I, like many of you, was addicted. I began in junior high and continued through high school. In my college years and beyond I would spend hours watching football.
But now, after learning of the long-term damage the players are inflicting upon themselves and others, I feel a sense of shame.
As a pediatrician, I routinely see the effects of concussions. There are headaches that persist, confusion and problems regulating emotions.
Sure, these symptoms usually clear after a few days, but now we know that this chronic trauma or jarring of the brain leads to early dementia, depression and too often suicide.
Despite this knowledge we continue to support our teams. Carnage has been commercialized.
Now when I see a big hit and a player who is down, I have the same feeling as when I drive by an accident on the freeway. Players are people. They are not indestructible. In fact, they are being destroyed.
My sense from talking with families is that they are aware of the risks and that change is occurring. Most parents are preferring that their children do not play football.
I am certainly glad that none of my sons chose to play.
Dr. Tom Herron, Gig Harbor