The NFL May Someday Face A Shortage Of Players
Fewer Idaho kids are playing organized football? True.
The concussion fear does account for some decline but we live in a state where high schools have rodeo teams.
Channel 7, KTVB, has a story about the decline in participation. This is also a national story. The number of kids competing reached a peak a few years ago and then began a slow decline.
The decline is enough where there won’t be much notice for another generation. Unless your son attends a small school where some programs are already on life support.
There are many reasons for the decline and one of the most oft-cited is the danger of the game, which has always been a factor. The game was far more dangerous in the first 50 years it was played (now the game is 150-years-old). Dying during a game was a greater possibility before rule changes in the early 1900s. Equipment has also gotten better every following decade.
Now we now know much more about concussions. There were fewer concussions (we called it getting your “bell rung”) in the days of soft helmets but more fractured skulls. The latter are now rare in competition.
I believe the concussion fear does account for some decline but we live in a state where high schools have rodeo teams. Bigger reasons for football’s decline would be the time commitment it requires. Kids also have a lot more options with leisure time.
By the way, just because young people may not play the game doesn’t mean they won’t watch. Twenty years ago my weekends were devoted to televised football. I didn’t watch last night’s snooze fest.