Back in February 2008, high school football players all across the nation signed on the dotted line and swore their allegiances to the best college football programs in the country. After all the hats were firmly atop the heads of the recruits, Rivals.com ranked the top 50 recruiting classes in the nation.
I’m not calling for a ban of contact sports, because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Sports, as I’ve stressed time and time again, play an enormous role in my life and in the lives of millions of people. What I am asking for however is that we invest as much time reforming the contact sports culture as we do watching athletes writhing in pain. Get rid of the “if you can walk, you can play” mentality, and lecture players from an early age on the dangers of head trauma. Big hits look cool—until they turn into aggravated assaults.
Quite simply, the human brain cannot handle the continuous high impact that football entails. And while helmets properly support the head and prevent injuries like skull fractures, they do not protect the interior of the head at all.