Troubling Signs for Football

Posted: August 2, 2012 in Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL teams, sports

My 8-year-old grandson recently attended his first summer football camp.

“How’d it go,” I asked. “Have fun?”

“The coach hollers a lot,” he replied, a look of confusion and unhappiness on his face.

Has football gotten too big, too important – even for 8-year-olds – to be fun?

There’s no question we are a nation obsessed with football. The sport blows away all other sports in this country when it comes to popularity, passion and being a part of our lives. All demographics – age, race, gender, economic — are captured by the game’s spell. Media coverage of the NFL and big-time college football are year-round. Football training camps receive more coverage than other sports’ real games.

How much bigger can football get in America? Has it peaked?

There are signs that trouble lies ahead.

The caretakers of the sport are wrestling with how to make the sport safer. The concussion issue isn’t going away. The NFL is facing litigation that could cost it millions and millions of dollars. All levels of football may find themselves with a similar problem. A bigger problem with the concussion issue, however, may be the fact more and more parents aren’t letting their children even play the game.

But the biggest problem of all is that more and more of our kids don’t want to learn and play to the game because it isn’t fun.

Rick Reilly of wrote a column about this. He points to an e-mail sent this summer by a coach to his players about the commitment he expects from them. The e-mail referred to having a “killer instinct” and about how “intense” summer camp would be. The coach wrote that “mental and physical toughness are requirements.”

The coach expressed his disappointment about several players quitting the Frisco, Tex., team.  He told Reilly he felt his e-mail was appropriate.

The team is made up of 8-year-olds.

  1. producewiz says:

    example of the sociiety we now live in.The Coachof the 8 year olds feels he’s right.G-d help us all.

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