The hard knocks of pro football

But most parents of boys (and, yes, the occasional girl) have to consider the question of whether to let them play football. It’s amusing to hear parents of infants and toddlers say “never,” when experienced parents know that these things change with time and testosterone. There comes a time when the tiniest, most adorable little boy looms over your head, leaves his too-large shoes for you to trip over, his laundry lists of assaults on one’s senses too odoriferous for these musings.

For many, the day comes when Mom looks at her former tyke and thinks to herself: Why don’t you go outside and play football and maybe think about joining a team? Away games are so much fun!

Ultimately, parents know best, though they’ll make better decisions if they study the helmet issue and insist on the best for their son’s team. Considerable resources have been dedicated to minimizing injury through improved helmet design.

As for the pros, meanwhile, Obama aptly summarized the only reasonable adult position: “These guys [pro players], they know what they’re doing. They know what they’re buying into. It is no longer a secret. It’s sort of the feeling I have about smokers, you know?”