Ban Football: Turn Stadiums into Velodromes

The news that high school football player Evan Murray died shortly after taking a hit during a Friday night game shocked the state and has drawn attention nationwide. The autopsy on the 17- year -old star quarterback revealed he died from a ruptured spleen and has been ruled accidental.

No head trauma. No heart attack. While this doesn’t make his family feel any better, coaches and football fans are breathing in relief—the sport at least can’t be blamed.

I disagree.

Murray, a three-season scholar athlete who also played basketball and baseball, may have been suffering from the lacerated spleen for a while. The hit to his stomach during a football play aggravated the injury and led to his death.

Ok. I’m not a doctor. But perhaps, had he not been playing football, he might have been saved. He had been showing signs of “wooziness” and slow movement. Maybe he was displaying symptoms and ignored them—I know how athletes think. One of my sons ignored a wrist ache after wrestling – by the time he said it bothered him, he needed a bone graft. He could have escaped surgery with a few weeks in an ace bandage.

It’s time to ban football. Not just in high school. But every level, from little ones through college. The reports of concussions, long sustained head injuries and so on continue to grab headlines yet no actions are taken.

I’ve been grumbling a lot about football in New Jersey to my husband. I hate that my state taxes support Rutgers University football, a team that has been embroiled in controversies ranging from corrupt coaches to criminal players.

Other sports can replace football. Road cycling, for one. Yes, I’m biased.  Fans watching a race can get as excited as football fans at a game.  Not that cycling is without scandal; Lance Armstrong showed he could pop steroids among the best of them.

But very few people die from bike racing. Or rowing. Or even hockey and wrestling. Or swimming. And the list goes on.

It’s time to turn football stadiums into velodromes.



About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. ( I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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13 Responses to Ban Football: Turn Stadiums into Velodromes

  1. jmgoyder says:

    It’s a very strange sport when you think about it. I agree.


  2. Daddy flatly refused a request for a contributio no a grammer school fooall team. The boys that he came into our place were young and thin.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Drjcwash says:

    I am from Alabama. There are Auburn and Alabama fans and there are HS feeder teams. Very competitive. We lived in Chattanooga,TN, My son’s best friend convinced him to try out for the HS team. He made it and unfortunately pulled a groin muscle that took him out of soccer. The next year his friend injured himself in an unsupervised HS weight room. It is too big. When I was a resident, a player who never had symptoms of Mono, ruptured his spleen and the Mono test was positive. It is big business and we have to rethink the whole game. I agree. My brother-I-laws will disown me. All my nephews played Pop Warner. The youngest is now 7. He hates every minute of it. I can’t wait for him to rebel and just say “No.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have never given much thought to football or any other sport for that matter. I love that you speak your conviction Lisa – good for you! ❤
    Diana xo


  5. Football doesn’t excite me in the least, either. I never could understand what the hype is all about, and with the FIFA scandal, well, enough said.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Couldn’t agree more!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. HI Lisa,
    I couldn’t agree with you more. I know this is not the popular view, but I think football is brutal and not much better than bread and circuses. Team owners call the shots to the point of blackmail upon threat of moving to another city–Seattle tax dollars paid to have the Kingdome destroyed and two more expensive sports arenas built, and then there was no funding for a Native American Museum. I know it is big business, and the people who love it are passionate about it, but I find it boring at its best and violent and ugly at its worst. And of course there are all the kids who are pushed by their parents to participate in a sport that is dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. And add gun control with this… too many tragic events.


  9. hugmamma says:

    Society today emphasizes the wrong assets…brawn and money. For all that we’ve achieved as a civilized society, when it comes to basic values…we’re still like our ancestors, the cavemen.

    Liked by 1 person

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