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Kids are quitting football as Super Bowl LIII and the NFL’s centennial loom

By Quartz

As Super Bowl LIII and the National Football League’s centennial season approaches, it appears that American football is thriving. Last year, for the 2017-2018 season,Read full story

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  • After playing youth football, I would never let my kids play. Let alone the CTEs and concussions, the culture exacerbates the issue even further. As the article quotes Bloomberg, the “manliness” aspect of the game has created a ‘suck-it-up’ attitude with regards to injuries. Whether it’s in youth leagues

    After playing youth football, I would never let my kids play. Let alone the CTEs and concussions, the culture exacerbates the issue even further. As the article quotes Bloomberg, the “manliness” aspect of the game has created a ‘suck-it-up’ attitude with regards to injuries. Whether it’s in youth leagues (which I personally witnessed; to myself and others), NCAA (forcing play through injuries in order to keep scholarships), or NFL (in order to keep their job), the combination of the aggressive and injury prone nature of the sport and the ‘manly’ ideology associated with players and coaches will seemingly be the end of American football or will be the spark for a drastic change in the sport.

  • Foreshadowing the death of American football as we know it.

  • Perhaps the biggest challenges for many Americans, including President Trump, is changing societal norms. In all aspects of life, change is always feared and resisted. Those most threatened by it will tend to fight change with what may seem like logical arguments such as “this is the way we always have

    Perhaps the biggest challenges for many Americans, including President Trump, is changing societal norms. In all aspects of life, change is always feared and resisted. Those most threatened by it will tend to fight change with what may seem like logical arguments such as “this is the way we always have done it” or in the case of football - it’s an “American tradition”.

    There is no doubt that team sports like football have benefited many beyond the gridiron. Learning teamwork and working towards a common goal is the key positive aspect of football programs. Additionally, around the country, the local football game provides a sense of community and pride. This is not a bad thing nor should it be discounted.

    Yet, today, young people have so many other options for participating in team athletics beyond football. What’s more, many of these sports are activities that can be enjoyed late into life - supporting an active and healthy lifestyle. Football does not offer that at all. After you play in high school that is probably it - unless you are one of the very few and talented to make it to college play and the even the luckier and smaller percentage who make it to the pros.

    The focus of school athletic programs should go beyond the concept of team sports. It should also focus on providing the foundation for an active life beyond high school. So many other sports do that - Basketball, Baseball (softball), Soccer, swimming, cross-country, etc. Yet in many situations, these programs fail to get the adequate funding they need to be truly successful - especially in more rural school districts. This has to change before football goes away.

    To be sure, football will be around for still quite sometime, but is reasonable to ask “has the time come for this pasttime to be a part of the past?” As the future of youth football programs is debated, society will have to resist those who are threatened by this change. We can debate the value of football as an American tradition and its importance in teaching teamwork , but what we can not allow is the ridiculous argument from those who see it as a threat to manliness.

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