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Reading Room: Football and Dementia

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

This is off-topic with cancer but not with our kids. I know that sports, especially football, is a favorite game for many people. Many people's kids are involved with it. I thought that while they may not want to hear what is said or maybe they are aware of the potential consequences, it's a newsworthy story. There is a very interesting article in the current New Yorker magazine that talks about men who have played either college ball or were in the NFL and retired and in later life, a high percentage of them have brain damage from repeated concussions or just hard hits to the head. Many went on to commit suicide or had serious problems later in life and at a relatively young age.
The article can be found here.
I have not finished the article yet but I wanted to get it up here anyway. It also involved Michael Vick, the dog fighter (and NFL player).
The article is called "Offensive Play
How different are dogfighting and football?"

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

and watching too much football on the weekend has been proven to be bad for your health. I'm gonna whack hubby in the head if I have to watch another 3 games at the same time this weekend! ;o)

Seriously, tho, I was interested in the 'other Manning son' this past weekend and looked up to see why he dropped out of football in college. He developed spinal stenosis and had to give up all sports. Spinal stenosis can be caused by a hard hit to the head or even a bad fall during football.

Hubby played football in HS and College but out of my 3 boys, two tried it and didn't like it. I'm soooooooo glad.

Thanks Phil!

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

I had fun playing football as a kid but it was mainly touch or some tackling and it was just the neighborhood guys, nothing organized. It's a rough game where you can get seriously hurt. They are finding out more and more the long term effects of it. I know it's one of America's favorite past-times but I am glad that my kids were not interested in it. The soccer can be rough too but at the age group Griffin's in they keep the contact to a minimum. We can't put our kids in bubbles but I want to keep them as safe as I can while still letting them be kids and have fun. My older one, Dylan, is starting a table tennis club in High School. We have a table at home and him and his buddies are always over playing. I was very proud to see him take the initiative to start a club, he has 20 kids signed up already and the school has tables too. It will look good on his transcript for college but more importantly, it's fun!
The only drawback is that I have not won a game of ping-pong in months, they all kick my butt.

thready's picture
Posts: 475
Joined: Sep 2009

I am glad that they are looking at the side effects of injuries to people who play football. Both of my boys played in junoir high. The oldest one played for 2 years and the younest played all three. They did not play in high school, they did marching band, which in Texas is also a big deal. I asked why, and they both said that marching band had girls, (Well, I was on every band trip after that. The kids were great and they had so much respect for their directors and school that problems did not happen)

I know when Troy Aikem(sp) played for the Cowboys he had a couple of serious concussions, and doctors told him, any more and he could have long term problems or worse.

Phill that is so cool that your son took the initiative to start the table tennis club. One of the things here that captures the attention of alot of the kids is boweling. The teacher who sponsers it is as the kids describe him, awesomely cool. He makes sure they learn how, but makes it so much fun. This is Texas where Friday night football reigns, and kids are wanting to do bowling instead. (it makes me smile :o))

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