Dear editor,

I write in response to all of this talk about our “substandard” football fields. I played football at FCHS and still enjoy attending local team’s games. But could someone tell me in what universe that the "standard" for a high school football field is the same as for an NFL professional field?

All NFL pro teams play 17-game seasons, not counting pre- and postseason contests, all on artificial turf fields. The players make millions and the team owners are billionaires.

State and local governments have spent billions to build stadiums for pro teams and untold millions on stadiums for high school and college teams too. The NFL feeder system relies on high school and college programs that are built on the backs of taxpayers.

Our high schools play 10-game seasons, with only about half of them at home. There are usually about 50-60 players on each team. There are only about 100-200 paid customers (mostly parents) attending these games. These teams are already heavily subsidized by the taxpayers just to play on grass.

And then there is this — should we even be supporting a recreational pursuit that is proven to put young men at risk of serious health problems? There is no longer much doubt that football does that.

I personally suffered neck injuries (called “stingers”) when I played. In my 40s, I was having constant pain radiating down my arms. At 47, I had a successful C5-C6 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedure, to correct my degenerated disk. Almost assuredly, this was a result of my playing football. Plus, now there’s damning evidence linking football to brain damage.

Although I still love the game, logic dictates that we have plenty of other things at our schools to spend this money on besides artificial turf — it’s unreal!

Jim Daniel


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