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In Gregg Easterbrook’s article “Football Is Here to Stay” Gregg tells us that the concussion rate in all levels of football are slowly decreasing and this is true as he backs this up with many facts. The problem arises when he gives his idea on the topic and that is to stop contact football for the youth and instead play flag football. He also adds in the idea to take away kick off from the whole game. As a current college football player, taking away contact at a young age and taking out the kick off is a terrible idea. For young student athletes wanting to play football at the next level, getting hit and hitting others will be apart of that game. The pace of the game is much faster and by transitioning from no contact to contact is a huge difference maker for the game. By also playing the contact game young, your body will be more prepared to take hits and have more tackling experience. Tackling someone correctly takes practice and if by having no experience, can cause serious injury’s. The game also changes as there would not be as many options for you to get by a defender (stiff arming, lowering your shoulder…etc). There will also be no reason to have lineman which would eliminate 8 players (4 Oline man and 4 Dline man).
As for his comment on taking away kickoff, he is basically asking to put people out of jobs and is trying to gives teams one less way to score points. As are all special teams, kick off is very important. It gives each team a chance to set the tone and also gives you chance to get the ball back if you are down and had just scored. The people of the NFL and NCAA know this so, to keep the athletes safe, the new rule for kickoff that was implemented this year was the no wedge rule. You can no longer create a wall and run forward into the other team. This now creates more even 1 v 1 action to keep the players safe. This rule along with the rule about not hitting those that don’t see you should prevent less injury this year during that part of the game.
Although football is changing to make players even more safe, it can not be dismantled. Before doing whatever it is that you are going to do, you should always look into it. Like many sports, football is a sport just like soccer and hockey in which contact is just a part of the game that you will have to accept. The best way to keep safe is to protect your self by practicing proper technic, keep in shape, and to know what is going on the field at all times. Like with cars, you can make football as safe as you would like but there will always be human error and injuries that occur so, before signing you or your kid up, know what you are getting into.