If we can go to the moon. . . .
With all the talk about the dangers of concussions in football, why don’t we hear the same thing about boxing and mixed martial arts?
Football has been big in the news lately for how dangerous it has become. Talk about concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy(CTE) has been all over the news as more and more former NFL players are diagnosed with the disease. More and more people are afraid to let their kids play football.
Hopefully, something can be done to make it safer. I would think some kind of equipment could be designed to eliminate concussions, or at least cut down on them. The old, “if we can send a man to the moon” saying applies here, cause if we can do that we ought to be able to make football safe.
I was intrigued by the catchers’ mask Tyler Flowers of the Atlanta Braves uses to play baseball. It has a spring device that absorbs the shock of a ball hitting the mask, and from what I understand a lot of umpires are interested in obtaining similar masks to work behind the plate. Could something like this help a football helmet absorb shock? I have to think someone has looked into it already.
If someone can come up with a football helmet that eliminates concussions, that person is going to be rich. Also, I’d be among the many grateful football fans who enjoy watching the game and don’t want to see it go away because it’s too dangerous.
And that brings us to boxing and mixed martial arts. I don’t hear much talk about how dangerous those sports are. In fact, the object of boxing is to give the other guy a concussion. Knock him out.
Maybe we don’t hear as much about how dangerous boxing is because most people don’t really care about it anymore. Sure the recent fight between Conner McGregor and Floyd Mayweather got a lot of attention, but you almost have to come up with a gimmick anymore to make people care about a fight. Then, it’s so expensive to watch the majority of people don’t even bother.
While boxing is fading, mixed martial arts seems to be thriving. To me, that’s a much more brutal sport. You see more blood, and it stands to reason that concussions will occur when the rules allow you to kick someone in the face.
Then again, I imagine the same mothers and dads who don’t want their kids playing football wouldn’t want them participating in mix martial arts, either.
And then we have auto racing, but that’s a story for another day. Right now, I’d just like to see someone save football as we know it.
ECLIPSING THE GOLF MATCH
Just when you thought you’d seen everything, along comes the eclipse.
High School golf matches were postponed and high school football practices were held early in the day so kids wouldn’t be tempted to look at the sun during the recent eclipse. I’ve heard of sports postponements for a lot of reasons in my many years of covering high school sports, but I have to admit that was a first.
And here’s an interesting note. I heard someone on TV say you don’t need to worry about your pets during the eclipse, because animals have enough sense not to look at the sun.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
COULLING BACK IN VIRGINIA
Salem’s Austin Coulling was injured during the VMI-Air Force Academy football game on Saturday in Colorado. Coulling, the Keydet starting quarterback, took a hard hit as he attempted to slide to give himself up in the second quarter.
Coulling had to be removed from the field on a board, but he returned home with the team and hopefully he’ll be fine. The play drew a personal foul call.
“It was a good clean hit, I guess, and Austin hopefully will heal real fast and be ready to help us out the rest of the season,” said VMI coach Scott Wachenheim.
CLIFFORD THROWS WINNING TD PASS
Former Glenvar quarterback Zack Clifford threw the touchdown pass that gave Ferrum College a 13-8 win over Emory & Henry in Emory on Saturday.
Clifford started the game alternating series’ behind center, but took over for the rest of the game in the second quarter. His pass to Ferrum’s Johnny White on a slant pattern with 37 seconds remaining proved to be the winning touchdown for the Panthers.
Zach scored the winning touchdown in overtime for Glenvar when the Highlanders won the state Group 2A championship in 2014.
SALEMITE IN E&H HALL OF FAME
Salem resident Josh Hale, a former two-sports prep star at Franklin County who achieved acclaim as a goalkeeper from 1998-2001 at NCAA Division III Emory & Henry College, was inducted into the E&H Sports Hall of Fame last weekend.
Hale’s induction coincided with the season-opening football game between E&H and Ferrum College in the second annual Crooked Road Classic at Fred Self Stadium(see Clifford, above). Hale and the class of 2017 was recognized at halftime.
Hale ranks first in single-season (160) and career (603) saves for the Wasps and he ranks second in program history in single-match saves (20), single-season wins and single-season shutouts. Also, Hale is the ODAC’s all-time leader in career saves and ranks 10th in Division III history in that category. He’s the first soccer player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at Emory & Henry.
At Franklin County High School, Hale was a standout tight end in football and a star goalkeeper in boys’ soccer. In a 1997 football game against Pulaski County, Hale caught a single-game school-record 10 passes.
Josh is now a recreation coach in Salem. He was a coach for the Dixie League AAA District 7 champion baseball team this past summer.
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