It's obvious from the numbers that Americans are so addicted to football they are willing to put their children in harms way for the sake of the sport.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 173,000 recreation-related traumatic brain injuries to children and adolescents are treated in U.S. emergency departments every year. Boys between 10 and 19 who play football are far more likely to suffer such injuries.
"He's been playing tackle football since he was 5. He has always seen himself as a football player named Rick, not Rick, who plays football."
At 13, in a parent-organized league called the Junior All-American Football Conference, Rick had a concussion that put him out for three games. In his second game back, he was hit from behind on a tackle, fumbled and appeared to go limp for a moment. When parents and coaches started out on the field to come to his aid, Rick popped up and waved them off. Shortly after the game, the concussion symptoms were back.
Under the headline "Football cannot be made safe — not for our kids, not for our souls": Research at Boston University found that the typical high school football player takes 1,000 blows to the head each season, with the average force of 20G. That's more than college football players.
—Dave D'Alessandro, Newark Star Ledger, Oct. 17, 2014
Tom Cutinella played guard and linebacker for a Long Island, N.Y., high school, Shoreham-Wading River. He was 16. He had a collision with another player in a game Oct. 1 and died shortly afterward, "becoming the third high school football player nationally to die in a week." His team had started the season 3-0, and after one of those victories, Cutinella tweeted: "Best moment of my life."
—New York Times, Oct. 2, 2014