All the medical studies show the same thing -- lots of bangs on the head by guys in football helmets lead to brain failure, mental illness and early death.
No question about it. So shouldn't it be, so to speak, a no-brainer? Quit doing it. Don't clamp the pads on the kids and goad them into tearing into each other?
But the rabid loyalty to this barely sublimated tribal warfare guarantees that the terrible price paid for ringing each others' bells will be denied, ignored and rationalized. And these are our kids. We still think it's more important for our boys to prove themselves on the gridiron than to prevent their minds from falling to pieces.
The absurdity of this dishonesty came to the fore this past week when the Ivy League was actually praised for being in the "vanguard" of progress by limited "full pad" hitting to two practices a week. The NCAA allows five, so this is seen as a major step forward.
It's as if in Russian roulette some decide to allow live bullets in the chamber only 40 percent of the time. The Ivy League, no fool in the matter of gaining attention, deserved or not, is hailed for what is at best a half-way measure.