As hundreds of parents and grandparents have done, we have watched our grandson play football since the fourth grade – beginning with flag football.  The love of the game carried him through the rest of his middle school and high school years, finishing this season as a senior.  Fortunately, the only serious injury he received was a concussion in the seventh grade.  From then on, we, as so many others, were concerned that this might happen again.  Thankfully, it didn’t.  He enjoyed the years of playing with his classmates, some of whom had aspirations to play college ball.  High school students may need that scholarship in order to enroll in college and friends and fans alike support them in attaining that goal.  We sometimes don’t realize how many of those youngsters are under pressure to get it. 

College teams earn a lot of money for their schools, through ticket sales and college gear, shirts, etc.  Those whose records make them fortunate to make a bowl game will earn even more money for their school.  There is truly a spirit of comradery between team members, playing for the glory of their school, as well as being noticed by pro scouts.

The main attraction in professional sports is, of course, the huge paycheck that they earn.  It is amazing the amount of money that football, basketball, and other pro atheletes make.  Fans buy their gear and pay large sums of money for tickets to see them play in person.  Advertisements on television also draw attention to their team.  By the way, Texas America Safety has all the great team sports hardhats, for wearing to the games and work, to show your support of your favorite team, either professional or NCAA.

The more serious side of playing football, at all levels, but especially professional, is the risk of injury.  In glancing over the NFL Injury List for Week 17, it is amazing the amount of injured players that are questionable to play this week.  Ranging from eye, jaw, collarbone, shoulder, neck, concussion, and chest injuries, the list continues to include wrist, elbow, back, abdomen, finger, hand,  quadriceps, biceps, groin, hamstring, knee, achilles, thigh, ankle, shin, to toe injuries.  Also on the list were those who were not playing because of illness.  It’s easy to see how busy trainers and physicians are, trying to get their players back on the field.

There are many professional players who are now seeing their young sons wanting to play the game.  One pro was on the news the other day, who said at first, he wasn’t going to let him play; however, because the child wanted to play so badly, he would let him.  There was one catch: he would help coach the team.  He stated that it was very important that young players learn the right way to play, in order to avoid those injuries.  Concussions are being scrutinized more than ever, due to the number of past players who suffered numerous concussions, resulting in brain damage.

Protective gear is so important is all sports: whether it is eye protection. knee pads, or padding and helmets, schools owe it to their students to provide the best possible gear to keep their players safe.

We wish all those college teams and professionals who make the play-offs the best of luck, and injury-free games.  They provide much pleasure for fans who love to see them give it their all.