Now for a bit of controversy.
I really enjoy doing footy tipping, and indeed watching it can be quite entertaining. Love a bit of kick-to-kick in the park.
But footy, for real? Nup. I reckon it’s a mug’s game(*). As much as I might make fun of the Americans and their super-armour-padded version of football, I can appreciate that they’re trying to avoid injuries. Footy is not a low-risk game. Fundamentally it’s a game that is punishing to the body.
And then there’s the collisions. Despite precautions, serious injuries abound. Just a few weeks ago Collingwood’s Blake Caracella wound up with a severe neck injury. Apparently James Hird has suffered just about every injury imagineable. And occasionally there are deaths.
A fascinating article in the Good Weekend a few months ago (probably not online, even if I could remember the title) looked at where professional football players go to once they retire. For many by the ripe old age of 30 or 35, their football careers are over, and they have done permanent damage to their bodies — a stark contrast to the fit healthy young men they appear to be when playing.
The result so many of them seem to end up with is not something I’d wish on anybody. There are far less punishing sports around, and it all makes me rather thankful that my kids aren’t that interested in playing footy beyond the occasional kick.
And those who play, well hopefully they enjoy it. But even more importantly, I hope they know the risks, and act accordingly.
(*)Admittedly I’m a natural sloth, and don’t participate regularly in any organised sport.