Professional football players are rewarded substantial amounts of money for playing the entertaining yet violent game of football. For many high school and college players, the risk is worth the reward, the reward being the potential millions a player can earn in the NFL.
The real risk of playing football can manifest itself not at the professional level,but at the high school level where young teenage players are subjected to violent hits that can hamper their physical and mental development. According to the Center for Disease Control, almost 2 million adolescent players suffer from brain injuries every year. Another scary statistic by the CDC points out that as much as 80% of concussion related injuries are undiagnosed, meaning that it is likely there is a silent epidemic among current and former players.
A concussion, according to Jonah Lehrer of Wired,”is not a bruise. It is not a sprain. There is no bodily metaphor for what happens when the Jell-O of cortex accelerates into the skull. Although the brain is surrounded by a cushion of cerebrospinal fluid, a severe impact or abrupt change in head speed can push those three pounds of meat straight through the fluid, so that it crashes into the cranium.”
Just imagine how it would feel if you got hit by a vehicle moving at a speed of 20 mph. That’s the level of impact a player can receive when hit by an opposing player(s). High School football is at the epicenter of the concussion epidemic because these brain injuries can interfere with the mental development of teenage players. Depression, headaches, memory loss, and blurred vision, are just some of the effects of head trauma that can impeded a players mental and physical growth.
- Football and the Fear of Concussions (parenting.blogs.nytimes.com)
- The Concussion Epidemic (mitigatorinc.com)
- Concussions in the NFL (uw20sciencemediaandculture.wordpress.com)