NY Pol Says You're Too Stupid To Decide If Your Kid Can Play Football


High school football
lsommerer / / CC BY-NC-SA

Football can be dangerous, and attention has focused in recent years on the head injuries that can result from playing the contact sport. Much of the discussion revolves around the risks voluntarily assumed by the paid adult professionals of the National Football League, but some politicians say the danger is excessive for young players—so excessive that families should not even be allowed to decide for themselves whether the game is worthwhile. New York Assemblyman Michael Benedetto wants to flat-out make it illegal for anybody under the age of 14 to play tackle football. In a world that will never be risk-free, and where all choices involve trade-offs, it's a hell of a presumption that would substitute the preferences of politicians for those of children and parents.

Benedetto started riding this particular hobbyhorse at least four years ago, when he said:

I am a big sports fan, and I strongly support sports related programs for our youth. However, I believe that we must set firm guidelines to deal with concussions. Oftentimes the athletes' are not aware of the seriousness of their injuries, are pressured to return to the field, or feel an obligation to the team to re-enter the game thus further aggravating an already serious medical condition.

At that time, Benedetto just wanted to track injuries and "establish standards for school districts regarding concussions." Last year, though, he introduced his outright ban, which he's pushing hard now amidst the heavy pre-Superbowl media focus on football. According to CBS New York:

Benedetto said he believes the measure could potentially prevent young kids from getting concussions, which run the risk of causing brain damage.

"Every time they're hit, or every time they fall to the ground in a tackle, the brain will spin around in the head, causing damage," Benedetto said.

Well, who could object to protecting The Children™?

But football is hardly the only activity that poses physical risks. As it so happens, my wife, Wendy, and I discussed the risks of football with our son, Tony, during a lull in the televised football games yesterday, when he voiced interest in playing. Wendy, a pediatrician, has treated more than a few juvenile concussions in her career. We told him that football is dangerous, and that he should think about it thoroughly and be really sure he wants to play before taking the risk. Then we can discuss it.

But we did not say no. We've already signed off on Tony engaging in a contact sport.


Our eight-year-old son is a green belt in Tae Kwon Do. This past Wednesday, he practiced with nunchucks (yes, I have seen him clock himself in the head), before tumbling class, and then an extended session of sparring with six separate opponents. There were no serious injuries this time, but I've seen him take a punch to the head, fall, get kicked in the ribs, shake it off, and dive back in.

Yeah, he wears a helmet and a full array of body armor, but so do linebackers.

Our hesitation about football strikes even me as a bit arbitrary.

Not every parent would agree with our decision to let Tony learn a martial art and take the risks that come with it, but it's a decision with which we're comfortable. We think the dangers are worth the self confidence, discipline, and physical fitness he's gained along the way. Other parents likely feel the same about football.

Everybody has their own comfort level when it comes to balancing risks and benefits—and a risk-free existence isn't in the cards.

Hell, my worst high school injury came while riding my bicycle to school in the morning. Somebody opened a car door at the wrong moment. Ouch. I don't really remember the next few minutes. Damn that morning commute

Football is dangerous. Maybe it's too dangerous—for some people. But it's worth the risk for others. We all have to make choices for ourselves, and our families. The fact that some politicians wouldn't make the same choices as other people isn't surprising. Nor does it give them any special rights over the rest of us.

Benedetto represents the Bronx, by the way. My father was raised in Throgs Neck and I spent a lot of time there as a kid. To be honest, I don't remember contact sports being a prerequisite for a head injury in that piece of the Empire State.


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  1. NY Pol Says You’re Too Stupid To Decide If Your Kid Can Play Football

    Well, we are talking about New Yorkers here. They don’t repeatedly pull the lever for Bloomberg because of smarts.

    1. Not to mention the NY Pol who is spouting nonsense.

      1. Well, we are talking about New Yorkers here. They don’t repeatedly pull the lever for Bloomberg because of smarts.

        Recently I responded similarly by referring to NYers as “cowards” for stupid gun laws or some such. And a regular here called me a “collectivist,” even though his use of the word was inapt in that context.

        Even so, my position remains that, while I’ve personally known some New Yorkers who were nice and (seemingly) tough, they are not the kind of people as a whole I want steering the oar of my country. And that is based purely on their history of electing and supporting some of the most anti-freedom, dumbass things we’ve ever seen. See, e.g., Cuomo’s recent remarks that pro-life, pro-gun folks arent’ welcome there.

        1. One can call other people, such as those from the pisshole known as New York or its closely related pisshole New Ark a bunch of collectivist fuckwads without being a collectivist one’s self. Episiarch doesn’t get how collectivism works.

  2. At that time, Benedetto [claimed he] just wanted to track injuries and “establish standards for school districts regarding concussions.”


    1. Either way, football is on the way out at schools. The threat of lawsuits for concussions will end it.

  3. OT:

    Unintentionally funny headline of the year:

    Urban streets named for MLK still struggle

    If you’re on Martin Luther King way, there is some crime happening near you! — Chris Rock…..reets.html

    1. That’s nearly an Onion article.

    2. The comments are full of awesome

      1. Yes, they are.

      2. Are they? I hadn’t looked at them. Let me guess, a mish-mash of racism with progressive denialism?

        1. It depends on your definition of “racism.” By my standards, no. And big city newspaper website comments are often far more center/right/libertarian than you would think. The SF Chronicle is a prime example.

        2. No. They pretty much roundly put the blame where it belongs: On progressive policies that have ruined the inner cities.

      3. I found the Think Progress post “No, Martin Luther King Jr. Was Not A Republican” linked by one of the commenters interesting.

        In particular:

        I had no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that did not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy.

        Combine that with the plagiarized dissertation, and I see no reason to venerate MLK at all. He was better than the racebaiters, but not by much.

    3. “Other cities have had more success in balancing the desire to commemorate King without superseding local tradition. Alderman singled out Chapel Hill, N.C., which in 2005 renamed a major thoroughfare that abuts the University of North Carolina campus. Street signs that identify Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard also include the name “Historic Airport Road.””

      Bald faced lie. Chapel Hill already had a MLK street, but no one used it. This reality could not stand, so progressives moved to change Airport Blvd to MLK Blvd because Airport is much more heavily used. Hundreds of businesses and residents had to bear the cost of the name change to update things like business cards.
      Didn’t supersede tradition my ass.

      1. A necessary sacrifice for the greater good of making a useless symbolic gesture. At least they got a two-hour respite from being called racists.

      2. You know Seattle is in King County which is named after vice president William King or at least it was, until it was unofficially retroactively named after MLK in 86 and officially in 07 who spent a grand total of 2 days there once…

  4. Benedetto represents the Bronx, by the way. My father was raised in Throgs Neck and I spent a lot of time there as a kid. To be honest, I don’t remember contact sports being a prerequisite for a head injury in that piece of the Empire State.

    Proof that New York, like so many urban centers in this country, has just become another yuppie amusement park.

    I was in the Bronx in the mid 80s when it looked like Lebannon– when you could actually casually glance out your window and see petty street crime happening at random points during the day.

    I’m not suggesting those were “better times”, but I will suggest that your average Bronx assemblyman would have had other things on his mind than tykes getting owies in school-sponsored sports.

    1. Same here. We visited my brother-in-laws cousins on Staten Island for a day and they took us to the Bronx circa 1990. It was sick – especially for sheltered kids from suburban Montreal. We have rough parts of town but nothing like we saw on that day in NYC. Even tough I-talians from Staten Island didn’t want to get out of the car in Bronx.

      Now. Sounds as though suburban Montrealers are tougher than New Yorkers, what, with all their soft nannyism. But they do share one thing: Intolerance. Listening to Cuomo speak about pro-gunners and the like reminded me of the xenophobic Parti-Quebecois.

      Lefties simply do not tolerate other views.

  5. Football is the latest soccer mom-pearl clutching feeding frenzy to sweep the ‘burbs. Something, anything, might befall their little runny-nosed snowflakes and we can’t let that happen.


    1. Speaking of soccer, somewhere I read that it actually produced more concussions than football (I think it was in this month’s Popular Science), at least at the professional level.

      Guess we better just ban sports.

      1. So I went and looked, and it’s in the February 2014 issue. According to them, FIFA records 0.4 concussions per 1000 player-hours, while the NFL records just 0.2/1000 player hours. The NHL records 1.5/1000ph and horse-racing that involves jumping records 25/1000ph.

        1. Better ban those too. Have you seen the dangers of alcohol? Why has no one tried to ban that?

          1. I know, right? They could call it something snappy, like Prohibition. Everyone would love it then!

      2. In football, you not really supposed to use your head to hit stuff in the game while soccer encourages you to do so. Heading the ball cause the brain bounce around the inside of the skull as well, even if the normal impact is less energetic than those that occur in football

        1. It’s mostly not heading the ball but heading each other that does the worst damage. Or goalkeepers taking a knee/foot to the head.

        2. If you head the ball correctly, you have no problem. Concussions happen when you use the top of your head to take a 70 yard punt out of the air. Use your forehead or face (which hurts like a motherfucker) and MEET that ball, and you’re fine.

          But like Apatheist says, it’s heading each other’s heads and elbows and inadvertent knees to the temple and what not that REALLY get you.

            1. Lots of things can be painful and gay at the same time.

              1. Lots of things can be painful and gay at the same time.


                … Hobbit

      3. Sports that The Boy is allowed to play, according to the wife-unit:


        Sports that The Boy is not allowed to play:


        1. So she is OK with him using his head to strike the ball or get whacked upside the head with sticks or have his head driven into walls?

          Seriously, all those games are contact/collision sports, why does she think former three are better?

          1. I never said any of this was based on logic or anything even resembling rational thought.

            The Boy keeps wanting to protest, telling her that all these other sports are just as dangerous, but I keep reminding him to crab his own game.

            1. …to *not* crab his own game…

            2. So she has no reasons. You must be a man of great patience.

        2. Lacrosse? Even hockey players think lacrosse players are nuts.

          I played a couple of times in school. Insane.

          1. Lacrosse sounds fruity and sophisticated. I must be harmless.

          2. One of his best friends plays. I keep encouraging him, but I think he’s intimidated by the sport.

            1. Lacrosse is certainly dangerous, but it is also gay.

          3. the great thing about lacrosse is that most Lax Bros I’ve ever met had very good weed connections. That was really the most redeemable quality I ever found in lacrosse players

        3. so when do you stand up and call bullshit?

          1. Every. Bloody. Day.

        4. Lacrosse but not football??

          I played both in my younger years, lacrosse is far more violent and dangerous. It’s like playing football with a rock, medal clubs and less padding.

          When I was 19 a good friend of mine who I grew up riding dirt bikes and playing football with (his dad was our coach) was killed as a freshman in college when he took a 90mph lacrosse ball shot to the chest. Apparently if you get hit hard enough right near the heart at the wrong time during a heartbeat you’re basically dead on impact, theres no resuscitation unless you have a defibrillator handy.

          I’d let my kids play either sport, but I’d be far more worried about lacrosse.

          1. “Apparently if you get hit hard enough right near the heart at the wrong time during a heartbeat you’re basically dead on impact”

            It’s the basis of the 5 point palm exploding heart technique.

      4. Yes, obviously soccer isn’t as dangerous a sport but you don’t wear helmets. There are plenty of head to head collisions among out field players and goalkeepers are obviously put at even more risk.

        I wasn’t allowed to play football growing up but I did get knocked out in a soccer game once. Scored the goal too, totally worth it.

        1. Head-to-post happens, too. Especially goalkeepers.

          The closest I came (which may have actually been a mild concussion, but no one realized it) was when the full force of someone’s ass landed on the side of my head which was hitting the ground at the time.

        2. Soccer can be dangerous. Too often I see jackass miss slide tackles.

          Schumacher’s explanation rings hollow. It was dirty and should have been sent off.

          The Butcher of Bilbao breaks Maradona’s ankle. Maradona ends up at Napoli soon after and the rest is history.

      5. Soccer does have more concussions because of the higher likelihood of heads butting in the air going for the ball. Even striking the ball on a long, downward trajectory (think goal kick to the midfield) on the wrong part of the head can cause one. I know, happened to me. As I went to hit the ball with my forehead (as you supposed to) someone nudged me from behind throwing my balance off and the ball ended up landing in the middle of my head.

        I felt nauseous for a couple of days.

        A medical doctor here in Canada actually recommended soft helmets that look like Olympic boxing head gear for soccer.

        For the children.

        1. You played soccer Rufus? I thought you were straight?

          1. Boy, you’re on fire tonight.

            Yup. Hockey too. Above average cyclist and tennis player as well.

            Could play some baseball and once upon a time squash decently well enough.

            So believe me when I say soccer is tougher than one might think.

            1. Sorry.

              Not a sports fan in general, but I despise soccer. It’s responsible for the downfall of western society.

              Soccer mom, effeminate, cheese eating, wine drinking, taking your shits off, can’t teach their ADD kids a real sport because it’s too complicated, everybody plays, everybody gets a trophy, we don’t keep score, little snowflakes won’t get hurt, can’t use your hands, fan rioting, Euro trash, Pele worshiping, un-American bullshit!

              What ever happened to baseball and football?


              1. Did you just mail that one in? I’m sure you can do better.

              2. er…shirts…not shits…why would you take your shits off?

        2. I fucking hate that headgear, and if it had been invented when I was playing, I’d have refused.

          My high school coach (a Greek), at one of our first real practices had me heading punts straight out of the air for like 20 minutes. You learned to get it right.

    2. One time I got hit by a car and my head slammed into the ground. They should ban getting hit by cars, too.

      1. You weak-kneed, bleeding heart liberal! Why don’t you go back to Puffington Host, you little weasel?

  6. In a recent book, Dr. Robert Cantu, a Boston neurosurgeon, urged kids under 14 to avoid football.

    President Obama added to the debate, saying he would think twice about allowing a son, if he had one, to play football.

    The difference between the two men is that one has a profound knowledge about the cellular biology and structure of the brain and one doesn’t. Yet, the one completely ignorant of the subject feels free to speak fearless on the subject to a wide audience.

    1. The first is merely a scientist, the second must be all things to all people. A father-figure, if you will.

      Obama is a poor man, yet his people are rich. He is a river to his people.

    2. Obama’s hypothetical son…poor little dude, first he’s shot by neighborhood watch zealots, then he injures his brain playing football. I feel bad for that imaginary guy.

    3. ‘If I had a son’ should be the title of his next ghost-written book.

  7. What about baseball? Seems like a fastball or line drive to the noggin is more dangerous than football hits.

    Are we just going to allow our children to risk their safety over a game?!

    1. I’ve heard of kids dieing from a line drive to the chest. Stops their heart and they’re DRT unless can get it pumping again.

      1. I’ve heard of children dying of unknown things when they leave the cave. Don’t leave the cave, for the childrunz.

    2. Baseball? What about cheerleading?

    3. They should ban watching baseball too.

      Mrs. Roth, the wife of Philadelphia Bulletin sports editor Earl Roth, decided to take in the Phillies-Giants game with her two grandsons, Preston and Tom, at Shibe Park. She and the two young boys were seated in the press box behind third base when Richie Ashburn stepped to the plate. Whitey, known as one of the best pitch-spoilers in baseball history, lined a foul right at Mrs. Roth. Unluckily, she was paying more attention to her grandsons than the game and didn’t see the ball coming. It struck her directly in the face and broke her nose.

      As medical personnel rushed to take care of the bleeding and dazed Roth, the umpires called time. After she was attended to for a short while, play resumed. The next pitch came in and Ashburn did the unthinkable: He sent another foul ball to the left side that hit Alice?while she was lying on a stretcher being carried out of the section.

      1. Talk about bat control. Ashburn must have really not liked what Philadelphia Bulletin wrote about him.

  8. Football is a war game. You’re advancing into enemy territories to claim a “down” and ultimately take over the capitol (laughably called the “end zone”). Whereas in baseball you’re out with a simple tag, in football you must literally bring your opponent to his knees. No surrender.

    And who is QB? Why, the commanding officer in the field the soldiers must protect. If some no name linemen gets hurt protecting him, oh well. Some guy literally cried because the media attacked the quarterback.

    I’m surprised the game hasn’t converted to “flag” football to complete the military appeal of the game. Capture the enemies on the battlefield, and you win!

    Let’s hope mayor De Blasio follows through on his vision of progressive NY and ban this sadistic sport. In new America, there’s no room for gladiator sports from the days of Rome.

    1. “enemy’s flag”

    2. Why would Obama let his kid play football when he could just deploy a drone?

      1. Obama’s nonexistent son gets up to all kinds of weird shit.

        1. Like a sort of mythical Florida Man?

        2. I don’t know, if he had been a football star he might not have found himself on the wrong end of a bullet.

          1. Violently confronting someone who disrespected him would have made him top notch cornerback material.

          2. The adventures of hypothetical Obama, Jr. would read like the Perils of Pauline.

    3. in football you must literally bring your opponent to his knees. No surrender.

      Except when the officials literally say “surrender, he’s stopped going forward, but isn’t on the ground”, which is quite often.

    4. I am not a sportz fan but man that was good! Can you do rugby next?

      1. Looks like a pardoy of boomer sportswriters, to me.

      2. Looks like a pardoy of boomer sportswriters, to me.

      3. Here’s George Carlin on football and baseball:

        1. In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line.

          In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! – I hope I’ll be safe at home!

  9. It’s pussies that him that prevented us from having ShockFights become our next national sport.

    1. I just thought that was a joke on Archer.

      1. I keep finding that stuff on Archer is real.

        When Krieger is going off with his hologram girlfriend to watch the “Fisherman’s Wife: the Tentacling”, I had no idea that was a real thing until I saw Bourdain talking about it on his trip to Tokyo.

        That so much of the crap they talk about on Archer is real is one of the weirdest things about the show.

        By the way, was the first episode this season a montage of the season to come? or did they just skip through a whole season in one episode?

        Archer is by far the best thing on the hockey box TV

        1. I think the montage was just Archer’s idea of how running a drug cartel would go, cheesy 80s movie cliches and all. I would be somewhat surprised if the season hewed to it all that much.

          1. It was an interesting diversion–I was hoping they weren’t going in that direction.

            It’s too soon to ditch the anachronistic Cold War/secret agent motif–that would totally be jumping the shark.

        2. For Christmas I got a Barnes and Noble gift card so I used it to buy the companion book “How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written”.

          One of the funniest things you’ll ever read, especially if you’re familiar with Archer’s voice. But the thing is the book really does teach you how to make different cocktails as well as provides accurate descriptions of various firearms Archer uses.

          As for this season, I believe that ending was a preview of future episodes as the former ISIS crew attempts to move a–literal–ton of cocaine.

          1. how to tell the difference between call girls and hookers (hint: when they’re dead, they’re just hookers)

            The kindle version is only $2.99. Might have to pick it up.

  10. Not teaching your kid how to defend himself is probably irresponsible, and the stuff kids learn playing a sometimes dangerous sport they’re passionate about is stuff they might never get elsewhere…

    Contact sports teach you important stuff you don’t get from other sports, and the danger of getting hurt is part of it. If I made a mistake in football, hockey; on my motorcycle, or surfing over some nasty ass coral, too, the consequences could be serious.

    I liked that. It’s the same reason I’d rather be able to take risks for myself with gun ownership, starting a business, being free to sign onto whatever home loan I want; that confidence in my own risk taking is what makes me support other people being free to smoke cannabis recreationally, drink raw milk, and generally makes me tolerant of other people who want to take risks I don’t understand for their own reasons.

    Also, learning how to take personal responsibility for your own mistakes and still work together with other teammates under fire and with the threat of getting hurt, it’s actually better to learn that stuff when the only thing you’re playing for is pride. Can’t tell you how many time in my business I run across people who have never played a team sport like that–and it shows. Not being able to deal with your own mistakes and still play with the team is a great way to stifle your career.

    1. Ken has it in a nutshell!

  11. If Obama had let his son play football, maybe he would have been tough enough to avoid being murdered by George Zimmerman.

    1. That was some serious horseshit, wan’t it? Thank God Obama can’t run again.

      The way his mind works, if he wouldn’t let his son do it, he doesn’t think you should be abusing your children by letting them play tackle Pop Warner football either.

      Nothing makes people intolerant of other people’s opinions like having other people’s opinions forced on them by the government.

    2. Actually, Trayvon Martin was a football player.…..#Biography

  12. Can I just say, I love youth wrestling. My 7 yr old is in his second year and I dig that it’s the anti-soccer sport for kids. Everyone doesn’t get a trophy, there’s actually winners/losers, and kids learn how to work hard and persevere. And, the tournaments every Sunday: you need ear-plugs both for the parents and the kids. He’s also in TKD, but it’s more like soccer with nearly automatic belt-progression and very little real “combat”, at least compared to wrestling.

    Back on topic, I’m not at all opposed to him taking up football, but I would actually be more concerned with kids over 14 than under. At this age the hits are only so severe.

    1. Is the fair play soccer or whatever it is called the only thing they have now? I never played in such a league from being 3 years old till now.

      1. Probably depends on which part of the country and size of the town/city. Fortunately here in the DC ‘burbs he’s got a range of options for youth sports including wrestling and boxing.
        My son has also done soccer and even this year they still weren’t keeping score.

        1. To be fair, keeping score has virtually no utility to making kids better players, in that particular sport. On the other hand, you know full well the kids are keeping score in their heads. The important thing at the early ages is to encourage them to try shit, even if they fail. Otherwise, they become just another sorta fast, kinda talented drone who can’t play at the next level.

          There actually IS a reasoning behind not keeping score for youngsters, but you should be asking ignorant soccer moms and dads what that reasoning is, because they will inevitably misinterpret it as protecting the feelings of their precious snowflake.

        2. I hate to break it to you – the kids, they’re keeping score.

          1. Um…dude, I said that in the second sentence.

        3. Not keeping score (in any sport) is an abomination.

          1. It’s not always useful. Having two or three players faster than the other teams’ players doesn’t really help you do much of anything in the game later in life when being something other than a touch faster than the other guy tends to become important.

            Kids in this country especially need to learn how to dribble, come up with actual moves, and pass with intent and precision. They need to be comfortable with the ball at their feet.

            This is why futsal is an outstanding tool at the youth level (and I wish it was around when I was playing). The kids are forced to play instinctively and very quickly, to consider options 3 or more passes ahead, and to be able to cope with high pressure defense. They’re also forced to improvise and fail frequently.

            And they still keep score, so it doesn’t give Franscisco the vapors.

          2. I agree. What’s the point if there’s no score? It’s a kind of torture, like Sissyphus forever rolling the rock up the hill.

  13. The evidence we now have is pretty conclusive. Letting your kid play a contact sport is akin to letting him sniff glue. We let adults make those decisions for themselves. We let parents make some of those decisions for their kids. But there comes a level of risk that even a parent is not allowed to expose a child to.

  14. I checked and yes, Benedetto is a Democrat.

  15. Consertives mark MLK Day by attacking liberals and running down a classless black man

    Now, rawstory has a history of reaching for racism, but this shit is like stretch armstrong level.

    1. That’s hilarious.

    2. I’m sure it was a right-wing conspiracy to set MLK Day the day after the NFC championship game. None of the examples cited hint at racism. I really don’t give a shit about what Sherman did (it was classless, but also entertaining and honestly a little refreshing to have a honest, emotional postgame interview instead of the standard PC crap) but I don’t see any problems with any of the characterizations of Sherman or the incident cited by the writer of that article. There were people on Twitter who made explicitly racist comments, and others who called Sherman a “thug” (I mention that just because IMO the vast majority of people saying would not use that term if he was white. I’m not saying they’d be ok with it, but I think they’d stick to terms like “arrogant” or “classless” instead of “thug.” I think it’s obvious how his outburst makes him the former two things, but I don’t know how it makes him a thug) but I’m not sure what a handful of idiots on the Internet is supposed to say about the country or a political movement at large (which is why, I assume, the writer instead chose to reach by going after more prominent conservative figures)

      1. Also, I loved the hypocrisy of this comment:
        “Oh please, it’s no secret that conservatives are fat, white cowards terrified by black men. All that bullshit about freedumb, tyranny and guns is code for “my fat white ass can barely waddle through Walmart and….OMG a black man looked at me!!!!”. Pro tip for Reichtards: black women are far more formidable, so you be extra polite, ‘ya hear?”

        Yeah, conservatives are racist cause they’re all afraid of black men, when they should really be terrified of black women!

  16. Any legislator who suggested something like this in Florida would be met by a lynch mob. Youth football is serious bidness down here.

    “Every time they’re hit, or every time they fall to the ground in a tackle, the brain will spin around in the head, causing damage,” Benedetto said.

    We shouldn’t be too hard on poor Benedetto. Maybe he fell down and his brain spun around in his head.

    1. The Party of Science

    2. We shouldn’t be too hard on poor Benedetto. Maybe he fell down and his brain spun around in his head.

      I have a perfectly reasonable suggestion. Let’s drop football and substitute shooting. The injury level for target shooting and hunting is down around that for billiards and table tennis. You also have the advantage that shooting is coed. No more Title IX worries.

      So tell Mr. Benedetto we’ll settle for a rifle range in every school, junior high and up. Then watch his brain spin.

  17. Long boring antidote:
    When we first moved to Texas, I asked my then-nine-year-old son if he wanted to try playing football. He was enthusiastic about the prospect. So I signed him up with the local kids’ league. Being Texas, the coaches were all former Longhorns or NFL players. His coach had played defensive end for the Oilers and was big enough to blot out the sun.

    In my first meeting with Coach, he kneeled down a bit so he could look me in the eye (I’m a mere 6 feet). He talked very softly to me. “You know this is tackle football, right?”
    “That means people will be hitting your boy.”
    “Yes, I grew up in Baltimore so I’m fairly familiar with the game.”
    “OK, I know you’re from California so I need to make sure you understand this.”

    My kid was the slowest and least strong guy on the team, and one of the smallest. But Coach loved him and put him on the offensive line because, “That kid is fearless, doesn’t flinch when he hits someone, doesn’t mind being hit. Follows the plays perfectly the first time.”

    Coach ran the team like a Marine DI. it was the best experience my son ever had; he still talks about it every day, these years later.

    Fuck new York.

    1. The point of this ramble was that this experience taught my son courage, showed him how fearless he really was, and how being smart and diligent could overcome natural shortcomings.

      Full contact football is a great thing for kids.

      1. Nice story, and I say that as someone who cares zip about sports.

  18. When they started banning dodgeball and tag, the fall of the American experiment became complete.

  19. This desire to legislate away every bit of danger and risk is creating a sclerotic and enervated culture. This is not the most egregious example though perhaps the most personally relatable to most people, but it part of the feedback loop by which we are crippling ourselves.

  20. Garry Kasparov:

    Garry KasparovVerified account
    Looking forward to seeing MSNBC’s Sochi coverage. Do they have enough hours to show sports & do propaganda for both Obama and Putin?

    -Drops mic-

    1. Checkmate.

  21. Dude does not make a whole lot of sense man, I mean like really?

  22. You let him have nunchukus? You motherfucking monster. I’m calling the police. Yep.

  23. So happens that Benedetto’s district is in Throggs Neck, and his district encompasses the field in Pelham Bay Park where the Warrior Football Club, in which I coach children, plays most of its games. So now it’s 14 YO where he wants to draw the line? Last session it was 10 YO. The bill to ban adult-organized tackle football for those under 10 got no support, so he thought it’d have a better chance if it affected all those under 14??!

    Of course just because adult-organized children’s tackle football would be illegal doesn’t mean kids wouldn’t still play?just that they’d do so without adult supervision. Benedetto never said he’d be for outlawing the playing of football by children. Some would probably switch to rugby if American football were forbidden.

  24. Youth is THE time to play football. I am willing to lay down a big chunk of change on the proposition that the severe injury rate is much lower in the utes than in the ranks of the College and Pro players.

  25. Concussions are a serious problem in full-contact sports, but like most things, it depends on a lot of factors. A 10-year-old sparring another 10-year-old is unlikely to cause a concussion. A 10-year-old playing with other 10-year-olds is unlikely to cause a concussion.

    This changes when you reach late teenage years. The mass and acceleration starts to add up. It’s not an epidemic or anything, but parents should be informed; especially if they napped through high-school physics.

  26. When I was a kid we played tackle football with no pads or helmets whatever. No, this is not one of those “back in my day we were tough” stories. Rather I wonder if the game gets steadily more dangerous as more protective equipment is added, leading to ever more cavalier behavior? When we played sans equipment none of us ever thought to “lead with the head” as there was no helmet and we knew it would end badly.

  27. Nobody leads with the head in rugby, for the reason stated above. And coaches are generally in agreement that the chance of serious injury is much less with pre-teens than with teen & adult players.

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