Is football worth it?

February 22, 2018


Football is America’s game. This one sport, originally created from the tossing of a pig-skinned, oval-shaped ball, has morphed into an ideal that has united cities and states by evoking widespread feelings of joy, sorrow and even rejuvenation. Not to mention it’s just flat out entertaining to watch.


There is only one problem. This aura of football has coated over one disturbing and harsh reality for a very, very long time until recently. Its image is coming at the expense of its players’ health.


If you follow sports, this isn’t necessarily breaking news. However, it seems as if the sports media only drudges up the issue after something tragic or unfortunate happens.


For example, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson took a shot to the head in week 10 of the previous NFL regular season against the Arizona Cardinals and never actually entered concussion protocol. After arbitrarily entering the blue medical tent for a split second, just to say he “went through protocol,” he played the rest of that game. He ended up not having a concussion, but if he had actually been concussed and re-injured his head during the game, the league could have had serious litigation on their hands.


The most recent news in the health of NFL players was the possible retirement of superstar New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski following the Super Bowl.


Gronkowski has suffered numerous injuries to his legs — and primarily knees — throughout his career but his last injury was far more serious. Gronkowski suffered a violent concussion in the AFC Championship game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and left the game for good. He was in concussion protocol for 10 days but still played in the Super Bowl. After the Patriots’ loss he told the media he was considering retirement. This situation particularly raised eyebrows, because if there was one person who people assumed had a life that revolved around football, it was Gronk. He’s passionate, competitive and a beast on the field. So, if he wasn’t committed to the sport long-term, who should be?


Here at The Tech Talk, we believe there should be reasonable doubt as to whether or not football is worth all of the hardships that come collaterally. If there is an incredible athlete who is almost destined to go to the NFL, and does so to provide for his family, it’s tough to argue against using your natural abilities to make a comfortable living. However, studies show that around 96 percent of former NFL players studied showed some form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Not to mention, over 300,000 children have been treated for sports related traumatic brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


So while football may always continue to surface as a major aspect of American life, every attempt possible, even if it degrades the quality of play in some people’s opinions, should be made to make the game safer through new rules and technology.


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