(Topic ID: 197540)

My Son Plays High School Football...Am I A Monster?


By Chisox

1 year ago



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    #1 1 year ago

    So my son has been playing football since he was 6. He is now a freshman playing at a high school that currently has the #1 varsity team in the state. His freshman team is undefeated and my boy is a beast playing on both sides of the ball. My question, or dilemma, is am I a negligent parent for allowing my kid to play a dangerous game with possible life altering after effects? I am a strong believer in all of team sports life lessons and the discipline realized in the unbelievable comittment these boys put in, but is it worth it? I've read all the reports and studies and know the risks, as do my son and wife. We've decided to continue this year at least, and will re-evaluate after the season. Are we nuts? He plays Defensive End and Tight End.

    #2 1 year ago

    When I was in Highschool back in the day if you where a stud you played varsity as a freshman.
    That being said...smart kids can get a full ride and free degree while having fun playing a game.
    Upside: If he becomes the sh*t he makes bank!
    Downside: don't live life looking for the downside imo

    #3 1 year ago
    Quoted from Chisox:

    So my son has been playing football since he was 6. He is now a freshman playing at a high school that currently has the #1 varsity team in the state. His freshman team is undefeated and my boy is a beast playing on both sides of the ball. My question, or dilemma, is am I a negligent parent for allowing my kid to play a dangerous game with possible life altering after effects? I am a strong believer in all of team sports life lessons and the discipline realized in the unbelievable comittment these boys put in, but is it worth it? I've read all the reports and studies and know the risks, as do my son and wife. We've decided to continue this year at least, and will re-evaluate after the season. Are we nuts? He plays Defensive End and Tight End.

    I understand both sides to this dilemma. It must be very rewarding to see your son do well at something he is really good at. My son does not play sports - full disclosure. My brother's son(offensive lineman and corner) plays football on both sides as well. He got a concussion early on last year and has since recovered and is now playing this year. He had to take off school for a week because of the headaches. Concussions are scary. The kids in high school are just getting huge and really fast.
    I have multiple friends that played 30 years ago in high school that have had fused disc surgery(tight end), cataract surgery,(running back) and knee replacements(running back).I just don't think it's worth it long term.
    My closest friend is currently directing his son away from football to another sport. After I saw that movie, Concussion, I never looked at football the same.
    I wish you the best in your decision.
    You are not negligent imo by the way.

    #4 1 year ago

    If he enjoys it and isn't taking unnecessary risks I wouldn't sweat it. You never know what might happen in all aspects of life. I was very much into sports then stopped and took up BMX as a hobby which I thoroughly enjoyed even to this day but it destroyed my body worse than organized sports ever did. The grass isn't always greener.

    #5 1 year ago

    You can't go through life covered in bubblewrap. If he enjoys playing, I think it is worth the risk.
    Having said that, yes. I have a sneaking suspicion that you are in fact a monster. I can't prove it, have no evidence of such, just a gut feeling, you know.

    #6 1 year ago

    Of all the things I did growing up, I think football was actually pretty low on the risk list. I wish I would have played more, but it took me 17 years after high school to start college. For most people, high school is the only chance they will ever have to play.

    #7 1 year ago

    You aren't a monster....but sound like a very concerned & caring parent. We need more parents like you...

    #8 1 year ago

    If he loves it let him play. Just like nexyss said, playing football is probably safe compared to other crazy things high school kids are out doing. There are lots of kids that play football all through school and on into college and almost all of them come out just fine and live full and normal lives afterward with no life altering injuries. Living your life in a bubble is not living.

    #9 1 year ago

    There's simply not enough research at this point on the risks of CTE from all levels of football play. In my opinion, the NFL should be forced to fund full, comprehensive research on this and its impact at ALL levels of the game. The amount of money they've saved from not needing to develop their own minor leagues/farm systems for the teams because of the high school programs and the NCAA is more than enough to fund the research needed on this health crisis.

    #10 1 year ago

    Soon he will be driving a car and will put himself into far more danger than he ever will playing football. Preach proper tackling techniques and he will probably be just fine. Do freak head and spine injuries happen? Sure, but I don't think it's near as likely as some would have you believe.

    It's most likely these next four years of sports will be his last so I say let him make the memories he will carry with him forever and try not to worry so much. I tore my ACL my senior year and still to this day wish I could have had that year back.

    #11 1 year ago

    I've rode BMXs, mountain bikes, snowboards and skateboards for the last 40 years, and I'm a physical wreck at 47 years old. I've had so many injuries it's not funny. I'm sure I've had a few concussions too. All without ever playing football or any other team sports. However, I've had a blast, and if I had to do it all over again, I probably wouldn't change a thing. I have so many good memories it's awesome.

    As long as your son follows proper tackling techniques to the best of his ability to minimize head and neck injuries, I don't think you're a "monster". Especially if he wants to do it and enjoys it. As many people said, simply driving a car puts us all at greater risk for injury than a lot of the sports we partake in.

    #12 1 year ago

    Each concussion raises your risk of Alzheimer, stroke and other neurological problems by around 10% per incident depending on severity. Those are the straight up facts. Is it worth it? That's a very personal decision everybody has to figure out for themselves.

    #13 1 year ago

    The days of team sports are some of the best memories from childhood I have. If he loves it let him play. Our days are not promised to us so enjoy them to the fullest. Without a moments notice life can and will change. Football isn't MMA or boxing be happy he wears padding. Show him the risks and maybe visit older guys suffering from playing and let him make a choice.

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from Yoski:

    Each concussion raises your risk of Alzheimer, stroke and other neurological problems by around 10% per incident depending on severity. Those are the straight up facts. Is it worth it? That's a very personal decision everybody has to figure out for themselves.

    It isn't the concussions that do the permanent damage. It's the repeated strikes/blows to the head. I was a school board member for a few terms and we had many meetings on the issue.

    I would not allow my children to play football, but it's a personal choice.

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from timballs:

    There's simply not enough research at this point on the risks of CTE from all levels of football play. In my opinion, the NFL should be forced to fund full, comprehensive research on this and its impact at ALL levels of the game. The amount of money they've saved from not needing to develop their own minor leagues/farm systems for the teams because of the high school programs and the NCAA is more than enough to fund the research needed on this health crisis.

    This is pretty telling. NFL wasn't getting the "results" they wanted, so they pulled the cash from their "commitment" to find the truth.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/14417386/nfl-pulls-funding-boston-university-head-trauma-study-concerns-researcher

    #16 1 year ago

    My personal opinion is that the risks are not worth it. Both of my guys played football. One switched to hockey (has its own concussion issues though....but getting a lot better because of rule changes). The problem with football is the very emphasis on the game is around collisions. So very hard to modify the game so that it is safer. Kids are huge these days compared to when we played. They are also a lot faster. That is why it is hard to compare to when we played as kids.

    Either way, you are not alone in questioning the game. Around our house, peewee football has dropped about 50%. Personally I think football will become a club sport in about five years in our area. The lawyers are going to win this one.

    Let me make one thing clear. I love watching and playing football. It is a blast. So this is still a very tough subject to talk about. And no, you are not a monster for letting your kid play. At this point, nothing is certain....but there is change in the wind and I would keep a very close eye on the data. Here is a good article that summed up the state of concussions and football....

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/leeigel/2017/08/07/studies-reveal-missing-links-about-cte-and-brains-of-nfl-players/#bb998594ec98

    #17 1 year ago

    Best days of my life was playing football. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. If he starts having concussions, I'd pull the plug.

    Today, my body is a mess but it's from working at a desk and not exercise and eating properly, not from my football days.

    #18 1 year ago

    I agree with vicjw66 , you cant live your life covered in bubble wrap. You aren't a monster. You did your due diligence and read up on the reports and discussed it with your wife then came to your decision; that's called great parenting.

    #19 1 year ago

    Thank you all for the thoughtful responses. I know this topic is far from being pinball related but I figured I'd get a nice variety of answers in this forum. It's shocking to see the sport dying like it is because of these concerns. My town used to have three teams in each division in their pee-wee program when my son started and it's down to one now.

    #20 1 year ago

    Your not a monster. It seems like your boy can take care of himself on the field. I was all state offensive tackle in high school it was great other than some coaches can be pricks in that sport. If he has good coaches he will be fine. Wresting destroyed me. Cutting weight, cracked a vertebrae in my neck , separated my shoulder, broke my clavicle. Everyone was taking that Ephedrine for energy and weight loss. That stuff was like amphetamine. It was a dangerous time for me.

    #21 1 year ago

    What happens if your boy gets a vicious tackle from some other player and gets an injury that could change the rest of his life ? I know it can be a shitty negative outlook, but things like this happen all the time. Now is the time to reflect and see if you make the right decision to protect your children from dangerous activities. Just because you are good at something that can be dangerous, doesn't necessarily mean you should continue doing it. There is nothing wrong with being a protective parent. Continuous hits to the head has long lasting effects when you get older. There has been many studies on this. Better to be safe now, than sorry later.

    #22 1 year ago

    we all die, let the kid have some fun before he does.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from modfather:

    What happens if your boy gets a vicious tackle from some other player and gets an injury that could change the rest of his life ?

    This is not a dig on you, but why I disagree with that viewpoint as a blanket statement.

    You drive a car almost every day, what happens when you get hit by another driver and get an injury that could change the rest of your life? I know it can be a shitty negative outlook, but things like this happen all the time.

    You mitigate the risk in driving by driving safely, wearing seat belts, airbags in cars, car crumple zones , etc.
    You mitigate the risk in football by playing safely, wearing proper safety gear, better helmets, proper tackling, etc

    Football is safer today than it was 20 years ago but I'm not going to dispute that there is still risk. We deal with risk every day of our lives, and its up to the parents and kids to decide the risk vs reward for themselves in this instance. There is no "end all be all" solution for everyone. That being said I completely understand your point of view, the risk to you isnt worth it.

    -3
    #24 1 year ago

    If you son plays hard he will be fine, it's when you don't play hard that's when you get hurt. These NFL players who get brain damage have been hit so many times over many years. They say every play in the NFL is like being in a car accident. Most High school players never make it to play college so tell him to enjoy it!

    #25 1 year ago

    Yes, there is a risk of head injury in football, but there is significant risk in many contact high school sports; hockey, rugby, lacrosse, even soccer... I played in the 80's when the equipment was suspect, practices were always full speed contact and you were told to get back in there after "getting your bell rung". Equipment, technique and practices have evolved, for the better, over the last 25 years but in a contact sport there will be risk. My son has played since he was 10 and decided on his own to stop at 18. Going into university he said he just didn't want to play summer ball and risk (any) injury. All you can do is educate your son and let him make his decision. Sounds like this is your approach.

    #26 1 year ago

    There was one kid at one of the area high schools a few years ago who ended up with a paralyzing injury to due to getting hit during a football game and landing wrong.

    For some schools, football is the only sport. However, if you're in a larger school, there are probably more options than just football, which won't involve players slamming into each other. Basketball and baseball are sometimes other options.

    Football probably isn't a good bet for a long-term career option any more because of all the heath data that has been coming out about it in the past few years.

    It probably would have been better to have this discussion before your son started participating in the sport. It will be harder to get him out of it now if he still wants to continue to participate in it. Teenagers are invincible after all, and they don't always understand the consequences of things that can cause health problems later down the line.

    -1
    #27 1 year ago

    Nope.
    You can get killed walking down the block.

    #28 1 year ago

    There's a difference between living life in bubblewrap and soberly electing to not play football

    #29 1 year ago

    I often think about this as well. Our son also plays HS Football. It's his choice. He loves it.
    When he stops loving it is when I will step in as his Father.
    The best part of it all is that he is HEALTHY. Not just "working out", but he's part of something.
    We've told our children you can play any sport you want, but you HAVE to play a sport.
    I don't care what sport it is, it just has to involve physical activity.

    One piece of advice I received from a friend was to remember that:
    "When asked what the toughest part of playing a sport was, it was the car ride home after the game"

    Be positive, constructive, ask questions, but most important, be there for your kids and show them how to play pinball.

    #30 1 year ago

    as long as he enjoys it let him play. I am so tired of the world looking at the downside of everything. I played football myself and have friends that played all the way up through college with zero effects, mental or physical.

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from Chisox:

    My question, or dilemma, is am I a negligent parent for allowing my kid to play a dangerous game with possible life altering after effects?

    The simple fact that you are asking this question and are concerned enough to seek advice/counsel from neutral outside observers means no, you are not negligent.....you are in fact a kick-ass parent.

    As my Aussie friends say, "Good on ya, mate!"

    Later,
    EV

    #32 1 year ago

    I have girls, so haven't had to deal with this issue. My older daughter plays in the high school band, we're around football, and I don't judge the parents who let their kids play.

    But would I let mine play? Hellllllll no. I'd be the bad guy who said "nope, you're not doing it, deal with it" no problem.

    Pick a different sport. The science is irrefutable, the risks are huge, and there's not jack shit being done to actually minimize them, because the truth is you can't without radically changing the game, which no one is willing to do. Too much money involved, too many people who think they're invincible, who find it easy to ignore the problems because they're slow to manifest.

    I dunno though, I see comments like this:

    Quoted from MotorCityMatt:

    If you son plays hard he will be fine, it's when you don't play hard that's when you get hurt.

    and I don't mean to single anyone out, it's just an easy example, but that's nonsensical. Playing hard is exactly the problem. We're not talking about broken bones or fucked up knees here, we're talking about your brain. There's no fix for it. High school football is the number one source of sport concussions, look it up, this isn't something you can hand wave away with "oh, he's not in the NFL".

    It's your kid, and it sounds like you're pretty aware of what's really going on, but there's living life to the fullest, and there's making smart choices to have a good life to live. My two cents, since you asked, I wouldn't presume to tell any parent something like this unprompted.

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    The science is irrefutable,

    pift...science! What do they know? They claim that repeated minor hits to the body without even a noticeable concussion can still lead to Chronic traumatic encephalopathy which leads to degenerative brain diseases early in life....How do they know??? What? Did they actually study people's brains that died of this?! How could they do that? This isn't a sci-fi movie. Ridiculous.

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from Wickerman2:

    Did they actually study people's brains that died of this?!

    Pretty sure most of that was sarcasm, but in answer to that question, yes.

    pasted_image (resized).png

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_traumatic_encephalopathy#American_football

    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from L_satan:

    Nope.
    You can get killed walking down the block.

    You should move to a better neighborhood.

    #36 1 year ago

    I definitely understand OP's concern, but if it's something he really enjoys I'd say let him do it. It's just important to make sure he's in tune with his body and if he gets hurt that it's OK to take a rest and get back to full health. I've had a few injuries before, and it sucks to be out of the loop for a bit, but sometimes it's just what you gotta do. Personally I hated sports and stopped playing after Middle School! I like working out and running though, so everyone has their own tastes and likes. So end result, don't feel bad about it just have discussions about it.

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Pretty sure most of that was sarcasm,

    I refuse to use the sarcasm emoji when it's that obvious

    #38 1 year ago

    He's actually a really good baseball player too so I'm hoping he makes the HS team and sticks with that year round (I'm a baseball guy).

    #39 1 year ago

    Your a great parent for asking. Not to downplay the importance of your topic but your thread reminded me of this gem from Monty Python. Tennis anyone?

    https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=monty+python+tennis+sketch&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from RTS:

    You should move to a better neighborhood.

    Well we do live in the Chicago area where no one is safe from the flying bullets.

    #41 1 year ago

    Let that boy play football. Can he get hurt sure he can, Is it dangers? It can be...
    Heck you can get hit in the head by a baseball. Have a car wreck on the way home are you going to sell your car?
    Maybe just maybe you pinball could fall on you while fixing it. Just give them to me. I don't want you to get hurt
    Let the boy play and grow threw the process. If he gets hurt it don't make you a bad parent.

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    as long as he enjoys it let him play. I am so tired of the world looking at the downside of everything. I played football myself and have friends that played all the way up through college with zero effects, mental or physical.

    This is another good point. I know a LOT of guys who played football through college without any noticeable consequences. I understand it's difficult to argue with science, but I haven't run across anyone in real life (my life) that this has affected. Again, hoping the baseball bug takes over.

    #43 1 year ago

    He could take up Golf, but you could also get a head injury from someone's ball hitting your head. Everything fun has risks! Hell i am gambling with this bitch Irma.

    #44 1 year ago

    I killed more brain cells parting in college than playing football in high school.

    #45 1 year ago

    Early 1980's we moved to a different city. The did not play tackle football in schools, to quote the teacher, "It is to dangerous, kids get hurt".
    What a great school district decision, how ever we played Rugby instead! I had to laugh at the P.E. Teacher at that one. Still, I screwed up a knee playing soccer.

    #46 1 year ago
    Quoted from Silverballer:

    Your a great parent for asking. Not to downplay the importance of your topic but your thread reminded me of this gem from Monty Python. Tennis anyone?
    https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=monty+python+tennis+sketch&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004

    That was hilarious.

    -1
    #47 1 year ago

    GO LWC Knights!!!!

    I live in Mokena...

    #48 1 year ago

    Just remember a 90 mph fastball to the head has ended many a baseball career. Don Zimmer almost died and a couple others did.

    #49 1 year ago

    I only read through about half the thread but...

    Why is the focus at this point on the decision him or his wife made at all? That's already done and over with. This kid is old enough to be explained what the long term risks could be and make their own decision if the parents have already decided it's okay with them. My 12 year old wants to play football (ONLY BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE THE JOCK...NOT BECAUSE HE'S EVER SHOWN ANY LEGITIMATE INTEREST IN THE SPORT, MIND YOU) and we have explained to him why we won't allow it.

    I'm pretty sure if he can get that through his thick skull, your high schooler should be able to decide if they want to take the risk or not after being provided what we CURRENTLY know about CTE....which isn't nearly as much as we *should* know.

    #50 1 year ago

    All sports are dangerous to a degree. Let him have fun and take precautions where applicable. This could be the only time of his life where he is able to play competitive football.

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