Would you let your kid play football?

Written by :
Published on : May 1, 2016

 

 

 

A simple question: would you let your kid play football? I mean, say they are 8 years old and they ask you. What would you say? Many pros (LeBron James, Troy Aikman, Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson) have declared that they wouldn’t send their kids down that path but there are supporters on both sides. I believe sports are really helpful in building team skills for young minds and I would for sure encourage any offspring of mine to get out there and compete but football is another beast. The head injury issue is a serious one. And could you knowingly send your kid into that minefield?

 

I’m not a doctor but I know CTE is a real condition, mainly because of that Concussion movie. The kind of contact that happens in football is unique. Other sports have collisions but not ones where players can leave their feet and dive head-first into an opponent. This human missile technique is extra dangerous and happens routinely in the NFL. I asked the SBS staff what they thought and here are some answers of our in-house poll:

 

SandyFuck no.

 

Mike BridenstineI’d let him play on two conditions. 1. He’s an amazing athlete. 2. He wanted to get screamed at by adult men and then go in the locker room and see all of his friends’ penises. 

 

PhredI’d have to say no. Kids are bigger, faster and stronger than they were in the good old days.  The hormones in milk are outrageous. It’s practically steroids. I’m not subjecting my kid to that type of regular brutal impact. Even though I wish I would’ve played at some point as a kid.

 

I vote no too. I wouldn’t let my kid play. Which is tough to say because I love football and I know that someone’s parents need to let their kids play so we can have an NFL to cheer for. But there are other sports to play that aren’t as dangerous and can provide that same camaraderie while breeding a healthy level of competition. This in of itself is a crisis. Football is an American construct and for us to control it, we need to continue to produce high-level talent. This can’t happen if our top athletes won’t even let their kids follow in their footsteps.

 

pop warner 2

 

So what’s the solution? Can we make the game safer? Will that ruin it? If not, are the huge paydays even worth it if you can’t even get old to enjoy it? Football is a gladiator sport. The risk is high, the drama is high and the price is high. That’s just too steep of a price to pay for any individual parent. For the record, it’s a total bummer to write that last line. I don’t ever want to limit anyone’s good time or regulate much in the name of safety but it’s just too hard to overlook that full-tackle football is inherently unsafe. Especially if we are talking about my precious unborn.

 

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Are you a the mother/father of a football player? Are you currently on a football team for your school? Are you are parent at the crossroads? Let us know. This whole learning thing only works if we all participate.

 

Pass the soccer ball.

 

 


DeAndre Levy: Future President of the NFLPA

Written by :
Published on : April 1, 2016

 

Fear the Beard….

 

Some people may associate that slogan with the Houston Rockets’ James Harden, but for us Detroit Lions’ fans that term brings to mind our stud-linebacker DeAndre Levy. His play is characterized by his sharp football instincts and stunning athleticism. He missed almost all of last season with a hip injury, and it was obvious that the defense missed his contributions out there. He played in every single game the previous two seasons and tied the lead for interceptions in 2013 with six picks. With the departure of Ndamukong Suh last offseason, he is now the face of the defense and a force to be reckoned with.

 

But he is so much more than just some meathead linebacker. He is a complicated and mysterious individual who has a zest for life off the field, that makes both his coaches and fans nervous with some of his offseason exploits. His Instagram account details the life of an explorer, adventurer and adrenaline junky who routinely does outrageous things like camping in the Amazon, sledding down active volcanos and walking on the wings of planes in mid air. He’s like if Bodie from ‘Point Break’ was a millionaire football player and stand up guy.

 

levy plane

 

I don’t know him personally but I also get the feeling that he is highly intelligent. With all the recent revelations surrounding the lasting effects of concussions associated with playing football, it was only a matter of time before he let the world know his thoughts on the whole thing. In the last few weeks he has done just that, taking to his Instagram to comment on all the latest revelations on CTE and boneheaded comments from team owners, before finally emailing Detroit Free Press reporter Dave Birkett with some more in-depth thoughts on the matter.

 

First he took to Instagram to roast Colts owner, Jim Irsay over his ludicrous comments on CTE:

 

Frequent trips to the pharmacy makes you a medical expert on CTE?

A photo posted by DeAndre Levy (@dre_levy) on

 

Sure, poking fun at Mr Irsay’s prescription drug abuse problem is probably a little below the belt. But you know what? A person who has gotten rich on the backs and battered brains of football players, trying to downplay the risks of the sport is pretty shitty too. Jim Irsay had the balls to say that the risks of playing football could be comparable to how some people might have a negative reaction to taking aspirin. That is not only ridiculous, but it’s dangerous. Look, I love football, but the people who put their health at risk to play the game deserve to know the risks and deserve to have ownership and management take those risks seriously. So maybe he went about it the wrong way in calling out Irsay, but the fact that he is willing to stand up to the league on this matter means that he might have a future as the president of the NFLPA, the union for the league’s players. In his letter to Dave Birtkett he said “It’s unacceptable to prioritize marketability and profitability of football over the real health risks associated with it.” If that doesn’t sound like someone who should be leading the charge on player safety then I don’t know what does.  

 

 

By being outspoken on the issue when most of his peers would rather not rock the boat, DeAndre Levy has proven that he isn’t scared to step into the spotlight take the issue head on. He said that he still loves football and will keep playing, but that doesn’t mean he is naive about the risks involved. His justification for continuing to play is that he is already so deep in the game that whatever potential damage he may cause has already been done, so he may as well secure is family’s future by playing out his contract. I respect that, and I respect the fact that he wants to make sure future players know the risks before they put on the pads and crash full speed into another fully grown man.

 

This is just the type of leader that the players’ union needs. Once he is done with football, I hope DeAndre Levy seriously thinks about becoming the next president of the NFLPA. He is eloquent, knowledgable and right when it comes to this issue. Football is a beautiful game, but it doesn’t come without risks, and if the league and the owners continue to try and cover up those risks then there needs to be someone to call them out on it. And I think the bearded linebacker of the Detroit Lions is just the man for the job. Maybe it’s time for the NFL as a whole to Fear the Beard.

 

 


A few thoughts on the Concussion trailer

Written by :
Published on : September 21, 2015

 

 

The trailer dropped for Will Smith’s new football drama, Concussion. Based on true events, the film follows Smith’s character, Dr. Bennet Omalu and his discovery of the first football related brain trauma. Pretty serious stuff. I’m sure someone at the NFL league office isn’t too thrilled about this. Watch the trailer or else all the jokes below will be meaningless.

 

 

First off, this movie does not look fun at all. Like boring version of The Insider. It’s a super serious biopic that wants to pull you in with football only to trick you into watching a two hour drama about doctors. Ugh, I’d rather watch reruns of ER, M*A*S*H, or even Grey’s Anatomy (Or Private Practice. Kate Walsh, meow.) Look, head injuries in sports are a big deal and definitely the issue of the day but isn’t there a way to inform while being just a touch more entertaining? This becomes a film we feel more obligated to see instead of excited to see. That’s a problem.

 

Second, this movie should be called Protocol. Way cooler title and it works on two levels: the concussion protocol players must undergo after a big hit and the protocol/status quo the hero is fighting against. Bang, that’s good writing. Plus, Protocol seems like a dope sci-fi flick that you just know has some nudity in it.

 

Thirdly, I just recently got a nasty concussion so I suddenly care about this. Maybe Will Smith can pay for my CAT scan or DOG scan. I’m not sure what scan I need. I’m not a doctor. What I do know is that I see stars flying around my head. Like an anvil was just dropped on me straight out of a Road Runner cartoon.

 

coyote_seeing_stars_above_head

 

Fourthly, Alec Baldwin and Albert Brooks. That’s a duo I’d hang out with. Maybe go to a nice deli, get some pastrami. Almost makes it worth it. Almost. Brooks’ character does have the best line in the whole trailer though: “You’re going to war with a corporation that owns a day of the week.” Well at this point one could argue the NFL owns Sunday and Monday (and creeping on Thursday). That’s how you know you are really rich, when you own things like colors, shapes or days of the week.

 

Fifthly, wait I had something else for this but for some reason the idea has slipped from my mind. Damn. It was just here. That’s annoying, well must not have been very funny or clever.  Ain’t I a stinker?

 

See the movie or don’t and please leave your foggy, jumbled thoughts below.

 

 

 


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