I made this image in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania one Saturday afternoon in the Fall. These kids played all afternoon while those like me who passed by stopped and watched and enjoyed a piece of a Pastime.
"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is."
Mountains of evidence continue to pile up about the danger that tackle football presents for children, and that places parents in a difficult situation. Should they protect their kids, or should they let them play the sport they love? There’s still no right answer.
The NFL recently required teams to have an independent one on the sideline at every game. During Philadelphia Eagles home games, said neurologist is joined by an orthopedic surgeon, an internal medicine specialist, a spine specialist, a chiropractor, a dentist, a podiatrist, an ophthalmologist and an anesthesiologist.
"Well, I’ll tell you, I understand that it’s not good for kids. I understand that we’re trying to set the right example. And I would never smoke in somebody’s house or offend anybody with it. But I do think smokers are discriminated against. I’ve also said that — and I’ll probably get killed politically — but I’ve also said you know what? Let’s just have a 30-day smoke-out. Nobody sell any cigarettes. Nobody buy any cigarettes. And the government will be bringing a truck to my house with Marlboros, asking me to buy ’em."
It would be a really good thing, if the NFL moved its boundaries in such a way as to show some minimal respect for mental health. Not just for PR purposes, but because for as hell-bent as we seem on turning football players into gods without dignity, humanity doesn’t stop the moment you strap on a Dolphins helmet. I don’t know when football forgot that fact, but the evidence is overwhelming that it needs to remember.