If we had never heard of football, could we invent it now?
Picture that first parents’ meeting in high schools across the country. How exactly would administrators break the news that the sport is based on hitting people? That their children would be involved in dozens of collisions every game, some including their heads? That one of the major goals of the sport is to run into someone, tackle him and slam him to the ground? That there certainly would be injuries, serious injuries, injuries that would prevent some kids from ever playing a sport again, or even living a normal life?
RELATED: Chicago teen becomes seventh high school football player to die this year
RELATED: Seattle area player Kenney Bui dies after on-field injury
Also, that there could be deaths.
Check that. There will be deaths.
If parents and administrators living in a 21st century world without football were told all of that about this prospective new sport, they never would allow it to begin. No school board would approve it and no doctor would allow it. If the altruistic concerns for the health and well-being of students weren’t reason enough, worries about liability would seal the deal.
But because it not only exists, but thrives, we not only accept and embrace football, we also accept this:
Seven high school football players have died in seven weeks this fall.
Tyrell Cameron. Ben Hamm. Evan Murray. Kenney Bui. Roddrick Williams. Cam’ron Matthews. Andre Smith.
RELATED: Three weeks, three communities, three high school football player deaths
RELATED: Teammate shares La. prep player’s last words to him
Next year, there will be more names. That’s a guarantee. In 2014, five high school players died of causes directly related to football, such as head and spine injuries, and another six players died of indirect causes, including heart and heat issues, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina.
We love our football: high school, college and pro. Nothing is going to change that, at least for the foreseeable future. More than a million kids – 1.1 million is the precise number – play football in high school every year. That’s 11 times the amount of football players at the top levels, where a total of 100,000 play in junior college, college, semipro and pro, including the NFL. There also are an estimated 3 million kids playing youth football, according to USA Football.
Continue reading here.
RELATED: New Jersey football player died from lacerated spleen after on-field injury
RELATED: Georgia’s Rod Williams dies two weeks after collapsing in practice