The objects of football are scoring points and preventing the opposing team from scoring. The way defenses prevent their opponents from scoring is what concerns me.
Unlike sports such as basketball where contact between two players constitutes a foul, contact is encouraged in football. Players seek to hit their opponents hard enough to knock them out of the way, and in the case of the person with the football seek to tackle them and/or to hit the individual hard enough to cause them to fumble the ball.
Far too many injuries occur as a result, despite the use of protective equipment like helmets with facemasks, pads, etc. Since many injuries are neither recorded nor reported, there is probably no accurate record of the thousands and thousands of serious injuries occurring each year playing some form of football.
I don’t expect football to be abolished immediately. High school football, college football, and professional football attract huge fan support, so attempts to ban football now would attract lots of outrage from fans and players in my opinion.
But as persons become more aware of the risks and the (in my humble opinion) superior entertainment options available, I think it will become less popular. Years ago duels to death between humans were legal. But we now recognize they are unacceptable. Also, violent sports like cockfighting and bullfighting are rapidly losing their public appeal and their legality. I hope that football (along with boxing and some other violent sports) will soon follow.
It amazes me how persons (including me, blush!) can find it entertaining to watch other people seek to tackle other persons. When players seek to deliberately hurt others the sport becomes even worse.
Knocking a quarterback out of the game seems to be a goal of some defenders. Boxing with its emphasis on knocking out an opponent seems especially horrible. But football is much more widely played and watched.
My Hypocrisy and Progressing Toward Alternatives
I confess a bit of hypocrisy in that as long as football is played, I may continue to occasionally attend games. Football can be entertaining and is a social event. But it will be great when we progress toward other forms of entertainment. Soccer, which is often called football elsewhere in the world, is apparently the most popular sport worldwide. It would be great in my opinion if soccer, baseball, basketball, or another sport replaced football in popularity in the United States.
My preference would be for basketball, which is fast paced, provides much scoring, and is likely already the most popular spectator sport here in Kentucky where I live. I love watching an exciting basketball game where few fouls are committed and those committed are called correctly by officials. Perhaps it is a nice twist that the inventor of the game of basketball, Dr. James Naismith, is one of the people considered the possible inventor of the football helmet.
At any rate, I think we need to take more action to promote safety in sports. Change takes time but it can come. I originally wrote this article for another website on October 31, Halloween. Years ago when I was a child, many people did vandalism on Halloween in southeastern Kentucky where I lived by putting hazards in roads, overturning school bus shelters, soaping windows, etc. In recent years such vandalism has decreased remarkably. Most people realize Halloween is no excuse for vandalism. I hope someday soon we come to realize that seeking to deliberately tackle and/or injure another human being (or even an animal) just to win an entertaining game is not appropriate.
Note: This article is virtually identical to one the author previously submitted to another website.