by Mike Moffett
Weirs Times Columnist
FOOTBALL HEAD CASES?
Another football season beckons and excitement abounds as professional, college, high school and junior level football players take to the playing fields, dreaming of gridiron glory.
The 2017 season will end on a down note for most as only one team can win a championship in any league or conference. But some players’ seasons will end extra early due to the inevitable injuries associated with this violent game.
Which brings us to the perennial question about whether football should just go away, given that so many players get hurt and maimed. Concussions and brain injuries are of particular concern lately, given the many anecdotal examples of former gridsters suffering dementia.
A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association focused attention on research conducted by Boston University’s School of Medicine where researchers studied 111 brains donated by former NFL players—110 of which showed damage characteristic of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Yet despite a growing movement to ban football, more New Hampshire high schools than ever are offering the sport. Locally, Laconia, Kingswood, Plymouth and Franklin High Schools have long-established gridiron traditions. But now Gilford/Belmont fields a joint football team. Winnisquam and Newfound High Schools now have football.
In fact, smaller high schools through New Hampshire have jumped on the gridiron bandwagon, probably to the chagrin of local soccer coaches—schools like Epping/Newmarket, Farmington/Nute, Raymond, Mascoma, Merrimack Valley and Bow.
So how does one reconcile the growing movement to ban football with the growing number of schools that offer it? Will the public support both football and increasing player safety requirements?
Time will tell.
ROCKING BASKETBALL IN CONCORD
It was cool to see Concord’s Main Street in front of the State House turned into basketball courts on August 11-12 as part of the Rock-On Basketball and Music Fest. Concord’s Bonner basketball family members (Matt, Luke, and Becky) are prime movers behind this unique annual event that combines entertainment with sports while bringing people together.
Hopefully this event will continue to grow. I’d suggest adding a dunk contest. And a three-point contest. Maybe a “Legends” component so Dave Bonner could return to the court.
Rock on, baby!
What year did the New York Yankees finish tenth—and last—in the American League? (Answer follows)
Born Today …
That is to say, sports standouts born on August 24 include former NFL head coach Mike Shanahan (1952) and MLB Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. (1960).
“I have two weapons; my arms, my legs and my brain.” – NFL quarterback Michael Vick
The Yankees finished tenth and last in the American League in 1966, ½ game behind the Boston Red Sox. The Baltimore Orioles finished first and then swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
State Representative Michael Moffett was a Professor of Sports Management for Plymouth State University and NHTI-Concord and currently teaches on-line for New England College. He co-authored the critically-acclaimed and award-winning “FAHIM SPEAKS: A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back” (with the Marines)—which is available through Amazon.com. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.