The Case Against Football

In the week before the Super Bowl, many families are stocking up on snacks and getting their game day jerseys ready. While AOP has no official stance on football, today we are daring to take up the unpopular opinion to consider the case against football.

Despite being the favorite sport of Americans to watch, football, as a sport and as an industry, presents some concerning factors that should be considered when evaluating our love affair with this sport.

Physical Injuries
It is no surprise that football is a sport riddled with physical dangers. Each NFL year, there are consistently over 200 concussions, according to Play Smart, Play Safe. High school football players are at an even higher risk for injury than college or professional players. The yearly average for clinically diagnosed concussions is around 67,000, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center states that 50% of concussions go unreported or undetected. Parents are catching on to this massive risk. For the past decade, football brain injuries gained significant media attention, and now more U.S. children between the ages 6 to 12 play flag football than tackle football.

Emotional and Psychological Issues
As a side effect of the physical dangers, football comes with an undeniable connection to mental and emotional complications. Depression and other emotional challenges are known side effects of the prevalent concussions.

According to a 2017 study, individuals who are a year or more removed from a concussion display more emotional symptoms than the general population. Emotional symptoms are anything from depression to anxiety, and they can even reach as far to include cognitive issues such as concentration difficulties.

While the above-mentioned factors may discourage some families from enrolling their children to play football, the game’s materialism is another factor to consider when assessing whether to participate as a spectator. It’s hard to deny that we in the U.S. struggle with materialism, and no other single event broadcasts our materialism to the extent of the Super Bowl. The money spent on ads to amuse us, inspire us, or trick us into spending more money is astounding. Companies know the power they have by merely flashing in front of the massive Super Bowl audience. According to Sports Illustrated, companies paid more than $5 million for merely a 30-second commercial spot during the 2018 Super Bowl.

Does your family enjoy watching football? Whether the big game will be on the TV in your house or not, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game of football in the comment section below!

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