Opinion: Columnists

Gregory Kane: Obama promotes 'Wuss Nation'

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Opinion,Gregory Kane,Columnists

Just before Super Bowl XLVII, I heard from the very last person in the country I want to hear from when it comes to football. But Barack Hussein Obama can't even let me enjoy my football in peace.

Yes, that would be our president. In an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS, Obama had this to say about the sport that has become the national pastime and whether or not he'd let one of his children play it.

"It's a great sport. I am a huge fan, but there is no doubt some of the concerns that we have learned about when it comes to concussions have to give parents pause. And as I said before, I feel differently about the NFL. These are grown men. They are well-compensated. They know the risks that are involved.

"But as we start thinking about the pipeline -- Pop Warner, high school, college -- I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to make the sport safer. That means the game's probably going to have to evolve a little bit."

And by the word "evolve," you can rest assured that he means the game of football as we now know it will soon resemble something like paddy cake if the president has his druthers.

I've long had a hunch that Obama is part of that group of Americans who wants to lead us down the path to what I call "Wuss Nation." I can't say I'm surprised that the president wants football to "evolve," since he's part of the same bunch that has a morbid fear of dodge ball.

Remember dodge ball? It was a fun game, until the Wuss Nation bunch sent it the way of the buffalo. Now try seeing if dodge ball is played at recess on any school playground in America.

When I was in the fifth and sixth grades, I attended a school where the boys didn't just play dodge ball at recess. We played something called "Greek dodge."

There were two teams. The team that whacked the other with the ball the most and got all of its members out won.

Some of the guys were pretty merciless. They'd go for vicious head and body shots when they got the ball in their hands. It was pretty brutal stuff, and we enjoyed every exhilarating minute of it, probably because we didn't have a president who wanted to "evolve" the game for us.

Our "evolution of football" president is experiencing such angst because he's worried that the son he doesn't have might get a concussion if he played football. Obama said he would have second thoughts about letting a son of his play the sport.

So would I, but not for the same reasons as Obama. I'd take a couple of things into account first: my son's age, his size and how much physical talent he had for the sport.

I would never have allowed my son to play football, because I realize that, on a scale of 0 to 10, his physical ability for the sport was the same as his dad's -- somewhere down in the negative numbers, and I'm talking double digits here.

Were his talent more in the eight to 10 range, I'd have my son give it a shot, with this caveat: "Football is a fast-moving, violent sport; serious injuries are common. You'd be playing at your own risk."

I suspect those boys playing Pop Warner and high school football already know that, as do the young men playing college football.

They had best have their fun while they can, before our president "evolves" the sport they love into nonexistence.

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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