Head Games: Could the future of football be in jeopardy - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Head Games: Could the future of football be in jeopardy

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It's Super Bowl weekend, but could the future of football be in jeopardy? According to a new Wall Street Journal and NBC News poll, 40 percent of American adults say they would encourage their child to play a sport other than football because of concerns about concussions. Some East Texans find themselves agree, while others say what a 'head game.'

"40 percent, that's a little high to me," Texas College head football coach and former NFL player George Cumby said. 

Ashley Feldman, a mother of three said, "I think I would probably be with the 40 percent."

Her husband John though said, "They do a lot now to make football pretty safe, so I would definitely let me kid play."

Before last year's Super Bowl, President Barack Obama was among the 40 percent to question whether the game was safe enough for him to let his son play. Recently, Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman did the same. You won't find Cumby saying that.

"I gave him the decision, that if he wanted to play I would help him, work him out, and train him. But it was going to be his decision," Cumby said.

Ashley Feldman, who happens to be a chiropractor, would encourage her son to take up another sport besides football, but dad, not so much.

"The rewards of teamwork, and being with a large group of people with one goal all outweighs the small chance that he could get hurt," John said.

 Ashley, however, disagreed.

"I am probably more into the t-ball and soccer for him, because its so contact with football. It makes me nervous, but I'm probably a little protective," Ashley said.

"Science, training, rehab and coaching are getting better all the time, so my opinion the sport is not getting more dangerous, its getting safer," APEC director Bobby Stroupe said.

Cumby added, "You got to clean it up some way for player safety because guys our age when I played, we have trouble with memory and all that kind of stuff."

When a child should start playing football is another big question. The contact sport clearly takes it toll on the body.

"Concussions have nothing to do with it, when he wants to play, he will play," John said. "It has to start at the ground level and I think we are playing tackle football too young," Stroupe added.

But as violent and dangerous as the sport is, football will continue to attract athletes.

John said, "Football is too popular, it will be here forever."

Ashley agreed.

"No I do think football will stay around, I mean its football, everybody loves it, " Ashley said.

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