It turns out my instincts were right back when I was in Grade 11 and trying out for my high school football team. I’m not sure what got into me that year, but I thought it was worth a shot.
But after getting regularly tromped on in practice and having my head mashed against some gorilla’s padding a few times, I figured there were better ways to have fun.
In spite of the obvoius dangers (and discomfort) inherent in high school football its popularity is on the rise. There’s no doubt it can be a challenge and an exhilarating experience to be part of a well-oiled team. But the dangers to young players are real.
More real than ever as entertainment money gets involved. It is just the incentive needed to drive sports-crazy parents to push their kids to be ever more competitive.
This documentary from Frontline (PBS) takes a look at hyper competitive football in a small Arkansas town. The Frontline website also has more information about hard hits, brain damage, heatstroke and other things to look out for when you or your kids are playing serious football.