Worst Part of Being a Football Fan: 'I Still Watch'

The medical dangers keep making it harder, writes Travis Waldron
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2012 5:43 PM CDT
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) hangs on to the ball as he is hit by New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

(Newser) – Travis Waldron watched college football Saturday, just as he has all his life. Except for the first time, he found that he "can't watch the game the way I used to," he writes at ThinkProgress. It's impossible with the drumbeat of news about concussions, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and the knowledge that players from the pee wees to the pros might be exposing themselves to long-term damage. The brutal hits now make him cringe, writes Waldron. "The thing that makes me wince hardest, though, is that I still watch."

Waldron will be watching again this week when the NFL starts, rooting for his Dolphins and his fantasy league team. And yet he's also decided that should he have a son, his boy will not be allowed to play this "beautiful" game, one that combines "speed, grace, and unadulterated brutality" like no other. He's torn, but he's still a fan—for now. As we keep learning exactly how dangerous it is, "I keep wondering: is there a point where it all becomes too much?" Read the column in full here. (Read more NFL stories.)

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