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Holding Up Over Time?


You ever watch a movie for the first time and absolutely love it? Then you watch it a couple of years later, or even a decade later and can't figure out what the hell you liked about it so much? Movies that get worse with subsequent viewing? Twenty years later, you watch and think, "What was I thinking"?

Meet the Parents is like that for me. Thought it was very funny when it came out, but now when it comes on TV, I might watch a minute or two waiting for something funny, finally changing the channel because it just doesn't happen.

I have a feeling the sequels have something to do with that, to be fair. Haven't actually seen either of the sequels, mind you. Just a feeling.

Robocop is a fun action movie, but let's face it. The futuristic scenes haven't held up well.

I wonder if football is headed down that same path. Partially because of the labor dispute, I fear. The NFL had record numbers last year across the board. The owners want more money, the players want to keep the status quo. Billionaires vs. millionaires.

For those of us struggling through our 9-5 jobs, barely covering our expenses because of the poor economy, the entire negotiations are anathema.

But that's not actually what I am worried about, regarding the future of the NFL. Don't get me wrong, the unbridled hubris of a sports league that seems willing to piss its fans off by engaging in a work stoppage may lead to serious long term problems for the league. People point to the MLB strike as a cautionary tale for the NFL, but I don't see that. MLB wasn't nearly as popular as the NFL is today; I don't see such a precipitous drop possible for the NFL, unless the work stoppage extends multiple years.

No, my concern is concussions. And I actually am not talking about concussions in the NFL. The league seems to be getting a handle on that issue, and I think we will probably see increased medical technology available right off the field for close to immediate diagnosis within the next five years. The NFL will work to reduce concussions, especially repeat concussions, and may even be part of the current collective bargaining agreement.

I am concerned with the Pop Warner leagues. As much effort towards research and prevention is being spent in the pros, less attention is being given to concussions experienced on the collegiate level, and still less on the high school level, and below that is practically non-existent.

I have three daughters and one son. I have always fantasized about my son playing sports, fulfilling my hopes and dreams for myself through him. You know, typical Dad stuff. I personally loved basketball more growing up, and played that much more often. But as I have gotten older, there is something in me that wants the boy to be a linebacker. To go out there and crush someone. Knock the snot out them. A good London Fletcher hit. You know what I mean.

Never going to happen. My wife has been saying for years that she doesn't want him playing football because of the physicality of the sport, and the potential damage he could sustain. For years, I laughed it off, telling her broken arms and sprained ankles are part of growing up.

I'm not laughing any more. With the advent of the concussion research, and the advances in the knowledge we have about short term and long term effects, I don't want my son playing football either. Perhaps if there was a better helmet that vastly limited concussions, I might reconsider. Might. But probably not.

And I doubt I'm alone.

What happens to the sport of football if more and more parents steer their children away from football and towards other sports for their child's safety? If the kids make it to the college level and then through a miracle of God, make it to the pros and get rich and are set for life, is it worth it?

Not to me as a parent.

I know this is a football site, and I know a lot of you may disagree with me. But I am charged with protecting my children until they are capable of doing that for themselves. There is simply not enough information out there for me to reach a definitive conclusion that would allow me to sleep at night.

Again, I don't think I'm alone.

So what happens when the talent pools are steered towards other sports? Football as we know it right now in 2011 may be about to be changed. A lot.

I wonder if we will look back in twenty years with horror and disgust at the gladiator sport we cheered on so vociferously, and think, "What was I thinking"?

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Goaldeje
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