Letter to the Editor-Football as We Know It

Editorial Page Editor
Chicago Tribune
Via email: ctc-tribweather@tribune.com

Dear Editor:

I was elated by the Tribune’s editorial that placed much needed perspective on the fact that football as a game must be changed. The evidence is past being presumptive any longer that a career of head banging blows may lead to deliberating brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.

My only disappointment was that you did not relate the game changing requirements that are necessary to Illinois’ own effort to prevent injury and disease through State Rep Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) House Bill which would limit the amount of tackling that youths could participate in, on a weekly basis. Is this the only answer to stopping the problem? No. However, the public (read: parents) must begin the slow educational process that allowing children to play sports should never put them at risk for preventable injury.

CTE is a preventable injury and one that no member of the public or any parent should ever tolerate as being considered a risk of the sport. This logic is flawed, detrimental and harmful.

Look at what the game of baseball did to protect our children. It enacted BBCOR standards to dumb down lethal metal bats to slow down the exit speed of a baseball from the bat. These metal bats now perform to the same standard as wood bats thereby protecting defenseless young pitchers who could not physically react in the time stop a screaming baseball from crushing an unprotected skull. Since these enactments went into effect, there has been a nary a case where a pitcher has been beaned. Baseball became safe overnight and the risk of playing returned to sprained ankles and knees from a hard slide as opposed to paralysis, death, deafness or blindness.

Illinois has a golden chance to set an example for the game of football and actually save kids’ lives.

Let’s not fumble the chance.

Antonio M. Romanucci
Partner
Romanucci & Blandin, LLC
Phone (312) 253-8600