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The Shift in Demand of Football Participation Amidst the Concussion Debate

Most concussions are a result from head to head collisions in football

The history of the United States is a decorated one, including countless academic and technological achievements, major wars, and famous people that arose to stardom. One thing that all of these things have in common is that most of the people involved in them were high political figures, actors, company owners, or scientists/mathematicians. A common category that is forgotten in that list of people that have made up the history of the United States are the athletes. Of the sports that are played, baseball is considered “America’s Game”, but Football has had the most popularity in the past decades of any sport played in the United States. The all-time greats such as Barry Sanders, Joe Montana, and Lawrence Taylor  all played during the time when football thrived in the cities throughout the country without the fear of the most recent and common injury to football players, the concussion. In present day, with the NFL cracking down on illegal hits to the head, and many case studies being held on players who have pleaded that they have post-nfl life troubles because of the concussions that they sustained while playing, kids and parents are looking at football in a way that they have never before done.

The process by which a concussion occurs

The fact that playing football is dangerous is not why most parents are rethinking their decisions to let their kids play the game, that is a given. Increased knowledge of how football players are subject to concussions is the reason why parents are skeptical about football. While football participation around the country has mainly stayed the same or increased or decreased in small increments from its beginning, “according to the National Sporting Goods Association, overall football participation across all ages decreased from 10.1 million in 2006 to 9 million in 2012. And after 16 years of growth in high school, 11-man football participation dropped slightly during the two most recent years in which data was compiled by the National Federation of State High School Associations” (Star-Tribune). While other factors come into play such as other sports and schools, concussions are a prevalent issue among football players and their families, and it is undeniable that concussions are a major factor in deciding on whether or not to play football. Some parents and kids that choose to believe that they can just avoid concussions when playing football, “Football is the most common sport with concussion risk for males (75% chance for concussion” (SCI). The rapid rate at which football players continue to mature and grow at such a young age raises concern for parents that believe their child is not safe playing football. Although the pads, helmets, and rules have changed for the safety of the players at all levels, the game has become a game of viciousness and violence.

Many parents tell their kids that they do not want them playing football because of the issue of health, specifically concussions

The level at which the game of football has escalated is a an enormous level of competitiveness. With bounty systems for big hits, and bad teaching from coaches, the number of concussions in football players is bound to rise. The parents and kids must look at the trade-offs that are willing to be sacrificed when playing football. Some players must play because football is a gateway for them to get a scholarship and a path to a new life, even if that means injury. Others have the opposite point of view and believe that their safety is more valuable than playing a sport. No matter what the circumstances are, it is clear that in recent years there has been a downward shift in demand in football, mainly because of the prevalence of concussions. Most parents believe that the costs outweigh the benefits, which has lead to a downward shift in demand for football. This downward shift will continue to decrease, maybe not to extinction of the sport, but enough to force mandatory action by all of the leagues that provide the sport.


The Roles of Our President: Too Little or Too Much Authority?

February 27, 2013 Leave a comment

The course that our country takes, whether it is good or bad, is based off of the role that our President takes on. The United States is made up of many branches and parts such as the Judiciary, Legislative, and Executive branches. The politicians that work in these government branches, and the common citizens that work and run businesses, are the backbone of our country, but the President is what are country is judged by. The decisions, remarks, and actions by the President are constantly being judged by those inside and out of the United States, and it is these judgments that can allow or prevent our country from making strides to peace.

President Obama addressing the media

President Obama has the responsibility to maintain the status as the United States’ leader, and is forced to make important decisions at any time.  No one knows when our Commander-in-Chief will be called into action to make an address to the country or another country, but what we do know is that our President must be able to do it successfully. This has not always been this way though. The Founders of the Constitution wanted to make sure that an executive would not have too much power, so they put in checks to keep the power under control. Over the past century, however, the power of the executive power has expanded. With society and government evolving in the United States and the world, the President had no choice but to expand his role as a leader to continue to display his positive authority. To expand on this issue of the roles of the President, Cornell political scientist Clinton Rossiter, offers his views that a President must be willing to embrace the roles and power that comes with being President in order for the authority to be embraced correctly. In his work, The American Presidency, Rossiter explains the roles that he believes the roles of the President include Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, Chief Executive, World Leader, Chief Legislator, Protector of the Peace, Chief of State, Manager of Prosperity, Chief Diplomat, Voice of the People, and Chief of Party. While all are important roles of the President, my opinion is that the most important role is Commander-in-Chief because it deals with the safety and well being of the nation. The United States was founded on principles that guarantee the protection of citizens and their rights. Since these fundamentals are the backbone of the country, protecting them is essential. There is no better person to be in charge of these priorities than the person the country elects and trusts as their leader: the President. The role of Commander-in-Chief is most important to the people, and is the most important role of the President (Modern Presidential Roles).

President Obama congratulating military officers at banquet as Commander-in-Chief

This role is mainly associated with the category of military, and while the President has advisors and other politicians to help with running the nitty-gritty parts of government, this is a role that gives the President to make decisions, and no one else. Rossiter explains that, “ In peace and war he is the supreme commander of the armed forces, the living guarantee of the American belief in the supremacy of the civil over military authority” (Rossiter 201/1). In any time of war, the President has the call of where, when, and how many soldiers will be sent into battle, no matter the size, to defend the Constitution and our freedom. On the other side of this coin, the least important role of the President, in my opinion, is that of Chief of Party. This role seems to be less important because, it is just an obvious fact that requires minimal attention by the President himself. If the candidate that wins the election is a Democrat, it would only be logical that he his also the leader of the Democratic Party. While the President still controls the selection of other party leaders, serves as a motivator, the President also has many others people that help him in the running of the party, so the President may address other more important issues. Though the party of the President partakes in a major role in the government of the United States, it is not always fully on the shoulders of the President to make sure the party runs smoothly, but also along others who are appointed in the party to continue those duties. The role of the Chief of Party is just a small block in the foundation of the President’s duties that serves its own importance, but is the least important of all of his roles as President” (Modern Presidential Roles).

President Obama has the responsibility to keep the country under control

While this is still a necessary role to the President, it seems to slip in importance because is can be handled by other people besides the President, but nonetheless, the President must still make the, “selection of top party officials” (Rossiter 207/3).  While the President may not have the power to address all issues that may arise, the roles he does have suggests that most situations should fall under the place of at least one of them.President Obama has endured a traumatic presidency starting with the beginning of the recession, and most recently the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The roles that he has obtained by being the leader of our country has allowed him to make decisions and actions, with the help of others, to continue to persevere through it all. Only the continued usage of all of his roles can ensure that the United States is in proper form to face any obstacles that may arise in the country, and only a strong leader can be capable of managing/assessing the situation, and making the decisions that will continue to lead our country onward to liberty and freedom.

Guns in America: The Rise or Downfall of American Society?

February 21, 2013 2 comments

Whether we like it or not, gun violence is everywhere. It is in the movies or TV shows we watch, the video games our children play, and worst of all, it is right outside our homes. Now don’t get me wrong, police and military must use violence to protect and serve our country, but it is still violence nonetheless. According to Science Daily, more than 30,000 people are killed yearly in America by guns, which is about 85 people per day.

Guns in America

Some people have gone to the radical side and say that guns need to be removed from American society as a whole. This is not a rational and plausible solution to solve gun violence for two reasons. The first, and most important, is that is a second amendment right.  The Constitution clearly states that, “ the right to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed” (Amendment II). It is also not reasonable because in order for the public to be protected, the proper authorities (i.e. police, military, etc.) must have access to guns for them to have sufficient power over criminals. The other side of this coin is that other people are demanding even looser gun restriction laws in America. While people do have the right to have guns in America, there must be certain rules and restrictions that come with trying to possess one of these killing machines. While there is still a lot of negotiating to be done regarding guns in America, the only way to come to a plausible solution is to compromise from both sides of the equation.

The argument that involves a person’s right to own a gun is not the problem that we are facing today. The second amendment protects a person’s right to bear arms, and if a gun is their choice, they have the right to own it. This is a common point that the NRA (National Rifle Association) and many Republicans use to protect their right to own guns. While not necessarily pointing towards eliminating guns completely, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have headed a special teams of experts working on solving this ever-growing problem of gun violence.

Republicans and Democrats will have to work together in order to get the ball rolling on gun control

The Democratic side has leaned towards more of a “cutting back” approach, rather than a “fully cut” method for a solution.  Jeff Mason of Reuters explains some suggested ideas this team have included, “including the assault weapons ban, and a measure to ban high-capacity magazine clips” (Reuters). This idea would not only help reduce gun violence that is based off of these particular aspects, but could also start a movement to have even more restrictions on guns in order to prevent more horrific tragedies that are caused by guns today. Without a doubt, there is an uphill battle for new gun control laws to be passed in Congress, but that only way to make it happen would be for both Republicans and Democrats to come to a median, and do what is best for the safety of our country, and not what is best for each party in the upcoming elections. The Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Democrats in the Senate along with the President will have to sacrifice some of their own beliefs, and conform their policy around something that they may not feel comfortable with in order to create some sort of solution, or to at least engage in a stepping block to get there. Mason also refers to the democrats will try to compromise by the reason that , “Obama will need to get his proposals passed” (Reuters). The proposals that Obama has begun tinkering with, besides the reduced magazine clips and assault rifle ban, are the increased background checks. These new and improved background checks will be more strenuous in their processes and will give more support to the efforts in keeping some of the world’s deadliest machines out of the hands of those who are not fit for them.

The increase of gun usage in America stems from the core of what we believe in as Americans. Since we have the right to bear arms, many Americans have decided to exercise this to the fullest, and purchase way more guns than any human being would need.  Others have decided to stay away from guns because they have seen what they can do. According to Slate, 1,793 people have died from guns since the shooting in Newtown. The aftermath, though, has been quite astonishing. While the politicians and gun experts are trying to solve this gun issue, more guns are flying off the shelf.

Gun shows have been selling out since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut

The weeks following the Newtown shooting have brought some of the biggest times of profit for gun stores and exhibitions. While most people believe and buy these guns for protection and recreational use, the other reason is because they know that in the near future, they may not be able to buy these guns. They know that at some point the United States government is going to restrict their rights, and they want to be prepared for it. These people are exercising their fundamental rights and beliefs in order to protect themselves from not only criminals on the street, but also the government that has sworn to protect them. The citizens of the United States must learn to live with guns because whether or not we like them, we will be seeing, hearing, and responding to them in the time to come.

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