Soccer parenting and the FIFA console series

I feel the same way about basketball, which is a lot more physical than what used to be allowed. The last year of the rec league that I played in, I received a broken nose, chipped tooth, and torn meniscus.

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Beautiful man, that’s how its done!

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I fell off my bicycle once. I recall crying inconsolably until mom promised to bake me a chocolate pie. Yep, when you grow up on the mean streets of Charlotte County, Virginia like I did, you’d better be prepared for a few scrapes.

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Ok, that made me giggle :rofl:

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i would have thought aussie rules has a higher injury rate than rugby … judging by the few games i have seen :grinning:

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I have heard it said that Football (soccer) is a gentleman’s game played by thugs and Rugby is a thugs game played by gentlemen.

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Possibly, but in rugby most injuries are due to physical contact. Not so much scrums these days, but definitely rucks and mauls and tackles. Which is why I’m glad I was a back and not a forward (I was fairly ‘speedy’ and played either on the wing or fullback). Also when I played, a tackle had to be below the waist (otherwise a penalty) which mitigated a lot of the impact from being taken down by a forward who was twice my weight.

In aussie rules, most injuries these days are torn ligaments, etc because of the stress/forces they are putting on their bodies. They have really cracked down on the contact aspects in the past few years. But I’m not really a fan and generally don’t watch it.

Me too. Thanks @smokinhole for starting my day with a good laugh :slight_smile:

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Long football discussion to follow:

It’s not the protective gear, and it’s not the rules. The game has actually become dramatically safer for the players with the amount of contact (and violence of contact) decreasing dramatically in the past 20 years. Watch some football from the mid 80’s to mid 90’s for some truly insane contact. Personal opinion on why that is:

Prior to the early to mid 80’s playing football got you a blue collar wage for 95% of the players. A good blue collar wage, but nothing close to the what people make now. The league minimum salary didn’t even get implemented until the 1970’s and was the $10,000, equivalent to about $80,000. Most players worked multiple jobs, with football being a side activity. As an aside the preseason was a very important time as many players hadn’t worked out for football in 5 months or so, and preseason games gave teams time to gel.

In the mid 80’s salaries started to sky rocket with average salaries league wide being equivalent to about $325,000. We are moving into the era where being an NFL standout was life changing, if not a factor in generational wealth for your entire family. Players have largely shifted from part timers, to the idea of a full time athlete. The league starts to shift from recruiting for either genetics (ie big, strong, fast) to recruiting for genetics AND training them.

The speed, strength, and weight of the players in the NFL today combined with a salary that is well worth risking life and limb for is what causes the injuries. I believe it was Richard Sherman, in an interview about the CTE risks in football, said something to the effect of “this is an opportunity to lift my family, not just my immediate family, my ENTIRE family, for all the generations to come out of poverty and into wealth. What man wouldn’t risk even his life to do that?” A whole lot of NFL players come from backgrounds of economic poverty, using their abilities to gain access to salaries that can change the course of their extended families forever.

NFL protective equipment was pretty decent by the mid 80’s, and honestly besides it getting lighter and more streamlined it hasn’t changed much since. What has changed is the athleticism of the players playing the game. NFL players are genetically gifted and reap the benefits of the world most fine-tuned sports medicine programs. 60 years ago you’d have two 250lb men run into each other on the line, and it would resemble two beefy steel workers in a wrestling match in the parking lot. Because that’s exactly what they were. Now days you have two 250lb men running down the sideline at a speed that would put them in the Olympics for 80% of the countries on the planet, and they’re in the bottom 10% of the players on the field in terms of foot speed.

This rising trend in athleticism and training met the idea that “smash mouth” was how the game was played directly in the mid 80’s to early 90’s. Lowering your head and running directly into the guy was a halfway safe option back when players weren’t running 20 mph each and weighing in at 225lbs+. As players got bigger and faster the hits got bigger and faster. And we loved it. I grew up watching that brand of football and emulating it, playing it as a kid. Watching the modern game, it’s almost a different sport. It is far more technical, far more cerebral, and only occasionally do we see same that underlying violence come out in the same way. It’s a far safer game than it’s ever been I’d say.

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Excellent reply jenrick! And I feel the same way. I love the sport, but for all the reasons you mention, I’m afraid it will end soon. How safe can you make a sport when, say, the typical lineman is now 6’5" and +320lbs, and can run???

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Built in airbags. If the force of impact exceeds a certain threshold… poof!

Sure you would then have a couple of michelin men rolling about the field, but not only is the sport suddenly a lot safer it would be hilarious to boot. It would also introduce a lot of new fans to football because c’mon who wouldn’t pay to see that :crazy_face:

The only downside is that teams would need extra time outs to roll the players off the field and give them time to get changed.

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