Thursday, November 14, 2013

Football And Sportsmanship

There has been a lot said and written lately about all of the negative aspects of playing football. Everyone from the Pop Warner Leagues to the NFL and its former players are mounting a growing concern over all of the injuries associated with the game. Rightly so on many levels.

When NFL Hall of Famer, Tony Dorsett has announced he is suffering from the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease at an early age, Brett Favre has stated he does not remember one whole year of his daughter's soccer season, the Minnesota Vikings were not able to field a full roster for their last game because of injuries and current NFL teams injury lists look more like MASH reports, there is an epidemic of injuries amongst all levels of football.

60 Minutes did a report last Sunday on how the numbers of young boys playing football at an early age is steadily dwindling and ESPN is doing special reports on injuries amongst that age group, you know something is drastically wrong. The question is, what can be done about it? I have some suggestions as do many experts, but like any subject that debate cannot be solved in a simple blog post.

I am living proof football is, and always has been; a violent game and can result in serious injuries. I did a paper for my Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries class in college on Neck Injuries In Football. In doing my research, I learned the neck musculature is the last muscle mass in the body to develop. And yet, we see young boys and girls wearing heavy helmets with giant facemasks trying to support their heads and faces with necks that are not fully developed.

That is why eighty percent of all spinal cord injuries occur to young males between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four. When one counts all the spinal cord injuries that occur in the United States every year, football related injuries only occur about twelve times annually. That is not very many when one considers the number of automobile, gunshot, motorcycle, diving and other active activities accidents. 

But that is not what this post is all about. Once again, I have strayed from my original intent. Of course, my longtime readers know that is how I write.

I titled this post "Football And Sportsmanship" because of a wonderful gesture on the part of the Olivet Middle School Eagles in Olivet, Michigan help one of their own score a touchdown.

Watch this video and see if you do not agree with me. To view the video, click here. If the video does not show up, click on this URL: 

Keith Orr will never forget his touchdown thanks to his buddies who decided to do something for the young man. Steve Hartman gets to do some amazing stories, but not many have brought him to tears like this one did. I like his weekly story on the Friday Night CBS News. He has introduced us to many wonderful people and their incredible stories.

As always, I welcome your comments.



3 comments: said...

As always, Michael your recent blog is right on! Enjoyed reading it and certainly agree...Yes, football is a game and accidents do happen but so do they in other SPORTS. Joe Mauer is a recent example. As for the recent spotlight on injuries, its a good thing as uncomfortable as some might think it.

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Peggy said...

Your post about Keith Orr made my day a better one! I have a brother who is Mentally Challenged so this letter just says so much, and the video was the best I have seen in a long time.

Thanks for sharing Mike.