SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Toll That Football Takes

The year-end Sports Illustrated piece on the collective health of the Cincinnati Bengals 25 years after their good 1986 season is telling. Peter King and some colleagues talked to almost the entire roster of players. Most deal with significant health issues. Most would do it all over again. Interestingly, the toughest defender of the bunch, strong safety David Fulcher, would not.


Today, circumstances are different. The playing surfaces are more forgiving, the training methods better, the allowed hitting in practice more infrequent. But the players are bigger and faster, and the training methods that are better not only aid in recovery but in delivering an extra wallop when making a hit. Regardless of generational differences, the article confirms what we all know -- that football is a collision sport that takes its toll. You can decide, upon reading the article, whether it's worth it.

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