It may be time to let go of football entirely. Football players suffer more and more serious injuries (including concussions) than participants in any other sport. Especially vulnerable are players with little training compared to their opponents.
Not all schools offer all sports. Very few high school players receive college scholarships in football, let alone reach the big-time entertainment business called the NFL. Parents (mostly fathers) who want their sons to play high school football can send them to another public school (such as Homestead or Palo Alto) or to a private school such as St. Francis, which is located in Mountain View. And homecoming celebrations could be tied to another sport such as basketball.
Without football, the Mountain View Los Altos High School District can end the talk of double-crossing neighbors by adding lights to the stadiums. In securing passage of two bond measures, the district assured residents that no lights were planned. (By the way, night home football games for Mountain View and Los Altos have always been played at nearby Foothill College, which has no close neighbors.)
This year is not 1960 or 1970. Times have changed. We know now that football is too dangerous for high school students. In these times, students need to prepare for a future that involves competition of a different sort from all over the world.
Physical activities and education are vital. Group sports can promote camaraderie and cooperation; however, there are many group sports other than football.
I suggest that students learn social dancing in the high schools. It would serve them well in life. Students who think they may face ridicule if they actually learn to dance should be offered self-defense training. Indeed, self defense should be a staple of physical education. But it may be time to say goodbye to football as a team sport in this district. Other districts may follow suit, or just continue to live in the past: it's their choice.
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