Sunday, October 27, 2013


 My boys love, love, love them some football.

I love watching them and love the joy that it brings them. At the same time, football scares me a lot.

I try hard to be philosophical- football keeps them busy and out of trouble,  they could get hurt walking across the street, if they die they will at least die doing something that they love.

And it's still really hard to watch, knowing the potential for injuries.

I have to tell you that my fears weren't lessened any by reading FOURTH DOWN AND INCHES: CONCUSSIONS AND FOOTBALL'S MAKE-OR-BREAK MOMENT.  This middle grade chapter book is chock full of information about concussions, and it's so, so scary to me as a mom. Author Carla Killough McClafferty has compiled a whooooole bunch of information, from a variety of sources, including doctors and professional football players, and most of it is pretty darn scary. Did you know, for instance, that a starter who plays in both high school and college will receive over 8000 hits during those 8 years? That repeated hits can lead to an irreversible brain condition called Chronic Traumatic Encephaolopathy? Or that retired NFL players are four times more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's or ALS than people in the general population? Or that the the second highest number of concussions occur in girls' soccer and wrestling is third???

I know FOURTH DOWN AND INCHES would not cause my football-loving guys to stop playing.  At the same time, maybe it would encourage them to be a little more careful, a little less likely to rush back onto the field after getting their "bells rung?" At least it would make them more aware of the possible long-term effects. This is definitely a book that I'd love to see in every middle and high school classroom!

And I know what book I'm giving my boys for Christmas!

1 comment:

Linda B said...

I just read a little bit about this book, then read Kate Messner's Wake Up Missing, which just touches on the topic, but you're right, it is scary. My son played La Crosse, and my daughter played field hockey. I was terrified of those sticks! Now my grandson is starting football, and unfortunately (7th grade), he's fast and good, a receiver! I hope he learns to like other things better. I understand, but the other reasons you gave count too. What a dilemma for Moms! Thanks for the book title!