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Dr. Helen

The War on Football

September 20th, 2013 - 11:57 am

Sadly, I saw that a former Amazon CFO, Joy Covey, died in a bike crash on Wednesday:

She died Wednesday after colliding with a minivan while riding her bicycle downhill on Skyline Blvd. near Portola Valley, Calif., according to Art Montiel, a public information officer at the California Highway Patrol in Redwood City. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

After this tragedy, are people calling out to ban bikes? Apparently, 677 people were killed on bikes in 2011 and many more were injured. The article I linked mentions that the health benefits of biking offset some of the risks. Why is it okay to get hurt or injured on a bike but when it comes to a sport like football that is safer than bicycling, the PC community is up in arms and wants to ban it? That is one of the questions that Daniel Flynn tackles in his new book The War on Football: Saving America’s Game. From Amazon:

From concussion doctors pushing “science” that benefits their hidden business interests to lawyers clamoring for billion-dollar settlements in scam litigation, America’s game has become so big that everybody wants a cut. And those chasing the dollars show themselves more than willing to trash a great sport in hot pursuit of a buck.

Everything they say about football is wrong. Football players don’t commit suicide at elevated levels, die younger than their peers, or suffer disproportionately from heart disease. In fact, professional players live longer, healthier lives than American men in general.

More than that, football is America’s most popular sport. It brings us together. It is, and has been, a rite of passage for millions of American boys.

But fear over concussions and other injuries could put football on ice. School districts are already considering doing away with football as too dangerous. Parents who used to see football as character-building now worry that it may be mind-destroying. Even the president has jumped on the pile by fretting that he might prevent a son from playing if he had one.

But as author Daniel J. Flynn reports, football is actually safer than skateboarding, bicycling, or skiing. And in a nation facing an obesity crisis, a little extra running, jumping, and tackling could do us all good.

Flynn has an interesting chapter (very much to me, at least!) called “The Abolition of Boys,” in which he talks about how few rites of passage boys have and how football is one fairly safe way to give boys who want or need that an outlet. He gets that all boys are not “rough and tumble” but that some are. About the latter group, he says: “Life is more interesting when people aspire to be themselves and not an archetype. But if we celebrate youngsters who defy gender norms, can’t we tolerate the ones to conform to them? … [S]ome boys need sunshine on their faces, mud on their clothes, and the exhilaration of violent collision like the rest of us need oxygen.”

It is not about safety because if it were, bikes would be history along with skateboards. As the powers that be strive to erase all forms of overt masculinity from the culture, I wonder what will happen to those boys and men who need sports and other forms of recreation like football. What outlets will they find? Will those be crushed too?  So a cyclist should be able to follow his or her desire to ride because the sport is PC and therefore acceptable, but a football player should not because his sport is unacceptable because it is as American as apple pie instead of as crunchy as an organic food truck?

I say both are important. What do you say?

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
BS. This is the total wussification of American youth. Play football, play baseball and play hard. The harder you you play the better and safer you play.

Liberal and leftwing agitators are nothing more than weak, soft pussies. I despise them and know what true cowards they are.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The issue is the injury rates of various activities. Football can be dangerous but the point is there more dangerous activities than football. Football is being attacked while the others are never mentioned. The most likely reasons have to do with political correctness rather than any real risk analysis.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm just surprised the Left hasn't gone bonkers over rugby.

Rough ground game, no pads etc.

But...wait!!!! There's no one to sue for the Big Bucks in that sport, so...never mind.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (41)
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I posted this comment on Insty's link to thsi article, but I'll repeat it. The 'war on football' (by 'progressives') is not diificult to analyze. It is very simple. It is uniquely American and is not played by their precious Euros, so must be done away with. That's all it is, just as with their crusade against tipping, their obsession with public transport, gun control, tax-inclusive prices, the deification of the government bureaucrat, whatever. It's all a childlike blind worship of whatever their Eurogod does.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Football is the greatest sport ever conceived, mainly because it is uniquely American. But also because it is the only sport that men can play all out, running, throwing, catching, kicking, blocking, tackling. More importantly it is the only sport which has a different position for every male body type.

If you're big and heavy, you can play on the line where it matters. If you're tall and have an arm, you can play quarterback. If you're stout, you can play running back. If you're tall and have hands, you can play reciever. If you're shorter and can jump, you can play cornerback. If you're medium-built and strong, you can play linebacker or safety or tight end. If you're small and have a leg, you can play kicker. If you're smart and know how to study film, you can be a coach.

The point is that there is a position on the field for every body type and skill set. Baseball players all look the same. Basketball players all look the same. Soccer players all look the same. Hockey players all look the same. Only in football do you see a variety of body types and skill sets. Just about any guy can play football, provided he has heart and can take a little pain. It's the ulitimate male sport, which I suppose is why the politically correct, and those trying to emasculate men, have a problem with it.

Football is also the ultimate team sport. It's 11 men on each side of the line, all working in unison together, offense, defense and special teams. Each individual has to sub-ordinate himself to the greater good of the team, in order for them to work as one. Each man has a position and an assignment on every play, and they all need to know where each other is and what each other is doing at all times, in order for the play to be successful. This is male bonding at its best, outside of the military of course. There is no female equivalent, and that is in this increasingly feminized culture the real problem.

Girls cannot play football. They love their bodies too much. You would be hard pressed to find a woman willing to have her finger cut off on the sidelines in a championship game, so she could run out with a bloody bandage because she had to get back on the field to help her team win, as Ronnie Lott did.

Injuries are part of the game, and men accept that. You can't have 22 mean running around on a field, playing all out, and not expect there to not be injuries. Most of them are bumps and bruises, sprains and the like. A couple of days off, and you're ready to get back in the game.

As far as concussions go, yeah they are a problem, but that's because guys are leading with their helmets. A proper tackle is done with the sholder. Would you rather have a broken clavicle or a broken neck? It is the failure of high schools, colleges and the NFL to not empasize proper tackling technique that contributes greatly to this problem.

That said, a concussion is caused by an impact that causes the brain to smash into the cranium. There is no helmet that can be designed to prevent that, expecially not for bicycles. If proper, sholder-first tackling techniques are not taught, expect this problem to continue. Of course, it goes without saying that nothing can be done about a bike wreck. I mean, an F-150 against a mountain bike? Please. If some idiot weren't darting around in and out of traffic, with his stupid bike helmet, thinking he's protected, these sorts of injuries would not happen. Stay on the sidewalk, because if you wander out into traffic, you're going to get hurt.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Work hard, play hard, eat red meat and drink beer! Wahoo! Count me in!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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w­w­w.J­A­M­3­0.C­o­m
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Once the politically correct justice league sets their sights on something, it's like the frickin' plague. Reality, proportion, logic and fair play fall to the wayside in favor of delusion, paranoia, conspiracy, profiling, myth and stereotype.

Now they've set their sites on pay for college football and basketball. I'd answer that by drastically reducing athletic scholarships or eliminating them entirely. If the players are concerned they're in fact pros and being profited from, let them return to being student athletes. Ratings and revenue won't suffer. If that were true, sports at small colleges like Harvard and Princeton wouldn't be popular.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I recall the picture of Obama biking with his helmet and outfit, and it is hard to imagine biking as potentially fatal.

I keep trying, though.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I say that the Leftist "progressive" agenda is to clip American manhood, even as they champion America's deadliest enemies. These people are not like you and I. Surely this is quite clear by now. The Left wants the American legacy, of placing individual freedoms and rights above all else, to collapse. They want us to renounce the beliefs and ideals that we grew up with, and that our parents and civil society instilled in us.

They think that they can make that happen. I say, give them a few seconds head start and them open up on them with everything we got.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That said, football is NOT for sissies and never has been. It is not a game for Progressives and Liberal Congress critters. And that's okay. They have their badminton and croquet. And far be it from us to criticize them for it ... So long as they stay the hell out of our lives. All of this cultural rot has seeped in by way of ESPN. Not other commercial enterprise has done more to politicize American athletics. Not a day goes by that ESPN is not tearing open "racial" scabs, or damning ordinary NFL/AFL business practices of the Golden Era of the sport (back when people could actually afford to take their kids out to the ballpark or gridiron).

It's all big business now. And the overpaid halfwits at ESPN, et al., are all of the same rot. All they do is yack. They yack throughout the pre-game. They yack throughout the play action. They yack throughout the half-time (which long ago had to do with marching bands & such old-fashioned, not-commercial pleasantries). They yack throughout the second half. And they end by yacking through the post-game. And now we are supposed to cry, cry, cry because football used to be a sport where men played the game for the sheer glory of it, rather than for the big bucks.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I say, "Go deep, on three, "hut ... hut ... hut."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There are things that could be cleaned up and made safer about football, but I think they're concentrating on all the wrong things.

Anyone with two wits to rub together ought to know that anytime you use your body in a hard physical manner it will have lasting effects, no matter for what reason you are doing this. My father worked at a feed supply store and humped 40 lb sacks of feed over his left shoulder for at least a couple decades plus. Guess which hip magically would up without cartilage and needed replacing?

I was a hurdler/high jumper/multi-eventer through junior high into college at the div I level. It's no surprise to me that my knees are starting to give me hell as is my back. I used them pretty hard for quite a few years.

Football will be the same, and the longer you play, the more intensively you train, the more you'll feel it as the years go by. If my son wants to go into it, that's what I'll tell him. I'll also tell him that football isn't something he can do half-hearted. If he wants to play it, he has to commit and really build his body to have any chance to surviving without serious injury as he progresses. So, I'd want him to think long and hard about it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Aw, hell. Let's just ban the game entirely. No more football. No more hockey. No more boxing or wrestling. What we need to do is promote "nice" sports like tennis and curling. Maybe we should convert the NFL into the NTFL (National Tag Football League), or perhaps the NFFL (National Flag Football League), or, better yet, the PFFL (Progressive Flag Football League). And tomorrow's big match could be between the Washington Freckle-Skins and the New England Anti-Jingoists. "Tweeeeet! Shoving violation on the Freckle-Skins. Thirty yard penalty. Loss of down."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
following reports that soccer has more concussion injuries than football, but soccer is the sacred cow of sports.

Is interesting that Rugby is played without football like equipment, so maybe the issue is that equipment is too good for the game.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's because soccer can still end in a tie and everyone in the world everywhere loves it. Football is uniquely American and we ended that tie nonsense a while ago.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I say they'll have to pry my bike from my cold, dead hands.

http://civilhorizon.com/2013/08/12/wonderful-memories/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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