Arians came to football’s defense yet again on Friday here at the Cardinals training facility. He delivered the keynote address to over 130 high school football coaches at the “Arizona Cardinals High School Football Coaches Clinic,” and, as always, Arians was full of passion and energy for the sport, and he didn’t hold back any punches when speaking on stage in front of the men.
“We feel like this is our sport. It’s being attacked, and we got to stop it at the grass roots,” Arians said. “It’s the best game that’s ever been f—— invented, and we got to make sure that moms get the message; because that’s who’s afraid of our game right now. It’s not dads, it’s moms.”Well. It's not just moms.
It's also children and wives — like the family of Junior Seau, who suffered from CTE and killed himself.
It's also players, like San Francisco's Chris Borland, who retired at age 24 because he didn't want his brain destroyed by the sport.
And it's researchers, who suggest there's evidence that it's not just concussions that are the problem, but the accumulated weight of hundreds and thousands of subconcussive hits that hurt a player's health.
And it's dads — like me — who have read about the deaths of men like Kevin Turner and Dave Duerson and Andre Watters and Owen Thomas — and concluded that while correlation is not the same thing as causation, too high a level of correlation warrants some caution.
My son is a big kid: 90-plus percentile for height and weight for his age, and he's not fat or husky — he's lean. He's he kind of kid I feel sure will be sought out for football someday soon. And he's not going to play — not as long as he's young enough to require a parent-signed waiver to do so, which means (I believe) not until he gets to college. I expect he'll have found other diversions by then.
Other parents do differently - some of those parents are good friends of mine. I won't judge them. There are good things to learn from team sports like football, like teamwork and effort. Also: It's fun!
But Arians is wrong — and, yeah, probably a bit sexist — to attribute opposition to football-playing to moms alone. I'm a dad who loves my son — and won't let him play football.