It is no secret that the game of football has come under tremendous scrutiny in recent years. The dangerous effects of multiple concussions as well as he dangers associated with repeated sub-concussive trauma to the head has been well documented. Everyone understands that the health of our athletes, especially the young athletes, is a priority. Nothing is, or ever will be, more important than health of the athletes. While the data is very convincing regarding head injuries, it does not necessarily mean that we should ban football. It simply means that we need to find a solution that makes it safer.
In the TEDx Talk below former professional player Angus Reid shares why he thinks High School Football is so important. His key point is as follows. If the “Why” is big enough, we will find a solution for the “How”. In other words, If we can recognize why football is so important to our high school students and admit that helps build qualities that make them productive adults, we will find a solution to making the game safer.
He explains that all other sports can help build qualities that make them productive adults, but football is inherently different and he tells you why.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx. You can also few other similar at the TEDx Talks YouTube Channel
Angus explains that football is the best sport for teaching delayed gratification. In a 6 month season you may only get to play 10 games. That is a 6:1 work to play ratio. He goes on to state that in today’s world with so many youth growing up in unstructured environments, that football provides the most structure. Every week the schedule is the same. You do the same type of practice on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is game night. With all of the chaos around, football provides structure. Kids know what they will be doing each day.
But those aren’t the main reasons why we need high school football. The two things that set it apart from other sports is that:
1. Everyone can play. You don’t need to be rich to pay for lessons. You don’t have to have great athletic abilities. There is a nearly unlimited number of spots on the team. Everyone makes the team
2. There 8 different units in football. Offense, Defense, Punt, Punt Return, Kickoff, Kickoff Return, Field Goal and Field Goal Block. Considering that each unit has 11 players on the field, that is 88 positions to fill. That is not even counting backups that frequently get to play. For example, teams normally play many different receivers in a game. The point is that there are 88 different opportunities for a kid to participate and feel important. No other sport offers nearly as many opportunities.
While athletes in other sports certainly develop qualities that make them productive adults, football simply provides many, many more opportunities for kids that might be excluded from other sports because of money or athletic abilities.