July 2015

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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Page 5 of 51

FROM THE SIDELINES T hough the best man in my wedding (20 years ago OMG!) and I live 650 miles apart we keep in touch regularly. Often, no matter the topics we cover in our mostly digital conversations, he ends with "When does football season start?" We, like most of you, love our football. After his last day of finals in May, my 16-year-old son had 10 friends sleep over; all of them play one sport or another but the only boys I made conversation with were the football players. Who's replacing the tailback? How does the QB look? Can Brandon really play linebacker? (No, said Vinnie, with Brandon sitting beside him.) We love our football. Last season a family friend's son was allowed by his mother to play football for the first time, as a high school freshman. The kid's over 6 feet tall and 200 pounds and he was a star on the freshman team playing tight end and defensive end. Not having ever played organized football before didn't seem to matter much. But don't tell that to some of the coaches and parents involved in the TV show "Friday Night Tykes," which follows teams of 6 to 11-year olds in the Texas Youth Football Association, where weight restrictions are lax. The show depicts a win-no-matter-costs mentality in which smaller kids are pitted against larger kids in practices and coaches were filmed encouraging players to hurt opponents. If your spouse doesn't want your child to play youth football, don't let her or him watch this show! I've heard sports talk radio guests predict the game won't be the same as we know it now in less than 20 years because the injuries, especially concussions, will increase even if safer tackling techniques and other measures are instituted. Getting your head banged around hundreds of times ain't good for the noggin, they say, and moms everywhere will start saying "no" to their kids' playing the sport. Add to this the growing amount of news surrounding brain injuries coming out of the National Football League, some of it tragic as in the Junior Seau and Dave Duerson cases. Were you as surprised as I was when Chris Borland of the San Francisco 49ers quit last winter at the age of 24? Maybe football just wasn't fun for him any more or, more likely, he spent a year around the velocity of the league's big bodies, read up on former players' brain traumas, and decided enough was enough. When there is so much money avail- able at the professional level, for every player who steps away there will be 100 ready to step in his place. But I won- der how Borland's decision, and more evidence of brain injuries from retired players, might change the game we love. It's possible in the future there won't be high school football as we know it now. Flag football, anyone? ■ ST Eric Schroder Editorial Director 717-805-4197 6 SportsTurf | July 2015 EPG Media & Specialty Information 3300 Fernbrook Lane N, Suite 200, Plymouth, MN 55447 The Official Publication Of The Sports Turf Managers Association President: Allen Johnson, CSFM Immediate Past President: David Pinsonneault, CSFM, CPRP President-Elect: Jeff Salmond, CSFM Secretary/Treasurer: Timothy Van Loo, CSFM Vice-President Commercial: James Graff Professional Facilities: Dan Bergstrom Academic: Jeffrey Fowler Higher Education: Matt Anderson Parks & Recreation: Sarah Martin, CSFM K-12: Bobby Behr, CSFM Commercial: Doug Schattinger Elected-at-Large: Jimmy Simpson, CSFM Elected-at-Large: David Anderson Chief Executive Officer: Kim Heck STMA OFFICE 805 New Hampshire Suite E Lawrence, KS 66044 Phone: 800-323-3875 Fax: 800-366-0391 Email: EDITORIAL Group publisher: David Voll Editorial Director: Eric Schroder Technical Editor: Dr. Joey Young Art Director: Brian Snook Production Manager: Karen Kalinyak STMA Editorial Communications Committee Chairman: Sarah Martin, CSFM TJ Brewer, CSFM; Joe Churchill; Jim Cornelius, CSFM; Jeremy Driscoll; Cliff Driver, CSFM; Eric Fasbender, CSFM; Mark Frever, CSFM; Matt Hollan; Jamie Mehringer; Greg Petry; Jeff Salmond, CSFM; Troy Smith, CSFM; Scott Stevens; Dr. Joey Young Publisher's Notice: We Assume No Responsibility For The Validity Of Claims In Connection With Items Appearing In Sportsturf. Reader Service Numbers Are Given To Facilitate Further Inquiry. Mention Of A Commercial Product Does Not Imply Endorsement By Sportsturf Or EPG Media & Specialty Information, Or Preference Over Similar Products Not Mentioned. FOOTBALL AS WE KNOW IT IN TROUBLE?

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