And most of them are boys with their toys
Yesterday a few miles northeast of here, two dudes had a head-on collision in their snow machines. The snow machines burst into flames, one of the drivers died and the other is apparently in critical condition. Elsewhere in the state a man died of CO poisoning in his fish house, and as is often the case in these situations, a rescuer had some trouble as well and needed to be treated. If you heat your ice house with something that burns, remember that it will put out deadly carbon monoxide (and use up your oxygen as well, but those are two distinct problems).
Finally, a few miles south of us, there appears to have been an altercation related to one of the football games played yesterday to determine who goes to the Super Bowl. Good thing we have a gun carry law in this state, or the one guy would have had a harder time pulling out his piece and blowing away his buddy who is now dead. I quickly add that the circumstances of that gun-related killing have not yet been fully verified. But what I describe here is the most likely.
Independently of this I have been giving serious thought to deciding that I don’t like football, or more accurately, won’t support it any more. High school kids who play it sometimes suffer debilitating injuries that may affect them for the rest of their lives. For college students, those who would aspire to the pros find themselves a commodity in what is essentially a low-level form of human trafficking. There seems to be an increasing, rather than decreasing, incidence of long term injuries to professional players. One retired pro player that know has had most of his major leg joints replaced over the last few years (he’s still working on that).
I don’t see the frequency of head injuries decreasing. It is almost as though the technology to limit head injuries has leveled off but the likelihood of head injuries has continued to increase. Is there some ceiling that needs to be broken? Do players need to wear helmets that are disposable and changed a few times during the game, or larger helmets? Or the rules changed?
I like watching football, but the Romans liked watching gladiators too, and bull fighting which some people love is not exactly spreading. I has always figured that after boxing was made illegal, the next sports to be carefully examined would be hockey then football … not to make them illegal, but to have a harder look at them. But the violent sport of boxing has expanded into new and even more idiotic areas over the last decade or so, rather than retracting. Hey, they brought back Roller Ball, didn’t they? The trend is going the opposite way than I expected.
I don’t think most people allow themselves to think honestly about the injury side of football. They might, though, next year or the year after when one of the beloved players dies on the field. That will probably be a post-season event, because it is clear, as I have pointed out before much to the rather surprising denialist ire of my readers, things get much rougher in these games.