Thursday, August 5, 2010


I love football. I played it for a year in 8th grade, enjoyed following my Round Rock Dragons, and have been a vocal fan of the glorious University of Texas Longhorns since the 1990 Shock the Nation season. I never found an NFL team to really own, just following UT alumni and playing fantasy football, but I can enjoy almost any game that doesn't include Terrell Owens.

But I think I'm done. Research is showing that we are sacrificing our gladiators, especially their brains, for our entertainment. High school football players have brain plaques at levels equal to advanced Parkinson patients. College running backs (not the lineman who smashes into brick walls at high speeds on every play) endure the equivalent impact of 3 average car collisions on their heads in a practice. Not a game, a practice.

The research isn't conclusive, although there's a lot of trees to pretend there's no forest. At this point, I wouldn't let my son play football, and I can't be a part of encouraging other people's sons to put themselves in this position. So I'm trying to drop out of football - I really don't know if I can avoid watching UT all season, but that's the plan for now.

I know this won't change anything, I don't expect most football fans to agree and I support whatever they choose to do, but I need to do this for me. If only there was a way to train to avoid football.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Rants?


  1. I successfully avoided football for a year once. And sports entirely, in fact. That year went by so fast I can hardly even believe it happened. Then I went right back to using again as soon as the year was over. I'm pretty sure I did watch the NFL playoffs still.

    I admire you for acting in such a principled way. I can't argue with your decision. It makes sense. I'd be interested in seeing more data on football concussions, it might convince me to stop too.

    I wonder how it compares to hockey for concussions. Maybe I could switch to hockey. :) In 5 or 6 years that is, after Peyton retires. :)

    Running back may in fact be the worst position for it. Linemen don't necessarily slam their _heads_ into a brick wall on every play. The guy getting tackled is probably in the biggest trouble, and RB's get tackled more than anyone. That's why I always thought Marvin Harrison was the smartest player I ever saw. He would just fall down. I don't know if he ever got tackled.

  2. If you can be successful at giving it up, that means more time for your other goals. And I think it's time that we claim we always wish there was more of.

    Good luck. I love sports, but I think you are completely right.