Nathan Bransford, Author


Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Year Without Football


The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and I won't be watching.

After I posted in May about the ethics of watching football and how uncomfortable I am with the growing evidence about endemic and lasting brain injuries I stayed true to my post and I didn't watch football this year.

Of all the years.

Stanford made the Rose Bowl for the first time since I was in college back in 2000 (and this time they won). The 49ers are headed to the Super Bowl and Colin Kaepernick is one of the most exciting young players in football. But I've never seen him play.

To be honest, I haven't gone completely cold turkey. If I'm at someone's house or at a bar and football is on I don't leave the room or insist that people change the channel. I still read football articles and in fact could give you a pretty thorough breakdown of the Alex Smith vs. Colin Kaepernick decision. I still keep up with scores and records.

But I'm not watching, week in, week out. I can't tell you what a change this is. I was once the chairman of Stanford's Axe Committee, which has its roots in the Stanford/Cal football rivalry. I'm not sure if I'll go to another Big Game. I grew up watching Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. I won't be watching the Super Bowl.

Junior Seau's death was the ultimate catalyst for my decision not to watch, and I made it without even knowing for sure whether he had the degenerative brain disease that has afflicted so many former players. It turns out he did.

There is mounting evidence that the NFL has not taken this issue seriously enough, but ultimately I think end of the sport will not come with a bunch of fans walking out of a stadium, but rather youth and high school teams unable to find insurance policies and forced to close up, a generation of parents pushing their kids into different sports, and a decline of the sport into the realm of horse racing and boxing.

For my part, in place of football on the weekends I've been watching, well, football. Soccer has become my weekend tradition. I wake up, fire up the coffee, and settle in for some writing and the English Premier League.

Anyone else find their habits changing as more news of former players emerge?






52 comments:

abc said...

Good for you! Sounds like it's hard, but you are being very noble. And brave, too. It's hard to get away with dissing football in this country. I hate football, but not for any noble reasons. I just don't get it. But I'll jump on board with the ethical reasons, too!

Let's make basketball bigger. Basketball is more elegant.

And here's hoping America never adopts Cricket, because that game be wacky (and oh so incredibly boring).

Ted A. said...
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Ted A. said...

CTE (the disease affecting football players) comes from multiple collisions (even minor ones). I would think Soccer players would be susceptible as well.

I applaud your decision, but I have chosen to remain a fan and watch the games. We are just now learning about CTE and its affects. Groundbreaking work is being done at UCLA and other neuro centers and a test for CTE in live patients is in the works.

I think ultimately a test will be developed and each year the players will have to take a test each year to see if they are showing signs of CTE development. They will have an informed choice to make at that point, and I think many will choose to play despite the risks.

At the same time, the NFL should continue to target efforts at helping players make the transition from football life to 'real life'.

Mr. D said...

To each his own, but football remains America's most popular sport, and I don't see that changing. Ever.

Nathan Bransford said...

Ted-

I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on links between CTE and soccer. From what I've seen so far, while there is some risk it doesn't seem to be anywhere near as pervasive and destructive as football injuries. But if evidence changes and there isn't a remedy (a la Petr Cech's soft helmet) I'll reevaluate.

Nathan Bransford said...

Mr. D-

Boxing and horse racing used to be the most popular sports in America. I can definitely see football's place changing, and in fact will bet that it will happen in the next 10 years.

Clyde McCall said...

Man, you sure missed some serious football this post-season. But that being said, I don't let my son play.

Emily said...

I remember reading your post about this in May and agreeing with you. I have a nine-year-old nephew who plays football and I am scared to death for him.

I don't watch football so it's easy for me not to support the sport. But I applaud your decision, especially because you were such a big fan. I will continue to follow this topic with interest.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm still torn.

Alanna Coca said...

I would sincerely love to see soccer take root in the states! It's not broadcast on TV nearly enough. I'm a baseball fan myself, and though there are injuries in every sport, if Yogi Berra is still kickin at 87, I'm thinking it's okay.

Elissa M said...

I think the difference between American football and soccer (injury-wise) is the football players deliberately ram into each other as hard as they can. And they lead with their heads when they do it. It is first and foremost, a contact sport.

I'd like to say I don't watch football for noble reasons, too. Truth is, I don't have TV reception where I live and haven't watched anything (other than tapes and DVDs) for more than 12 years.

But I can't lie. I absolutely loved watching Montana and Rice.

Tracy Hahn-Burkett said...

Good for you for helping to call attention to this.

Football is big in my house. I'm not really a fan, but my husband and eleven-year-old son definitely are. There's no question where they'll be Sunday night.

But a couple of weeks ago, my soccer-playing son asked me if he could play football, too. I told him I'd really rather he didn't. When he asked why, I said, "Because I like your brain the way it is."

I actually found it a little painful to tell him no, because I've always tried to encourage my kids to pursue their interests and explore new things. In fact, I think this is the first time I've said no (to anything other than, you know, visiting Antarctica and the like).

And yes, there are risks in soccer, too. He had a nasty face v. steel goalpost encounter this past fall that illustrates that fact. (No longterm damage-whew.) But there are risks in every sport, every activity, and at some point, you have to decide where the reasonable line is. With all of the studies mounting and nothing being done to make football safer (can anything be done?), it just seems to me that the risks of playing that particular sport are getting too high.

Wyndes said...

I gave it up a while ago, when my son was five and I realized that I would no sooner let him play football than let him go into the gladiatorial arena to fight lions bare-handed. Watching other women's sons risk their brains for entertainment stopped being fun around then.

I do still miss it sometimes. In Florida, not watching is a radical choice. But imo, the real change is going to come with parents. It's all well and good to say that players will make informed choices, but you don't become a professional unless you've spent your childhood practicing. And even in Florida, parents are becoming uneasy about what they might be risking. .

Sarah Marino said...

There's a very well done documentary about this growing epidemic called "Head Games" that is available on Netflix: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Head_Games/70243233?locale=en-US.

I very much recommend watching for those interested in seeing an in depth and thoroughly researched take on the epidemic in not just football, but other contact-heavy sports.

Thank you for the post, Nathan!

J. M. Strother said...

I haven't watched football in years, mostly just because I don't watch much TV and so tended to forget. I admire you for giving it up on ethical grounds rather tan absentmindedness. I think you are right, insurance options will dry up and no one will be willing to take on the liability without it.

Heading the ball in soccer is also seems to cause brain injury, so you may be out of luck there. Archery's fun.
~jon

Rigzy said...

That's impressive that you've made it the entire season. I cut out football for 6 weeks this year, and I did it entirely. Not only did I not seek out games, but I very strictly avoided them, which included reading about it. It was really rough. I love stats, listen to nothing but espn in my car, follow my team obsessively, and also keep up with my conference and whoever is top 10. It was for personal reasons and accomplished what I needed it to, but it was definitely harder than I expected at times, but I think not knowing anything made it easier to not watch. It felt like that completely dead season between the draft and OTAs.

I've been following all the changes being made for player safety and it's interesting to see how mixed all the feelings are about it, even even among the players that they're trying to protect. It's NOT a contact sport, it's a collision sport.

Among kids, the sport with the most concussions is soccer (I think part of that is because that's usually the first sport kids start with), but as someone already pointed out, in football they intentionally lead with their heads as opposed to soccer. I agree that football will be a very different sport 10 years from now.

Anonymous said...

I fell in love with football with John Elway. And my husband is so much fun to watch with because he explains everything in such an include-me-in-the-understanding way - he should really be a commentator - women -and their men- would love him.

I have NEVER been able to watch boxing. Just yuck. So brutal. And when hard hits happen in any sport, I have to look away, walk out of the room. I can NOT look. That is the point where nothing is worth it, when players risk getting really hurt or risk others by playing way too rough.

There are some things -and I include diving as a sport as too dangerous- that I would never let a son or daughter (or child or loved one I could stop) do as it's just too dangerous, unless it was their LOVE. And that is kind of like letting a wild animal or an explorer or an astronaut go where they have to go and it's horrible and incredibly scary but if it's their LOVE you have to let them...

I am a woman and watching all these contact sports that men, especially, engage in, is also so, um, something about some men. All that testosterone, and muscle and, even skipping football players when they are so happy ( do you SEE that!!!)... It all just amazes me. Men are so beautiful, both as intellectuals and as athletes, they are such a strange and compelling species. It's hard not to admire them, even being all brawny and sort of brute when they are trying hard to be sportsmen with rules of conduct too. I have to admire that. It's sooooo much better than war or cruelty.

I love football and I love that people are continuing to try to civilize or stay civilized while playing such intensely physical sport.

Pamela Hammonds said...

So inspiring to read this, Nathan. I grew up in a football-fanatic community but we can no longer ignore the facts. And when my hometown's hero and former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson took his own life in 2011, it really hit home. A high school honor student, he passed up an opportunity to play pro baseball. Sad to think had he chosen differently he might be alive today.

I don't watch football anymore either. When I pass by a TV when a game's on, I might stop and look. But it only takes a helmet crashing blow to make me cringe and turn away.

Anonymous said...

You might want to check this out. Maybe tennis or golf?

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20111129/heading-soccer-ball-linked-to-brain-injury

Bryan Russell said...

The only problem with this post is that I know you're a Newcastle fan. Which is just silly when you could be a Manchester United fan.

Come. The Red Side of the Force is strong. We play in the Theatre of Dreams. I mean, what could be better than that?

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I've never watched the Superbowl, and I've never watched an entire football game (or even half of one) either. One thing I like about Superbowl weekend is that it's the one weekend all year where the lines are a lot shorter, since everyone else is staying at home watching the game. I even went to the Art Institute in Chicago one year; it's usually crowded on the weekends, but there weren't a lot of people there during Superbowl weekend.

Unknown said...

Nathan, check out the Irish sport of hurling. I think you'll like it. There's a bit of stick-waving but they wear helmets these days so that's alright.

Lisa said...

I've respected you since I first started following your blog a couple of years ago. But this is an admirable example of someone walking their talk.

It's easy for people to turn it off when they've only been watching with half an eye anyway. But it sounds like you've been truly a devoted fan - for many years - so to follow through on your commitment has a lot of integrity. This is especially true given the (ironic) success of your two favorite teams. Wow.

Thanks for being an inspiration.

wendy said...

I don't follow any sport, but I'm surprised to hear of so many of these sorts of injuries resulting from the game. In Australia we have rugby league and aussie rules, and while there are injuries, they seem mainly to do with ligaments, knees and shoulders, I think.

Admirable stance on your part, Nathan.

http://ericksongypsycaravan.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/friedrichshafen/ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
http://ericksongypsycaravan.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/friedrichshafen/ said...

I commend you for your decision and reasoning, Nathan.

My decision to quit watching pro football goes back even further. I was living in DC back in the early 70's when the Redskins made it to their first Super Bowl against Miami, I think.

In the two week media orgasm leading up to the game, George Allen, revered coach of the Redskins, made the statement at a press conference: "I would give a year of my life to win the Super Bowl."

I was stunned. He would sacrifice 365 days with friends, family, the joys and rewards of living to win a game! A game! That had no significance other than to some posting in the football records, who won and who lost.

That same year, I believe, a station, possibly and early ESPN or cable show, had a special about George Blanda, the former Baltimore Colts quarterback who had to become their field goal kicker kicker after too many injuries. In the show, he showed the extent of his football injuries; he could not walk, needed to use a cane or crutches to make it across the room. He was in his early 50's, but looked a weary and lame 70.

The price of becoming a champion football player means sacrificing years of mobility and comfort?

Those two events convinced me that pro football was a dangerous game for players and the 'value' of winning or losing was an immoral choice.

I haven't watched a pro football game since. Haven't missed a thing, but enjoyed years of Sunday fall afternoons with family and friends, running, taking walks, reading, going to movies and enjoying life.

Jack

Anonymous said...

After the anti-gay remarks made recently by Culliver I wish more people would not watch this year.

Steve Fuller said...

A couple others have mentioned this, but Nathan, come on...soccer is an incredibly dangerous sport. Here's just one article from the NY Times talking about the dangers of soccer for high school kids:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/sports/concussion-prevention-for-child-athletes-robert-c-cantu.html?_r=0

And here's an article talking about how dangerous heading the ball is:

http://healthland.time.com/2012/11/13/study-soccer-players-without-concussions-still-have-brain-changes/

You just never hear about these injuries because very few people care about soccer in America.

Nathan Bransford said...

steve-

Trust me, I've looked into it and I think there's a difference. Every athlete puts stress on their bodies, including their head in the case of soccer players. While some hard-core soccer players have had some cognitive problems stemming from heading the ball, from everything I've read on the subject it's nothing like the life-altering, life-span shortening, utterly devastating effects that CTE is having on American football players, not just in pros but people who played in college or even apparently in high school.

If new evidence emerges that this is not in fact the case, soccer causes CTE, and FIFA doesn't do mandate helmets or do something to alleviate this problem then yeah, I'll have to reconsider soccer. But from what I've seen and read I just don't think you can put soccer and football in the same category.

CK said...

I've never been a big football fan (only watched a couple games a year with my grandpa), but the real change came for me a few years ago when I became a volunteer EMT and started hauling high school kids off the field and to the hospital. I've seen some pretty major injuries to these kids. Right or wrong, I'm glad you're standing up for something you believe in.

P.S.

This is my first comment and I'd like to add a thank you for a great blog!

Mr. D said...

Okay, I'll take that bet. It's only eight o'clock here in the San Francisco Bay Area, but since you're on the East Coast, you may have hit the sack by now. But if you're still awake, what are we betting?

Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado said...

I make it my habit to have nothing whatsoever to do with,watching or participating in, any sport that involves a ball. Really, how crazy is it to run around after the silly thing? And although a hockey puck is not technically a ball, it is round and the same principal is involved:careening around chasing the guy who has it. Beat on him any way you have to in order to possess the silly thing, and yes, set yourself up to get beat upon. No thanks. I'll take watching a REAL sport any day: swimming, gymnastics, running and so on...

Unknown said...

It's called football. Everywhere else in the known world. There arrogance is breath taking.

After our most recent world cup, I turned to my brother and said ' this is the next big sport'. First it was baseball, then football, now it will be this. But I almost hope it doesn't so I'm spared listening to people talk about 'soccer' ~ grrrrrr!

Interested to know who you support in the Premiership though, Nathan.

Nathan Bransford said...

Unknown-

Newcastle. Tough season.

Lesley said...

Jack - awesome comments.

I work with people with all kinds of injuries and yep, you really have to wonder. The 'adulation' and 'love' of sportspeople who are being hurt and may actually have to live with chronic pain, brain damage and a shortened life...hmmm, doesn't sound like love to me.

Nathan, well thought out.

Stark said...

I, too, gave up football. Not for the same reasons as you—as a fan of the Washington NFL team that really ought to change its name, I felt I had enough anguish in my life. Also, I felt that arranging my weekend around what time the game was on, and then spending seven or eight hours in front of the TV was just a waste of time. Like you, I have kept up, reading about the team in the paper, even checking scores on my iPhone (pathetic, really).

I will be watching the Super Bowl. Why? Largely because my "woman of record" wants to watch the ads and my son wants to eat wings (and I do, too).

Maybe I had one too many head injuries.

Kerry O Cerra said...

While I don't know what's being done to prevent/measure concussions at the college and professional levels, I can tell you in our local high schools it is mandatory for all athletes to get a baseline concussion test done at the beginning of each and every year. The cost is even covered by the public schools.

I played basketball in high school and can tell you for sure, my head hit the court many times after taking an elbow to the face or being intentionally tripped. There aren't too many sports around that don't run the risk of concussions.

Just this past December, my daughter's best friend slammed her head on the court during a basketball game. They immediately took her for tests and she was pulled out of school for the remainder of that week and was ordered no TV, cell phone or anything over Christmas break. When school resumed she still was not cleared and missed midterm exams and the final 2 weeks of her bball regular season as a precaution. She was cleared just last week and able to return for playoffs. My point is, schools--at least here in South Florida--are taking this seriously. In all sports.

My two boys both play football, though neither got to start tackle until HS. And, all three of my kids play soccer. I almost prefer the pads of football to the non-padded shoving matches that occur on the soccer fields.

While we're being smart about all this, I can't see myself refusing to let them play. Take precautions and be alert, but enjoy life too.

It's cool you gave it up because it's something you feel strongly about, but why not get back on that committee at Stanford and push for better testing instead of walking away? Be part of a much needed solution.

On a side note: I'd donate a kidney to get my hubby to give up watching football on TV for a year. lol

Nathan Bransford said...

kerry-

"...why not get back on that committee at Stanford and push for better testing instead of walking away?"

Because from everything I've read it's not the actual concussions that are the problem, but rather the multiple sub-concussive hits that are inherent to the game itself. Players are getting diagnosed with CTE who were never diagnosed with a concussion. Junior Seau himself was never diagnosed with a concussion.

Believe me, I thought a whole lot about whether I should just advocate for better testing/pads/something and let that be my reaction, but ultimate I just don't think there's a solution. The problem is the game itself.

To each their own though, I'm by no means advocating that football be banned and would never tell people what they should and shouldn't play or what their kids shouldn't play. That's up to everyone to decide for themselves. I just chose to remove myself from the equation and take whatever dollars and cents are represented by my eyeballs elsewhere. If enough people see things like I do the game will wither away on its own. If they don't, the game will live on, I just won't be watching.

Huntress said...

Fran Tarkenton stated in an interview that part of the reason for the increase in brain injuries is the use of performance enhancing drugs.
He said it was prevalent in his day but now the NFL wears blinder about the use of drugs.
The number of 300 pound linebackers went from a couple to 6 or 7 on each team, one of the reasons for the hard hits and crippling injuries.
There's a lot of money in the game and no one wants to give it up. Not even for the health of the players.

Kerry O Cerra said...

Nathan,

I know most of these guys were never diagnosed with a concussion, but that's part of the problem. Policies were never in place to do so before. With the increased awarness and testing done at our high school levels, I think the number of those taking their lives from this will decrease. For me at least, if one of my kids suffers from this even once, I'll definitely be reevaluating their current sports activities. And if these policies are not in place at the college level--if my kids make it that far with their sports abilites--I'll either fight for it there or possibly not let them play at all.

Awareness and testing are keys to the solution, though not the whole solution for sure.

Nathan Bransford said...

kerry-

Again though, while of course I support better diagnosis of concussions, from everything I've read you don't even have to have an actual concussion to suffer from CTE. The problem are the repeated sub-concussive hits that add up over time.

From Malcolm Gladwell's article on this:

"This is a crucial point. Much of the attention in the football world, in the past few years, has been on concussions—on diagnosing, managing, and preventing them—and on figuring out how many concussions a player can have before he should call it quits. But a football player’s real issue isn’t simply with repetitive concussive trauma. It is, as the concussion specialist Robert Cantu argues, with repetitive subconcussive trauma. It’s not just the handful of big hits that matter. It’s lots of little hits, too.

That’s why, Cantu says, so many of the ex-players who have been given a diagnosis of C.T.E. were linemen: line play lends itself to lots of little hits. The HITS data suggest that, in an average football season, a lineman could get struck in the head a thousand times, which means that a ten-year N.F.L. veteran, when you bring in his college and high-school playing days, could well have been hit in the head eighteen thousand times: that’s thousands of jarring blows that shake the brain from front to back and side to side, stretching and weakening and tearing the connections among nerve cells, and making the brain increasingly vulnerable to long-term damage. People with C.T.E., Cantu says, “aren’t necessarily people with a high, recognized concussion history. But they are individuals who collided heads on every play—repetitively doing this, year after year, under levels that were tolerable for them to continue to play.”"

Ellen M. Gregg said...

I won't watch football for similar, albeit more generic, reasons. I'm a healer, so to watch people be body-slammed, crushed, kicked, and piled upon is a turn-off, to say the least. I'll watch the Red Sox (that's how I refer to baseball), on occasion, but football, and hockey for that matter, are outright no-ways.

Mr. D said...

Okay, so no bet then. Don't blame you. lol

KHill said...

I'm sorry Nathan I love your blog, but even after re-reading your original post, the links attached and studies cited I couldn't disagree more. By your argument we may as well roll up the Arts too. How many authors, poets dramatists et al, who are successful even household names have died, been psychologically maimed and emotionally damaged for art by suicide or alcoholism and substance abuse? --the psychic brain and soul crushing injuries inflicted on writers, musicians artists and on the arts as a whole; An indifferent and more often salacious public all too happy to watch if not cheer on, an artist's slide into dissolution, despair and even death **most of the time without commiserate salary or meager compensation** is to say the least as compelling an argument for boycotting the arts based on your criteria for eschewing football. And, while also chosen vocation, the artist is often at the mercy of a very cruel and ungenerous profession. (I'm a professional artist -for 20 yrs now, through thin and thick and very thin and thinner --today at 49 paying everything out of pocket and with no savings or major success to call my own, I keep going because, like so many of my 'sport' through the centuries, I am compelled. I LOVE what I do. No matter how little I have to show beyond psychic trauma and destitute circumstance that brings no sympathy from any audience (but makes for great material), I love what I do. The emotional pain and risk of personal injury in pursuit of what I LOVE doing -nea' BEING, and my part in the larger world of The Arts and humanity, is why I keep walking it off, rejecting the rejection (even from you once upon a time ;-))to get back up, knowing, that no one is ever going to boycott or write for boycott of my 'sport' on my behalf. What's more:in my decrepitude and upon my ignoble and unnoticed demise, I will most likely, like many before me, be blamed for my impractical folly. I do understand your point, I guess it just depends on what you consider entertainment and sport and what one finds worthy of boycotting and championing. For me, a fairly new Seattleite (I'm still mad at you Coach Carroll),I'll be pulling for my home team The Ravens and Ray Lewis -who without football, arguably, would have had a very short and violent life instead of the second chance he created through his beloved sport. Ok I'm warmed up now -back to work on my book --and I'm really sorry you're going to have to hear about the 49'rs crushing defeat ;-)

Nathan Bransford said...

KHill-

Substance abuse is not inherent to being a writer or artist. Take away substances and people can still write, very well in fact.

Head injuries, especially for certain positions, are inherent to football. There's no way to escape them if you're playing the sport. It's a pretty big difference.

Mr. D said...

KHiill, right on. Go Ravens!

Hey, I was first to say to each his own, but I still say football will remain Americas most popular sport, not only ten years from now, but well beyond. :)

And if Nathan wants to back down from that bet that HE proposed, then I'll make the bet with anyone. ;)

Nathan Bransford said...

Mr. D-

Sorry, missed the bet! I meant that in the rhetorical sense in that I'm not generally a betting type but I'm more than happy to check back in in 10 years to see what's what, if we both are still remembering this, the bragging rights alone will be sufficient reward.

Mr. D said...

Nathan,
that's cool, I'm not a betting man, myself, but that was just a sure bet, that I couldn't pass up. Oh, and I do have a good memory, so a gentleman's bet it is.

KHill,
I feel for a fellow artist. Have you considered teaching? I have found that being an art teacher, not only provides artists like us a continued artistic lifestyle, but it also provides youngsters with the opportunity to learn art, and the good thing about it is, kids mostly LOVE to take art classes. Yeah, you need college degrees and such, but for artists, college art classes are a breeze, and even though the credential program required a lot of report writing, that's what made me discover the ease and the fun of writing, thus, not only do I have a published book out right now, but two more have been accepted and will be published this year.
Good luck to you.
Mr. D.

KHill said...

Agreed: Substance abuse is an unnecessary and hopefully small part of the 'hazards' of a life in the arts -many artists/writers do not crave, need or require them to produce -myself included. but I don't believe that substance abuse is the only thing detrimental or painful about being an artist.The fickle and sometimes near bullying nature of the audience that too often salaciously waits and 'bets' on extreme failure *see Amy Winehouse* while never entering 'the arena' is comparable to your argument for boycotting a sport. Perhaps my point was clumsily made but I think your point is a bit hypocritical especially in choosing Soccer over football, which may not have the physical injury record so egregious and endemic to football, but what about the incredible racism of some teams and their fans -are you 'for' that? Lastly perhaps take a listen to George Johnson's Three Minutes Sports Drill on Tavis Smiley. He speaks eloquently on the hypocritical nature of sport audiences, governing bodies and the entertainment industry itself -which covers sports, noting that even in the different halls of fame no one has ever thrown out or denied entry to any athlete for being a member of the Klan (Ty Cobb to name ONE),I'll add to that: or for rape, sexual abuse and/or physical assault. I find it'ironic' that very few are willing to publicly boycott a sport based on that. while I commend your position on bringing attention to harsh on the job hazards, I still think in light of so many other larger offenses of sports, it's a light stand to take. It's football, it's not for wussies -you don't have to play or go pro -and speaking for myself, in that way it's just like the arts they aren't for wussies either. I too, can quit anytime, make it a hobby or devote myself to something secure, less 'painful' and infinitely more practical. (ps. tongue and cheek on the 49rs baiting, may the best team win).

KHill said...

Thank you Mr.D for the words of encouragement, Sounds like you love what you do and that in itself is success. Congratulations on the successful publishing -I want that!

Mira said...

I think your stance, Nathan, is ethical and admirable.

It's very hard to give up something you love because of your principles. I admire what you are doing.

Regina Richards said...

Football is so addictive. I admire you for having the self-discipline to stay away from it. And I admire your reasons.

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