Football may be “Family,” but should it be?

Football may be “Family,” but should it be?


Football’s greatest problem is the growing fear that football head injuries lead to degenerative brain disease. That fear caused Chris Borland of the San Francisco 49’s to announce he was leaving the game.

It’s not just professional players who may be at risk. Robert Stern, a Boston University professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and anatomy and neurobiology says that, according to his research, “…it may not make sense to allow children—at a time when their brain is rapidly developing—to be exposed to repetitive hits to the head.”

Anyone who has been paying attention has to get a little uncomfortable at the sight of a coach revving up child football players just like professional football players get themselves ready for the all-out, Sunday battle.

“Football Is Family” may be true, but viewers may wonder whether it should be.

Football is both brutality and beauty. Why not emphasize the beauty? Why not announce the new season and encourage viewership with the jaw-dropping skill and grace of the pinpoint pass, the spectacular reception, the runner juking a would-be tackler out of his shoes, the defensive back who seems to be reading the quarterback’s mind in making an interception?

The advertising should be giving people a sample of the pleasure of watching an NFL game not making people wonder about the wisdom of encouraging children to emulate the fierceness of professional football players.

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