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Prep Sports Report

Bob Putnam, Rodney Page, Kelly Parsons

Why a New Hampshire school board member wants to get rid of football



A school board member in New Hampshire wants to get rid of football.

You can guess why Paul Butler, a retired surgeon in Dover, N.H., said at a school board meeting this week that he wants to do away with the game. It’s because of the concussions and the head injuries and the health risks the sport brings. Because the district funds high school football, administrators have an obvious stake in the game.

I’m not surprised someone brought this up. “South Park” spoofed the idea of doing away with football on a recent episode. I’d link to it, but this is a family blog, and I don’t want to lose my job. I think it’s only a matter of time before more parents/teachers/doctors bring it up again.

For the record, not everyone in New Hampshire agrees with the idea. One person interviewed by the Foster’s Daily Democrat said the proposal was part of the “wussification of the country.”

Because I’m a sports writer in a football-crazed state who has spent most of his career covering football, you can probably surmise my feelings on the issue. And I can probably guess how you feel about the proposal, too.

But let me play devil’s advocate.

Football is clearly dangerous. It can seriously injure young people, who might not always know the sport’s short-term and long-term risks.

So convince me. Why should high school (and peewee) football be allowed to continue?

[Last modified: Saturday, November 3, 2012 12:21am]


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