I’m going to miss football…

I grew up in Oklahoma. I loved going to football games in high school! Cool, crisp night and everyone was there. Boys, girls… lots of romance in the air. Seriously, how could a person not love that!

My first date with my husband, Steve, was at the 2nd OU game of our sophomore years. I don’t remember who OU played, but I’m sure we won. That was a championship year! Steve and I went to every home game as undergrads and many when he worked on his Masters degree.

I’ve watched and enjoyed NFL games for nearly 30 years. I have been Cowboys fan and that has not been easy for the last 17 years.

But now I’m done. I can’t watch football any more. It’s not actually because of the domestic abuse cases that have been in the news. Bad as that is, be honest, there is a lot of domestic abuse out there and it’s not all football-related.

No, I can’t watch football anymore because of the recently released data that shows that 1/3 of all of the players are going to suffer brain damage. And worse, there are more and more kids dying from hits taken on the field… 3 more last week. Honestly, how could I have been surprised. The physical abuse suffered by players has been right there in front of me for years… but now there is hard data to back up what we all should have known.

diet-you-can-take-a-look-back-in-time-to-the-roman-gladiators-20140718084517-53c87c2d499c5I am reminded of Rome, back in the day. With gladiators fighting and dying to provide a show. It was a spectacle, and you know that the watchers enjoyed it. Football feels like that to me now.

There’s more that’s wrong with football, lots more, but this is what has tipped the scales for me, and for Steve.  By watching the game, and enjoying it, we have both begun to feel like we are condoning the injuries to the players. Neither of us can do it any more.

Until the game changes, until players at all ages are more protected, we are waving goodbye to football.