Football: A sport of determination, hard work, true grit, and risks. Football is a well known sport to millions of people, but it is a sport of full on contact and no limitations. To be a notable football player, you must be willing to give up certain boundaries and safety limits, but some players get injuries that affect their long term health, mental wellness, and personal life. Many young adults watch football, but many do not know how many injuries occur during a game. Football is one of the most popular sports played by young athletes, and it leads all other sports in the number of injuries sustained. In 2007, more than 920,000 athletes under the age of 18 were treated in emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, and clinics for football related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Some football injuries that occur are traumatic injuries, overuse injuries, heat injuries and concussions. Traumatic injuries such as concussions are most common. These injuries occur during football games and practice due to the combination of high speeds and full contact. The force applied to either bringing an opponent to the ground or resisting being brought to the ground makes football players prone to injury anywhere on their bodies, regardless of the protective equipment they use. In the National Football League (NFL), with huge men hurling themselves at each other at ridiculously high speeds, serious injuries occur every single week. Your brain is an incredibly important part of your body and in the NFL, 21 percent of players incur damage to crucial body parts.
Football players could eventually have difficulties with their hips, knees and elbow joints because of repeated contact to those areas during their playing days. In addition, players may have difficulty with flexibility and movement as they grow older. Growing numbers of former players are showing evidence of CTE. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic sub-concussive hits to the head. (Cbssports.com/nfl/injuries)
Jordon Blackwood, an intermediate division football player for the Queen’s Falcons who attends Academy of American Studies, says “I love it. It’s the greatest sport in the world and I’ll never stop playing. It makes me feel like I’m on top. I’ve been playing football for eight years and I became the captain of my football team, so it makes me popular and confident. I’ve gotten injured many times before, therefore my season ended early for me. This made me really depressed because I didn’t know when I was going to be able to play again. I just really wanted to win the championship with my teammates. I am aware about the injuries and I have sympathy for my teammates who get injured throughout practices or games.”
Football is one of the top five most dangerous sports in the world. One wrong move and you can be injured for a long period of time. There are millions of football fans, but maybe the fans should focus on what is happening behind all of the action of the game. Football injuries might be a bigger problem than we know.
Written by Ezequiel Guadamuz and Manisha Mohanlal
Photo Credits to Ezequiel Guadamuz