Anthony Adams' son won't play football

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01
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    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0822-20130822,0,7979273,full.column

    Ex-Bear wants different path for only son

    Anthony Adams' son won't play football
    August 22, 2013
    Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass and reporter Jen Weigel talk about the dangers of football and what it means for the future of the game.
    John Kass

    August 22, 2013
    Former Chicago Bear Anthony "Spice" Adams played nine seasons in the National Football League as a defensive tackle. He loves football — both playing it and talking about it.
    He's a big man with a big personality that should launch him on his next career: His new TV show, "Inside the Bears," debuts Sept. 14 on WFLD-Ch. 32.
    "It's geared around fun and entertainment. We may not talk about a lick of football at all," he said at lunch at Michael Jordan's Steakhouse.
    Adams ordered a salad. I told him he should try that crazy bacon. He did.

    "We can come here and talk bacon, which would be right up my alley," said Adams. "I'll talk to some of the defensive linemen, the offensive linemen, we can just talk about honey buns and PayDays and Snickers."
    But we weren't there to talk bacon or honey buns. We were there to talk with Adams and his wife, Andenika, a licensed pharmacist, about their 5-year-old son, Anthony Adams III.
    Any NFL player is a superb athlete. And Andenika was a swimmer. So the couple could likely produce a good football player.
    Except that their son won't be playing. Adams wouldn't mind if his son became a golfer. His wife hopes he becomes a scientist. But football? No way.
    "I'm public — I don't want my son to play," Adams told me. "I know how it feels after you're done. I know how it feels while you're playing it, and I just felt that if he played baseball or golf, he could play for a lot longer. Especially golf. There are 70-year-olds playing golf.
    "You don't have to have a (particular) body type to play golf," he said. "You can be comfortable with how you look and make millions of dollars and get all kind of perks."
    He didn't have to say another key difference — that golf won't scramble your brains.
    Adams says that if his son grows up and is desperate to play football, he won't stop him. But you can see the father in his eyes when he says it.
    On the walls there were flat-screen TVs turned to sports and the news was about De'Antre Turman, the college-bound 16-year-old star defensive back from Creekside High School in Georgia.
    Turman was tackling a receiver late last week when, as a coach described it, "his body just went limp." The tackle broke Turman's neck, and he died.
    "I don't want him to play football at all," Andenika said of her son. "I just don't want my son to play football. Just because of the injuries … the concussions and all of the problems that some of the players have. I just don't want … I'll support him, but I really don't want him to play.
    "I have life plans for him," she told me. "You know how moms are."
    What plans?
    "I want him to be a marine biologist. He can work at the Shedd (Aquarium). Or he can work for (Disney's) Animal Kingdom. Or he can go work for Atlantis (water park) and train dolphins. That's my life for him. With that, I've planned his life out for him. That's it."
    And if he plays sports?
    "This is going to be purely for fun," she said. "And we're going to rely on academics and that's going to be your first career."
    The way she said it, quiet, without drama, I believed her. I could see the mom in her, and the pharmacist in her, too, the wife who watched her husband go through pain to play.
    They're like an increasing number of parents making the same decision. They're parents keeping their sons from football. And more than most, they know the true cost of the game.
    The sad thing is that it is a great game. It teaches young men about courage and sacrifice and teamwork. Lessons learned on sun-baked practice fields can carry a man through life. I wasn't much of a player, but the lessons certainly carried me through rough times. And all sports carry risk. I'll never forget watching a boy get his leg snapped in two, bone protruding, on a soccer field. To live is to risk. And without risk, we're nothing.
    But American football is different from many other sports. It has a terrible design flaw. It is designed to destroy the human body.
    The only way to reduce the high-impact hits would be to allow no substitutions. Two-way players get tired more quickly, and they don't hit as hard. But TV networks don't want slow. They want fast and explosive. And they twin that violence with sex.
    When a pro player's body crumples on the field, in the background of almost every camera shot you'll see this: a voluptuous cheerleader prancing, the young woman's thigh on display between her white boot and short skirt. When billions of dollars are involved, the images are never accidental.
    As the player is carted off, TV cuts to a commercial and the fans drink their beer, wondering if the team they bet on will cover the spread.
    Anthony Adams was great at football until his body gave out, and football made him lots of money. He's a rough, tough man and he was very good at his job.
    Yet he's also a dad who knows the game better than all the apologists. He loves football for what it is. But he doesn't want his son to know it the way he did.
    jskass@tribune.com
    Twitter @John_Kass

    Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC
     
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01
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    It's a pretty well timed article. Everyone wants to bitch about how the league is b/c the NPL(you know) but the reality is what makes the game great, is also it's biggest problem. And even players know it. It's why you so rarely see "legacy" players, who's dad played and who's grandfathers played and who's sons will eventually play.

    And more and more as I talk to other parents they are like Spice and will either not let, or strongly discourage their kids from playing....You can bitch all you want and kick and scream about how the game is violent and should remain so, but between Lawyers and potential litigation, at all levels of the game not just the NFL, it's going to change. It has to or it will just be boxing, a fringe sport no one cares about anymore. People used to say the same about Hockey, that fights were part of it, but the NHL has tried to limit it, and it's growing again and at a solid pace.
     
  3. 4dabers

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    I don't let my son play either. We let him play JFL when he was younger (now almost 17), but we thought better of it as it went on. It helped that it wasn't his favorite sport, and football is the kind of game you really have to have a passion for or it will be a chore and no fun. It was MY passion, but it's not his, and I'm happy about that. So, much like AA described, the lil guy getting the autograph at the left now goes to golf practice while his buddies go to football practice. That's fine with me cause he's got a sick curve ball and an improving slider, so Golf and Baseball can keep him busy.

    I'm not gonna lie, Friday nights would be more fun if he did (and I used to imagine that when he was younger), but it's a small price to pay.
     
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  4. butka

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    I'm in the same boat. After all of the crap I've seen me and my buddies deal with after playing in college, I'm going to be pushing my son towards baseball or something less physically damaging. I'd consider letting him play football only if he were going to play QB.
     
  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01
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    Ya my son started talking last year about wanting to play, and he doesn't even like to watch it...he just had friends at school and in the neighborhood that are getting into it. I warned him about it, but told him if you really want to you have to sit down and watch a game so you understand what's going to happen. He was okay w/that. Then over the summer he played w/his cousins and didn't like it, so I don't even have to worry about it now, and I'm happy.

    I'm right w/you 4da, baseball golf, hell I have him in Tae Kwon Do right now, and he loves it. He wants to look into archery also, so I'm getting info on that. I'm more interested in him getting outside and playing w/other kids and getting him unhooked from TV and games...so anything is cool w/me...but football, i'm really happy that's not in his cards.
     
  6. jbunch14

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    I love football. I played all the way through college. I love to watch it, talk about it, read about it, and even freaking type about it. I also feel the same way, and likely won't encourage my boys to play football. Basketball, baseball, something else. The risks are just too high, and I have been a risk taker all my life.
     
  7. riczaj01

    riczaj01
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    At some point the equipment will catch up w/the game and it might change. I know they have bmx motocross helmets that are supposed to help small collisions from smattering the brain. If the NFL is really interested in keeping the brain safe, you can bet there is a group that can help develop a safer helmet....at least on the multiple low impact every play hits that many DR's claim could be worse then the major dingers.
     
  8. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin
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    George Halas
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    If my sons are ever physically gifted, I am not sure I would push them towards a football career either
     
  9. Warlock

    Warlock
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    The only realistic way to prevent the damage to the brain that football players tend to suffer, is to lessen the abrupt changes in velocity that cause the brain to move around in cerebral fluid (which is what causes the tramua, when the brain slams into the skull). I can't see us developing a helmet that can dissipate the kinetic energy levels that we see generated in these high-speed collisions any time soon, so until we can master a feasible way of doing so, the most realistic method to address the problem is by making changes to how players are allowed to collide with one another. At least without changing the speed of the game drastically, i.e. requiring players to wear highly restrictive protective gear that has such dissipative capabilities. I can't see any Scientific break thrus in our lifetime that will allow us to manipulate the laws of Physics anyways (like portable force fields and/or stabilization fields with the ability to absorb huge amounts of kinetic energy).
     
  10. short faced bear

    short faced bear
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    I'll take my kid playing football over boxing/MMA and ending up talking like Larry Holmes any day and twice on Sunday.
     

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