-lee

          Word? I didn’t know he’d gotten the nomination. Wow.

          • Yep. He was nominated for the Best Actor category there.

            • miss t-lee

              Wow.

        • The Golden Globes cares more about politics than quality.

          Always has, always will.

          • Of course. I don’t know why I continue to be surprised, honestly.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        You don’t think being the whistleblower against one of the most profitable organizations in the world is not a compelling story? You see how quickly Goddell threw those former players some pocket change to keep the lawsuits from mounting??

        • miss t-lee

          Thou carest not. I will not go out of my way to watch this movie.

          • QuirlyGirly

            LOL BTW- I will be using “Thou carest not” at the first opportunity.

            • miss t-lee

              Please do. :)

        • Damon Young

          i think the story is compelling. just that the movie will be wack.

      • Anonymous

        I am not mad at the accent due to the terrible Southern accents we have been hearing from Nigerian-English actors over the past few years. I consider it payback.

        • miss t-lee

          Hahaha!

        • Mochasister

          What?! You mean Southerners don’t really sound like that?!

    • Even if it is Terrible…… by movie terms. I know it will be AMAZING for every Black Scientist who is discouraged right now. I Can’t wait to See it!!!!!! Just to FINALLY see a BLACK ACADEMIC on the BIG Screen. That concept is so impossible to me. It makes some of my impossible dreams….soo much more real.

      • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

        Your excitement is making me come around on recognizing how important this actually is…

      • Sarah Hannesson Wong

        Movie to watch (that is actually fantastic): “Something the Lord Made” about the black man who was one of the key players in developing the technology for the first open heart surgery ever performed.

  • Brass Tacks

    Football is like religion to me. We played in empty fields, dusty sandlots, and literally in the streets! Whether day or night hot or cold. We played for the love of it. So if I had a son and he didn’t want to play. “Disappointment” would be putting it mildly.

    Football taught me how to stand up to people bigger then me. Its where I learned to find my voice. And It gave me a level of confidence in myself that i couldnt find anywhere else.

    The coaches were more than just about installing the Xs, Os and in playbooks for Saturdays. They were fathers to myself and most of the guys in my community that lacked that.

    I was never as good at getting a ball through a hoop, as some of my cousins wereare. But on that field; there were no awkward steps. No unsure movements. Just a boy with supreme confidence in his ability and muscle memory.

    #longlivefootball

  • Val

    I always wonder if there were less concussions in the old days when football players wore leather helmets. I mean if you know you don’t have much head protection then are you going to use your head (like a spear) to hit another player?

    I also think that’s why rugby is relatively safe. No helmets.

    • I think those old guys got rocked too. I just don’t think they played as long and people were smaller and slower. Bronco Nagurski who was considered a large man back in the day would soil his knickers if he had to line up against a Clowney or a Watt.

      I’ve heard that tackling has become a lost art though

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Has anyone seen Earl Campbell??? Dude can’t even walk now.

        • Which isn’t shocking considering that he used his quads and knees as weapons for the bulk of his young life.

        • miss t-lee

          Yes. Earl lives here, seen him several times. If you remember how he used to run, this isn’t surprising. I know he’s had more than a few back surgeries.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Can you send a brotha some of that sauce he makes????

            • They sell the sausage here. It’s not bad.

              • miss t-lee

                It’s really good. Especially the hot links.

                • uNk

                  Yall serious?? I absolutely cannot stand Earl Cambell Hot Links, them things are hot dogs in disguise. Big no no during my BBQ

                  • miss t-lee

                    Links aren’t BBQ, but fricassee on sir.

                    • uNk

                      Grilling session? Idk Having a BBQ just seems so much easier lol but I know how serious you Texas folk take that

                    • miss t-lee

                      Saying it’s not a game would be an understatement.

            • miss t-lee

              Is it good? I’ve never had the sauce.

              • Sigma_Since 93

                I remember reading years ago that Earl had built quite a successful operation with the links, barbecue, and the sauces. I’d kick @miss_t_lee:disqus a few dollars to find out for myself.

                • miss t-lee

                  Oh yeah. The biz is really big.
                  Holler at me, we might can work something out.
                  teelee22 at gmail

      • Vis a Vis, Bronko Nagurski, it’s a size difference, but not as dramatic. He was listed at 6’2″ and 225-235 lbs. Smaller, but not that dramatic considering the lack of modern weight training.

      • Val

        Of course they got rocked but I’m still thinking concussive events were less then. Mind you, I’m talking pre-hard helmet era. I mean has there been studies done?

        • Sigma_Since 93

          The culture was different back then too. Old school coach would say “Are you hurt or are you injured?” You were expected to play hurt, getting your bell rung fell into that category, but not expected to play if you were injured.

  • NKORigible

    I don’t watch football don’t watch any sports really. Reading this just made me squirm, but I appreciated reading it from someone who does, because sometimes I feel like I’m just being a hater if I point these things out. I also have cousins who play, and I wanna send their parents this article, but somehow I think it will make me seem like a hater who is trying to block their kids possible chances at full rides to good colleges.

    ON my end though, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure none of my kids play this sport, even if I have to move out of the US of A.

    • Would you be OK with kids involved in sports period? All sports have some risk for injury.

      • NKORigible

        I played soccer in high school. I loved being on a team, and being motivated to be physically active. I would like them to be involved in physically active and team engagements, but not certain ones, one for sure being football.

      • Guest

        Swimming has practically risk for injury in the actual pool. If you get injured, it is in the weight room.

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