Sunday, January 27, 2013

Obama – “End Football!”


Well, the Prez didn’t really say that. His words on the topic of football:


“If I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.”


This is another big milestone in the football story. We have hundreds of colleges and university that have big football programs; there are thousands of high schools that have teams. And the Prez says he wouldn’t let his child play because of the risks? That’s a hell of a message to be sending a week before the Super Bowl.


The medical evidence that connects “normal” head hits in football to mental problems years later, is not in dispute any longer. All the schools have this information, so do most of the players and their parents. Now Obama is telling that large group of people, “You’re nuts!”


I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama’s comments end up being more of a factor than the medical evidence. That would be quite a legacy…


This topic came up on ABC this morning. (Link) George Will had this to say about football:


We have parents today, in this bubble-wrapped childhood that we now have,  when they put their child on a tricycle, they put a crash helmet on them. Are those parents really apt to let them play football? This is going to be a rebellion, like the president is speaking as a parent, from the bottom up, this game is just not suited to the human body.


Steve Inskeep, NPR, responded to Will with:


There’s something deeply American about the violence of this sport.


I think they’re both right. America has a violent streak, we need our gladiators (and our guns). Gladiators are supposed to die, right? Who doesn’t like this stuff?

















  1. Well, it’s another slippery slope. After football, what next? Bicycle riders can suffer nerve damage and become incontinent or sexually dysfunctional. Gymnasts develop all kinds of muscular-skeletal problems. Boxing is well known as a source of brain injuries. All sports stress the human body to the point where damage is likely. That’s why I have always felt that sports are foolish.

    Moreover, team sports encourage an us/them groupthink mentality. This is why I find team sports, in particular, not only foolish, but abhorrent.

    That said, the President of the United States should stay within his constitutional mandate and mind his own business.

  2. “I often wonder, if society existed as it does today with the media, politicians, and lawyers and managers focused on not missing earnings by two cents per quarter, whether we would have made the advances of the past,” says Bob Bogash, who retired after a 30-year career at Boeing and now writes a blog about aviation, rbogash.com.

    On Boeing’s current plane problems.


  3. “Well, it’s another slippery slope. After football, what next?”

    There will always be a “next”.

    Soft despotism, first outlined by Alexis de Tocqueville, comes to mind.

  4. What’s next? Easy – we will run up more entitlements, print more money and blame Bruce and the other evil speculators for destroying all “our” money. Oh and I hear a well known economist is going to win the nobel prize in economics for “proving” that football caused the great financial crash. Workers of the world unite!

  5. But What Do I Know? says:

    I don’t often agree with Obama, but I feel the same way about letting my son play football. . .

    There are way too many ways to get hurt (the kind that last a lifetime) in that game, and for what?

    • That’s pretty close to my feelings on this. We use our young men (who don’t appreciate the risks and have the immortality syndrome of the young) for our entertainment purposes. We use them up, and spit them out; all too often, very broken; both physically, and otherwise.

      I do have many mixed feelings, and thoughts, on this. Sports such as football (and yes, boxing) can provide a great outlet for young people (especially boys), and can build good character, when done right. But there can be a terrible price paid too; especially when carried on through young adulthood. The years and years of punishment on the body are costly. Even the middle aged guy who can barely walk anymore is a sad sight. Not to mention the consequences of multiple concussions, as we’re starting to open our eyes to.

      That said, there’s no way that I think gov’t ought to step in and meddle with this. But free thinking people need to really assess what they want their young kids to do. And as glorious as a successful football career can be, especially one that culminates in pro riches and fame, it’s a big price to pay for the physical damage done to many.

      I don’t have to make that choice for my own, as they’re grown, and didn’t play these sports anyway. I realize it’s a tough choice for parents out there. I know how I would have resented not being able to participate when I was that age.

      • But What Do I Know? says:

        Thanks, Onlooker–you said that much more coherently than I did. I have always played sports and will continue to do so until I can’t, but the chance of serious injury in high-school football seems so much greater than any other sport that letting my son play it seems wrong (I like your “immortality syndrome” phrase–kids at 15 or 16 don’t really have any appreciation for the risks they take).

  6. Getting out of bed in the morning involves the risk of falling (and I can’t get up!) or jostling lose some plaque in your arteries resulting in a stroke / heart attack.

    Not getting out of bed involves the risk of bed sores, muscle atrophy, and issues from eating / defecating in the same place.

    Conclusion: I don’t want my children to have a bed or to ever get out of one. I support the bill before Congress to regulate the sale of matresses and to require that hotels prominently display a warning that the bed in the hotel room has been linked to all sorts of health issues.

    • Oh, I forgot to mention the horrifying dangers of 32oz soda cups — but lucky for NYC residents, Emperor Bloomberg has already banned those

  7. Public money shouldn’t be spent on something like high school football and another reason to get rid of it is almost everytime something ugly happens with teenagers the ball players are involved one way or another.

    Did nancy and killary give barrack back his balls ? First brave thing he has said in 4 years, he had the balls to attack something as popular with some people as high school football. God Bless Al Bundy, he scored 4 touchdowns in 1 game at Polk High and grew up to sell womans shoes to cross dressers with short skirts and no panties on.

  8. For God’s sake, what a bunch of whiners. It’s a free country (at least for a little longer), let parents make their own choices about football. I played full pad tackle football from age 8 (2nd grade) through college (age 22). One of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and one which taught teamwork, the value of discipline, hard work, and brought tremendous camaraderie. Do I have a cranky knee or two at age 48? Sure, but I’d do it all over again, no doubt. Obama needs to keep his nose out of the football debate just like he should have kept his nose out of Trayvon Martin, the Harvard cop thing, and the gun debate. We are losing enough freedoms by the day in this (once great) nation of ours, let’s not dictate football along with 32oz soda cups. My 2c.

    • +100500! let them compete intellects, not muscles. i think the author simply has some sexual problems in his age. he tries to compensate it with physical activity mostly to prove he’s still strong enough … in a sense. it doesnt mean however the other people are old and have same problems too.

  9. only a complete idiot doesnt see any connection between post traumatic mental problems and physical damage due to football traumatism.
    though… what do we really expect of a merchadizer?

  10. Talk about total capitulation. Obama is tactically admitting he has no idea what to do in foreign policy — which is traditionally the purview of the executive branch. From Mali to Syria to Egypt to Libya to Iran to Afghanistan / Pakistan to China to North Korea … the wanna-be President (who *STILL* hasn’t left the campaign trail) is hopeless.

    And despite Geithner’s 2009 summer of recovery, and despite the pliant media hyping up an unprecedented recovery every January since… the most absurd fiscal and monetary stimulus ever attempted has barely produced stagflation. Hard to imagine a political apparitnik like Lew is going to centrally plan the economy into true growth — but he will stay “on message” and lie often enough and loud enough. Maybe voters won’t notice they are jobless, penniless and hopeless?

    So Obama tries diverting attention away from his total failure and hopelessness by obsessing over and micro-managing daily domestic life.

    When your employer starts sending out regular org-chart updates and obsessing over how many paper cups are getting used at the water cooler — instead of focusing on products / services — you know senior management is just making up for a very tiny little _____

  11. It’s snowing, will socialised kiddie entertainment pay for lift tickets so the kids can go to the slopes ? It’s for the children. It’s amazing how the Reagan cult members scream about small government and yell about socialism but never a peep about socialised kiddie entertainment at the schools which have been turned into amusement parks offering free after school daycare called sports programs.

  12. Ok but while you you all go on this crusade about football, make sure you also include UFC, boxing, Xgames, and auto racing. The public at large needs to know its not just one sport or recreation or choice that this logically extrapolates to.

    Oh and….
    Mountain climbing
    Cliff diving
    Motorcycle riding