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Gunn to forfeit Friday's football game against Woodside

Original post made on Sep 5, 2018

Gunn principal Katie Laurence, in consultation with Gunn Athletic Director Curt Johansen and football coach Jason Miller, announced Tuesday night that the Titans are forced to forfeit Friday night's home football game to Woodside due to lack of healthy players.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 5, 2018, 12:28 AM

Comments (111)

13 people like this
Posted by No surprise
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 6:44 am

We will see more and more forfeits as football participation drops and teams try to field teams with only 20-25 kids. This means many kids have to play both offense and defense which is dangerous and should not be allowed and leads to a downward spiral as kids get hurt.

One thought- why don't schools that are seeing low participation move to a 7 on 7 format.


13 people like this
Posted by EndingSoon
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 5, 2018 at 7:05 am

Agree with @NoSurprise. Our culture pumps up football from the youngest ages all the way through to the NFL. I have been a fan of football since childhood, but I feel guilty and hypocritical watching the NFL now, and when I see high school and college football players, I mostly feel pity for these kids and young adults. Sure, other sports have concussions, but football is one of the few sports (along with boxing) where there is intense bone-jarring contact play after play. There are lots of redeeming qualities of team sports, but there is nothing redeeming about brain injuries. I suspect our knowledge of the dangers of football is following the same path as our knowledge of the dangers of tobacco. Perhaps, football can be salvaged by switching over to flag football - it is a great game and I would hate for it to disappear altogether.


7 people like this
Posted by No surprise
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 7:32 am

@ending soon

I think football will continue in the US especially in places where it's ingrained in the culture like Texas and the South east. For kicks I looked up the roster of Permian HS in Texas (of Friday night lights fame) . Here it is
Web Link
they look to be doing ok despite the health warnings.

But here in the Bay Area it is a clear trend down.


21 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 5, 2018 at 8:14 am

>>This means many kids have to play both offense and defense which is dangerous...

Back in the day, players on all levels 'platooned' by playing both offense & defense. They even wore leather helmets with no faceguards.

Is it possible that todays string of injuries are attributable to the 'advances' in protective gear? Ironic to say the least.




6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2018 at 8:51 am

If not enough kids want to participate, football should be discontinued.


18 people like this
Posted by david
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 5, 2018 at 8:53 am

Sadly, the participation rate is simply due to
off shore and radical change in demographics in
local schools. Many sports are seeing less and less participation
in tradition USA sports. While off shore sports have grown in participation.
Football and potential injuries plays a factor. But the main
reason for lower participation is demographics, especially in
Palo Alto the past 8-10 yrs.
III


18 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 8:59 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ david - Asian parents seem to be better at assessing the cost benefit of playing football, and they are right.I love football, but its time is passing, not worth the injury risk, especially concussion.

In the meantime, Gunn and Paly should merge their teams so those who still want to play can, and do it on a competitive team. Or let kids choose their high school based on programs available.


27 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 9:03 am

R.Davis is a registered user.

QUOTE: I think football will continue in the US especially in places where it's ingrained in the culture like Texas and the South east.

Football will also remain strong amongst the private Catholic high schools where teams have the added opportunity + advantage of recruiting key players outside of the geographic boundaries of an established school district.

Prep football powerhouses like De La Salle & Mater Dei + others will not be giving up football anytime soon. Like in Texas & the southeastern USA, there is a prevalent 'football culture' amongst various parochial high schools.



4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2018 at 9:26 am

The health impacts of the sport along with the demographics of the school are making this an issue.

The fact that "football" is a sport that the community gets behind and wants is not necessarily a good argument for continuing it any more. I would imagine that in many schools, other sports are becoming more popular for participants to get involved in. After the soccer World Cup this summer and the fact that the competition will be held in this country is making soccer a much more attractive sport to many potential players.

Perhaps it is time to join the rest of the world and encompass soccer as the elite sport considering we are a community with so many families coming from other than American heritage families. Captain of the first 11 soccer team sounds like a great memory to have.


20 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 5, 2018 at 9:39 am

>> Perhaps it is time to join the rest of the world and encompass soccer as the elite sport...

There's not enough scoring. The game is too long and to determine the final outcome with 'free kicks' is abhorrent. Just accept a tie and be done with it.

Very disapointed with the lack of available football players to field a team.

Perhaps a taxi squad is needed and though the quality of play may be diminished, it will provide yet another opportunity for one to earn a block letter via active participation.

And what about the cheerleaders? Pretty soon they will only have basketball games in which to participate. You're probably not going to see them at a badminton contest.

Everybody's getting short-changed.












3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2018 at 9:40 am

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> The health impacts of the sport along with the demographics of the school are making this an issue.

True.

>> Perhaps it is time to join the rest of the world and encompass soccer as the elite sport considering we are a community with so many families coming from other than American heritage families.

Sure, but, just so you know, there are also serious questions about --heading-- in soccer as well, for similar reasons. Questions, and, research. I already posted references in another thread, but, if you use scholar.google.com and query combinations of {soccer heading cte rhi tbi "association football"} you might find it a little concerning.


11 people like this
Posted by a nonny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2018 at 11:23 am

Soccer is growing?

No.

New York Times said 2 months ago that most sports declining. Soccer participation down ~15% in US over a couple years.

Kids are not playing sports as much.


6 people like this
Posted by Becky
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2018 at 11:35 am

@ Gunn Parent
Soccer, as with football or really any other sport, is exciting at high level play when you understand it. You are probably an educated football viewer and hence enjoy watching, seeing the different plays that are called and strategy as well as the athleticism that goes into the game. Soccer is the same, if you really understand what the players are doing than you will appreciate the athleticism as well as enjoy the strategy. However, for my part, going to PKs is fantastically exciting.

Also, I am pretty sure that a 90 min soccer game is generally shorter than a football game? (aren't they generally more like 3 hours?)

AS for Cheer, I would like to point out that while cheering at football games is traditional (and likely fun?) it can certainly exist interdependently. It is a real sport with it's own competitions. I believe that it is even going to get to participate in an upcoming Olympic games?

I am glad to hear that the Gunn Coach is both responsible enough to put the health of his players first and well supported enough in the school and district to make this feasible. :)


18 people like this
Posted by Waving Goodbye to HS Football
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 1:51 pm

This is more along the lines of a commentary on assimilation to mainstream American culture.

That said, perhaps other activities will eventually replace football later down the road.

Anyone up for a game of badminton or chess?


2 people like this
Posted by Football down 36%
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 5, 2018 at 1:57 pm

Nationwide, signups for football players 6 y.o. and over is down 36%.
Web Link


31 people like this
Posted by Waving Goodbye to HS Football
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Unlike most other sports, football is somewhat warlike in nature. You have blitzes, bombs, shotgun formations, run & shoot offenses + it is a hard fought battle for key territory.

What other sport offers such excitement with its natural aggression and inherent collisions? It is force against force and regardless of the inherent risks involved, football is as American as a Thanksgiving turkey.

Though the recently arrived may not have an interest in the game, that's their choice (and potential loss).

For the rest of us who truly enjoy the game, a bone-jarring hit is still a thing of beauty. And most importantly, it sends a message...'You ain't going nowhere'.


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Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 3:37 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Waving Goodbye to HS Football - I agree, but people would have said the same about boxing or bull fighting, times change.

A knock-on effect of the death of high school football in California is going to be the decline of west coast college football, which has deeply relied on recruiting out of California high schools.


2 people like this
Posted by RickEymer
sports editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Sep 5, 2018 at 4:16 pm

RickEymer is a registered user.

I have enjoyed reading these first 16 comments as they express opinions in a thoughtful, respectful way. This is a great discussion.

Two suggestions popped out at me. The 7-on-7 and combining teams in the same district. There's precedent for both. In fact, Priory and Pinewood both sponsor 8-man football, which has turned out to be an entertaining game. Calistoga High, once a powerhouse in 11-man football, has also switched to 8-man. Should local teams decide, there's already willing opponents in the region.

Long ago, a wrestler at Hillsdale was allowed to compete with Aragon since Hillsdale did not have a team at the time. At the community college level, it's ingrained in the culture. Students at Canada and Skyline can play football at CSM. That goes for all sports.

While football is in decline, it will never go away. There's too much money involved at the professional and college level, and in some high school districts.


9 people like this
Posted by No surprise
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 4:50 pm

thanks RIck for your input and thanks for all the reporting you do.

I love HS sports and feel they are valuable to the kids, schools and community

I love football but accept locally it's in a decline, however for many kids it's a great builder of character and commitment would hate to see it disappear.

Would love to see creative ideas as you suggest to keep the sport alive for those who want to participate in some format
I hope are school officials are considering alternatives.


2 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 5, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Samuel L. is a registered user.

Never say never Rick. While, I agree that it would be extremely unlikely for high school football to disappear across the nation, it's definitely possible that there will be pockets of areas/districts that eliminate the program. Think of the money that would be saved.

I'm sure you've seen the ESPN story of a tiny school in Texas where they play 6-man football and could only find 5 players to play. A female friend of one of the players stepped up to be the sixth. Granted the school is TINY, but even in Texas, they were having a hard time finding players.

If the Bay Area were a bit more football crazy, I might agree with you, but when Stanford, Cal and SJSU play to half empty stadiums, I don't think future generations will show up at school board meetings demanding that they continue to throw money at a sport if the support and players aren't there.


20 people like this
Posted by Residents
a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2018 at 5:01 pm

@david,

Agree with David, the participation rate is simply due to
off shore and radical change in demographics in
local schools. Look at how many kids at Gunn football team vs Gunn badminton team. Gunn badminton team has more kids than football team.

Does NCAA offer badminton? Not at all.


14 people like this
Posted by a nonny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2018 at 5:17 pm

All sports are down, and all sport viewership is down; and folk been predicting the death of football for ages.

Yet it is the most popular sport in America, by a country mile. Gallup, 2018:

"American football .... -- picked by 37% of U.S. adults as their favorite sport to watch. The next-most-popular sports are basketball, favored by 11%, and baseball, favored by 9%."


35 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 5, 2018 at 5:28 pm

> the participation rate is simply due to off shore and radical change in demographics in local schools. Look at how many kids at Gunn football team vs Gunn badminton team. Gunn badminton team has more kids than football team.

> Does NCAA offer badminton? Not at all.


Cultural differences, a lack of overall interest and physical build accounts for 99% of this decline in traditional HS football participation.

Football requires regular workouts in the weight room, aerobic/anaerobic training, a comprehensive spring practice regimen + game film analysis & playbook review.

Badminton doesn't.


4 people like this
Posted by Sports
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 5, 2018 at 6:09 pm

@Samuel L.

Those ESPN stories are about towns with crazy little amounts of people. Don’t compare those small Texas schools to Bay Area public schools... Football is only dying because of the change in demographics... at the end of the day it won’t ever die.


Like this comment
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 10:12 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@sports - Texas high school football participation is down 25% since 2000. Demographics is part of the story, but growing awareness of injury risk, particularly concussion, is also a major factor.

"Between the 2000 and 2016 seasons the sport’s annual participation rate fell off by one quarter. Last year, just under 11 percent of high schoolers in the state—167,428 students—played UIL-sanctioned football and six-man football in Texas. That’s a big drop from 2000, when the number stood at 14.5 percent."

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 5, 2018 at 10:20 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@nonny - 37% of adults may say it is their favorite sport to watch, but most of those don't actually tune in. Average NFL viewership dropped to 14.8 million last year, down 17% from 2015 which was near peak.

Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by a nonny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2018 at 10:38 am

"down 17% from 2015"

Which doesn't even match network viewership declines. If one is to cherrypick one portion of a market, it should have the entire market as context. Just last year: (not the last three like your example)

Total Viewers
1) CBS: 9.925 million, -6%
2) NBC: 9.023 million, -3%
3) ABC: 6.637 million, -9%
4) Fox: 6.213 million, -14%

17% over 3 years seems bad, but look at Fox - down 14% in one year.

And it wasn't just last year:

"The 2012–13 TV Season in One Really Depressing Chart
The 2012–13 television season officially passed into the Nielsen history books last night, bringing to an end what will likely be remembered as one of the worst years ever in the history of network TV... " Web Link



20 people like this
Posted by Numbers Are Deceiving
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 6, 2018 at 2:19 pm

Football is still better than watching badminton or cricket in the USA.

Nobody actually cares about those two games.


6 people like this
Posted by Another
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 6, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Another is a registered user.

Gunn Parent, it's pretty obvious what you're getting at regarding the "radical change in demographics", "cultural differences" and "physical build" of today's Gunn students.

Still, Palo Alto is a community of hyper-educated folks that holds such high hopes for the future academic and career success of its kids. I'd guess that the recent overwhelming medical evidence of the devastation Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy inflicts upon former football players might cause *all* parents to question whether that was a risk they wanted for their sons.

It's not just Asian parents of badminton players who might not want their boys subjected to multiple concussions and early death. Parents from other "demographic" and "cultural" groups with different "physical builds" might also think twice about this, don't you think?


24 people like this
Posted by a nonny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2018 at 2:51 pm

"I'd guess that the recent overwhelming medical evidence... "

au contraire....

Fix that: the hysterical media overexposure of a few studies that do not use control groups, some by self-interested groups that are funded by other sports, etc..

See the other thread that @anon referenced for a variety of studies and their backgrounds and the questions they leave unanswered.

Web Link

.

A sample from that discussion:

"None of these statistics or studies show the benefits of team sports, nor do they show the benefits of football to a whole lot of boys.

Want benefits? Here's 181 department CHAIRS of orthopedic and neurology departments... most prevalent indicator of their youth activities? Contact sports.

National Institutes of Health (again) - Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics: Web Link Web Link

"CONCLUSIONS
The high prevalence of youth contact sports play and concussion among surgical specialty chairs affirms that individuals in careers requiring high motor and cognitive function frequently played contact sports. The association highlights the need to further examine the relationships between contact sports and potential long-term benefits as well as risks of sport-related injury." "


Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Prava
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 6, 2018 at 2:52 pm

"Parents from other "demographic" and "cultural" groups with different "physical builds" might also think twice about this, don't you think?"

Yes. East Indian parents as well. Badminton originated in British occupied India during the 19th century. The game is very popular over there and has migrated to the USA as student demographics change.

Very few East Indian/Chinese HS students have an interest in playing football. They tend to prefer non-impact sports that focus more on agility and mental acumen.



16 people like this
Posted by Buck
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 6, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Nice study on doctors and contact sports.


Like this comment
Posted by Manua
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 6, 2018 at 5:34 pm

[Post removed.]


30 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 7, 2018 at 9:34 am

They should start putting asterisks (representing games won by forfeiture) in the standings for further clarity & evaluation of won-lost records.


22 people like this
Posted by Former Viking
a resident of Woodside
on Sep 7, 2018 at 2:16 pm

It varies from school to school. Palo Alto is winning at a high level (again) and show no signs of slowing. Los Gatos does not lack numbers or quality of play, and you can add Wilcox to that mix. Forget about the parochials, they are rolling. So what we are really talking about is football dying at schools where football has not mattered for a long time, maybe never. Don't buy into the "smart parents" don't let their kids play football. Tell that to the people paying 40k a year for their kids to go to Saint Francis, Mitty, Valley Christian, etc. I'm sure they are real imbeciles making the money to pay that tuition. Let football die at the schools that cater to the badminton and tennis crowd. Let them have their school all to themselves and move on. Who cares.


Like this comment
Posted by Zhao
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 7, 2018 at 2:29 pm

"So what we are really talking about is football dying at schools where football has not mattered for a long time, maybe never."

Add varsity letter for ping-pong too. Football not important.


4 people like this
Posted by Woodstar
a resident of Woodside
on Sep 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm

New coach at Palo Alto - yes, a solid football school.

Don't sleep on the renewed local powerhouse... Menlo Atherton. Wow - a great program!

Beat bellermine, now Palma this weekend.

Legit.


37 people like this
Posted by OK...We'll Watch
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 7, 2018 at 6:33 pm

> Very few East Indian/Chinese HS students have an interest in playing football. They tend to prefer non-impact sports that focus more on agility and mental acumen.

How about a halftime exhibition showcasing the elite game of badminton? Stick a net on the 50 yard line & we'll count the cheers.

While physical agility is probably a requisite factor, I'm curious as to the demonstration of 'mental acumen'.


12 people like this
Posted by Checkmate Dude
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 8, 2018 at 2:18 pm

"I'm curious as to the demonstration of 'mental acumen'."

This will be a requirement for varsity chess players who wear their block letters proudly.


18 people like this
Posted by Paul W.
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 8, 2018 at 3:30 pm

The war on football is in full effect and it's sad. Football provides so many life lessons for young men, including hard work, commitment, dedication and team work. It's a sport like no other and in my humble opinion the greatest game in the world.
HS football has changed a lot in the last few years. Limits on contact during practice, safer tackling techniques, far better equipment.
I hope we don't destroy this sport due to football hating hysteria mongers.


10 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 8, 2018 at 6:14 pm

> I hope we don't destroy this sport due to football hating hysteria mongers.

Lack of interest and participation will be the primary causal factors depending on the ethnic make-up of the school.

Anyone up for a game of badminton?



4 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 9, 2018 at 12:34 am

Lacrosse is the runner-up. They wear the same protective gear as football but their goal is not to physically crush the other members, although there is still an aggressive physical element to it.

Gunn's ethnic profile: 44.2% Asian, 38% Caucasian. Asian's don't play football due to their size and cultural upbringing.


10 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 9, 2018 at 9:06 am

@Checkmate Dude
The "mental acumen" that a lot of these badminton and chess geniuses need from what I see on campus is the ability to actually you know, talk to another human being beyond tjeir math test scores. They need to volley some convo across the net!5


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2018 at 9:18 am

The bigger problem as I see it is that the District has just paid out big money to pay for the upgrade to the football fied including lights for a sport that is only played x number of times a year at home and now we have lost one of those games.

Forgive me if I am wrong, but how many times a year is that field used apart from graduation? Is this a good return for investment? Can other sports be played on this field? Has this been an expensive mistake for providing facilities for a sport that the student body is not enthusiastic about playing? Or supporting?


2 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 9, 2018 at 9:19 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Paul W. - I love football too, but let's not pretend it has some unique ability to teach team work and commitment.


26 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 9, 2018 at 9:23 am

> Lacrosse is the runner-up. They wear the same protective gear as football but their goal is not to physically crush the other members, although there is still an aggressive physical element to it.

Lacrosse is an outstanding sport that I believe, originated from an eastern Native American tribe...the Iroquois?

Like basketball, men and women compete in their respective divisions on various levels of play (high school and collegiate). I'm not sure if the sport has turned professional as of yet.

The 'aggressive physical element' (whether contact or non-contact) is what defines true athletic endeavors. Even the game of golf has its own aggressive element..."drive for show, putt for dough" and country club sports like tennis and swimming are physically aggressive in their own way.

Thus a game like chess should NEVER be considered worthy of a varsity block letter unless the intention is to cheapen the overall recognition for true athletic endeavors and its traditional rewards.


>> Gunn's ethnic profile: 44.2% Asian, 38% Caucasian. Asian's don't play football due to their size and cultural upbringing.

Improved nutrition and training techniques + the continued emergence of children with mixed cultural/ethnic backgrounds could alter certain traditional Asian perspectives over time. In the meantime we will continue to hear calls for the addition and recognition of games like badminton (and possibly ping-pong) as 'block letter' worthy sports...most likely at the expense of traditional American high school sports.













33 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 9, 2018 at 9:33 am

QUOTE: we will continue to hear calls for the addition and recognition of games like badminton (and possibly ping-pong) as 'block letter' worthy sports...

@Gunn Parent
You forgot to add cricket. *L*


35 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 9, 2018 at 10:04 am

> The bigger problem as I see it is that the District has just paid out big money to pay for the upgrade to the football fied including lights for a sport that is only played x number of times a year at home and now we have lost one of those games.

>> Can other sports be played on this field?


Absolutely. Just have the grounds-keepers powder-up a huge checkerboard on the playing field.

Members of the 'varsity chess team' can then line up in their respective positions (e.g. pawn, rook, bishop, knight etc.) and the coaches will direct player movements.

No injuries unless someone trips heading back to the bench after being 'captured'.





24 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 9, 2018 at 10:10 am

Forgot to add...just getting to see the individual player 'uniforms' will be worth the price of admission.


8 people like this
Posted by a nonny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2018 at 11:25 am

" but let's not pretend it has some unique ability to teach team work and commitment."

11 moving parts against another 11 moving parts, all dependent upon each other in designed plays, with options built in for each player depending on how the other team lines up, covers, blitzes, drops into coverage, etc.. and then you reset next week for a different team with new plays and formations, etc..

Hours of film study, chalk sessions, walk-throughs on the field for each game, so each player knows the multitude of options on every play, most dependent on the actions of their teammates.

Mr. Alderman - can you please list the sports that you played that required greater teamwork and commitment than what your experience playing football showed you? Certainly, I'd give a nod to your lacrosse, hockey and basketball experience, but they might be the only ones even close to football.

Most football players will tell folks there is no zero pretense in @Paul's statement: "Football provides so many life lessons for young men, including hard work, commitment, dedication and team work."


4 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 9, 2018 at 12:56 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@a nonny - Any sport with a team and a coach is going to tech team work and commitment. No need to add concussions and arthroscopic surgery as extra life lessons. Or try mountaineering, or any of a dozen activities. How about some crew? America was great before football was invented, and won't be damages or threatened by its loss.


2 people like this
Posted by a nonny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2018 at 1:54 pm

"Mr. Alderman - can you please list the sports that you played that required greater teamwork and commitment than what your experience playing football showed you?"


Mountaineering and crew are your answers to the question? Thanks for the input.


28 people like this
Posted by The Gunn Gambit
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 9, 2018 at 2:36 pm

>> Just have the grounds-keepers powder-up a huge checkerboard on the playing field.

>> Members of the 'varsity chess team' can then line up in their respective positions (e.g. pawn, rook, bishop, knight etc.) and the coaches will direct player movements.


I'd pay to watch that...just for the comic relief.


28 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 9, 2018 at 6:08 pm

QUOTE: Members of the 'varsity chess team' can then line up in their respective positions (e.g. pawn, rook, bishop, knight etc.) and the coaches will direct player movements.

No injuries unless someone trips heading back to the bench after being 'captured'.


*laughing & trying to picture this somewhat bizarre 'sports' presentation*

If we were to associate the various chess pieces/players with their football counterparts...

(1) Would the Queen be the equivalent of a QB? The pawns linemen, the rooks tight ends, bishops wide receivers & the knights running backs?

(2) I am assuming that the King would be the wearisome & symbolic equivalent of the spectators having to suffer through & endure this exhibition of 'mental acumen'.

(3) Lastly, standing around on the chess-field like a ninny (until captured) would probably be akin to quarters/minutes played & worthy of some recognition (depending on the 'mental acumen' of the coaching staff). *LOL*


18 people like this
Posted by And For Halftime Entertainment
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 10, 2018 at 7:49 am

For halftime entertainment:

Use the checkerboard for a game of checkers with members of the gymnastics team.

A double or triple jump would really get the crowd going.


6 people like this
Posted by a nonny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2018 at 10:17 am

I've tried to avoid making this comment for the last couple days. Turns out, I can't even back it up with a link to substantiate my claim (yes, I looked.)

But all this talk of halftime human chess boards instantly reminded me of the old teevee series of skits, the original Monty Python series in the early 70's. I could have sworn they had a sketch involving a human chess board. Alas, I couldn't find it. Memory is an awful thing.

Now, to continue my day, I think I'll head down to the Argument Clinic for a good ol' "connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition."

Web Link

Enjoy.


Like this comment
Posted by Anonnnymouse
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 10, 2018 at 12:42 pm

What School Board Member can rationally undertake the liability to allow High School American football teams under US liability law? Is it rational for the taxpayer to take on this risk? Leaving aside legal liability, what about protecting students from harm? This seems like low hanging fruit for the liability-conscious PAUSD.


6 people like this
Posted by a nonny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Anonnnymouse: "What School Board Member can rationally undertake the liability to allow High School American football teams under US liability law?"

Where would you like to draw the line?

Ultimate Frisbee, where 25% of competitors report they've been concussed? (see NIH study referenced in other thread)

Water Polo, where a third of competitors were concussed, according to UC Irvine?

Rugby? Wrestling? Volleyball? Soccer?

All contact sports?

All sports?


12 people like this
Posted by Row Row Row Your Boat...
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 10, 2018 at 4:05 pm

>>>No need to add concussions and arthroscopic surgery as extra life lessons. Or try mountaineering, or any of a dozen activities. How about some crew?

Right. Having to lug sculling boats to the PA Baylands for crew competition & early morning practice should be a real kick in the pants as PA creeks are not deep or wide enough.

Mountaineering presents its own inherent dangers as well.

Badminton and chess are much safer for those so inclined.


2 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Seriously, doesn't anyone really care about Gunn football? Even if they could field a team, they aren't very good. If not enough student don't want to participate, why bother?


10 people like this
Posted by A Change in the Air
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 11, 2018 at 7:07 pm

> Seriously, doesn't anyone really care about Gunn football?

Only amongst the traditionalists. Dwindling student interest in football. Calls for the recognition of other games more reflective of the current student demographics.

Never thought it would happen. Baseball is probably next...to be replaced by cricket.

Intra-district transfers to participate in certain sports is probably next.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2018 at 7:44 pm

Posted by A Change in the Air, a resident of Gunn High School

>> Never thought it would happen. Baseball is probably next...to be replaced by cricket.

TBH, one reason that I kind of prefer watching basketball over either baseball or cricket is that basketball games are not so bloody long. :-)

>> Intra-district transfers to participate in certain sports is probably next.

Works for me.


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Posted by Anonnnymouse
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2018 at 8:39 pm

@a nonny

"Where would you like to draw the line?"

That's a great question. I guess the presumption on your part is that it's not possible to decide how much brain injury is too much. That may be true. Do you as a taxpayer want to make that bet? We're all in this together as a polity. I'm not sure the risk is worth it.

"Ultimate Frisbee, where 25% of competitors report they've been concussed? (see NIH study referenced in other thread)

Water Polo, where a third of competitors were concussed, according to UC Irvine?"

Sure.

"Rugby?"

Not a scholastic sport here in PAUSD.

"Wrestling? Volleyball? Soccer?"

Worth further study.

"All contact sports?"

This is also a great question. Underlying your tone, I suspect, is a fear that our educational institutions will somehow suffer if we no longer offered interscholastic contact sports. I think there are plenty of countries where schools do school and sports are offered by outside entities. For me, I'm not sure what would be lost. Sports would still happen, but they would be offered by groups that can take on the financial liability. To take the specific example of football, we are offering a brutal training ground at our expense on a national scale that provides athletes to large and profitable college teams and pro teams. If their free pipeline of talent is in danger, we can be sure they will pony up for taking on the hazards of running youth leagues - or maybe they don't think the risk is worth it?

"All sports?"

It's worth thinking about. One of the great impediments to a more teen friendly bell schedule has been the "sports lobby" in PAUSD. This could pave the way to a more sane schedule.


6 people like this
Posted by Silly MG
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 11, 2018 at 9:03 pm

There's a vote for no sports.

Meanwhile, back in the real world...


3 people like this
Posted by Anonnnymouse
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2018 at 9:32 pm

I'm actually serious. Sadly the PAUSD sports lobby doesn't have much of an answer other than "back in the real world". The argument seems to be sports is important for us all because sports is sports. What rational entity would take on the moral liability of life threatening injury to children, let alone the financial liability? Will the PAUSD sports lobby engage on this? The evidence is clear from the Gunn football team's forfeit that parents are making a rational choice. Can PAUSD also?


3 people like this
Posted by A Modest Proposal
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 11, 2018 at 10:19 pm

> I think there are plenty of countries where schools do school and sports are offered by outside entities. For me, I'm not sure what would be lost. Sports would still happen,

You presented an interesting point/observation.

(1) Would the elimination of crowd-oriented athletics be a major loss in terms of 'school spirit'? Debatable to some extent as times and student interests have changed.

(2) Sports programs outside of school would be kind of like semi-pro athletics with community and/or commercial sponsorships. Would this have any effect on NCAA recruiting protocols in the event a player was being considered for a higher level of play? Probably not if the elimination of all sports programs became a standard practice amongst prep schools.

(3) Keeping academics separate from sports would allow each activity to either flourish or fail on its own depending upon individual smarts, talent, motivation and participant interest. No more distractions (or hinderances) from one side or the other.

(4) No more block letters issued by schools as all sports/activities/games would be taking place outside of an educational facility. No more school sanctioned sports programs and leagues.

(5) The emergence of private sports academies for those with both the talent and professional aspirations.

This approach is very non-traditional in the USA and might take some time to catch on.



5 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 12, 2018 at 12:29 am

@Gunn Parent: "Improved nutrition and training techniques" aint gonna change the Asian genes. But Whasians (Eurasians) do have the European genes for the larger statures.

Asians tend to choose the non-team sports such as: track, badminton, tennis, golf, swimming.

I am surprised the PC Patrol hasn't deleted some of the racial undertones here, as they are quite intolerant of such banter. However, I admit, I actually laughed out loud at some of the remarks like the human chess game.

Ping-pong, cricket, and badminton letters for Varsity jackets should qualify since they are sports, but the jacket might overwhelm the participants. "Cringy." I don't think anyone even wears jackets anymore, do they? Has it gone wayside like Homecoming King, Queen, and dances? Seems no one at graduation will have social skills except the students who have participated in team sports. Unless you count Robotics members.


26 people like this
Posted by Glad To Be at Paly
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 12, 2018 at 9:43 am

If block letters are to be handed out now for just about any whimsical activity, doesn't this amount to little more than those trivial participation trophies kids get for playing youth soccer?


>>Ping-pong, cricket, and badminton letters for Varsity jackets should qualify since they are sports,

At least you didn't add chess to your list as it's not a sport in any way, shape or fashion.


5 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2018 at 9:50 am

Posted by Glad To Be at Paly, a resident of Southgate

>> If block letters are to be handed out now for just about any whimsical activity, doesn't this amount to little more than those trivial participation trophies kids get for playing youth soccer?

So, your view is that any sport that doesn't involve constant head-bashing is "whimsical"?

>> >>Ping-pong, cricket, and badminton letters for Varsity jackets should qualify since they are sports,

>> At least you didn't add chess to your list as it's not a sport in any way, shape or fashion.

-Debatable-

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2018 at 10:44 am

I will go back to the point I made above.

Football is not a global sport. When did you last hear team USA play any other country?

The popularity of sports that can enter international competitions are growing in this country. Many athletes do aspire to playing for their country. We have already had a Paly ping pong player in the Olympics and a Gunn ice skater in the winter Olympics. Soccer, Rugby and Cricket are played globally and wouldn't it be wonderful to have a Gunn alum playing on the first International Test team in Cricket, or the Rugby World Cup.

It could happen.


29 people like this
Posted by The Wicked Wicket
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 12, 2018 at 1:33 pm

> and wouldn't it be wonderful to have a Gunn alum playing on the first International Test team in Cricket,


Depends on who's watching. I've been to a couple of cricket matches.

While the match-up between the batsman & bowler can be kind of fun to watch, the fielding positions seem to require minimal skill (unlike baseball). The fielders just chase after the ball like my golden retriever does at the park.

BTW, at one time Gunn was known for its SPAL baseball prowess.


7 people like this
Posted by Unhappy
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 12, 2018 at 1:47 pm

Unhappy is a registered user.

I am so unhappy with the racist commentary in this thread -- unsupported generalizations based on race. How is this kind of bigotry still welcomed? And people are laughing?

FWIW, my daughter's soccer team has kids of many races on it, including many Asians. And there are all kinds of ways to learn about teamwork outside of sports. Kids need to work together in drama, in band and orchestra, and more. These are some very close-knit groups. Just because you don't see it, in what seems to be your fairly narrow purview, does not mean it isn't happening.

Please be careful with your hurtful words and try to be more open. These are your neighbors, and should be your friends.


20 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 12, 2018 at 5:17 pm

QUOTE: While the match-up between the batsman & bowler can be kind of fun to watch, the fielding positions seem to require minimal skill (unlike baseball). The fielders just chase after the ball like my golden retriever does at the park.

How about a hybrid form of cricket with an American twist?

Batter & bowler go at it (as tradition dictates) but in lieu of human cricket fielders, we have dogs retrieve the balls instead?

Picture a fleet of Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and maybe a few Jack Russell terriers all in pursuit of a batted ball...now I'd go & watch that!


23 people like this
Posted by The Rolling Stone
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 12, 2018 at 6:20 pm

>> I am so unhappy with the racist commentary in this thread -- unsupported generalizations based on race. How is this kind of bigotry still welcomed? And people are laughing?


You are over-reacting (to say the least). The ongoing commentary is about different perceptions of what constitutes a legitimate sport worthy of recognition as a whole.

Would you be saying the same if some folks were questioning curling as an official letterman sport? Probably not.


6 people like this
Posted by Paly Sophomore and athlete
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 12, 2018 at 8:47 pm

I just have one thing to add about the people who talk about how brutish and savage football is and how it has to be removed and replaced with soccer. PLENTY of teenagers, myself included enjoy violent, physical sports. That's not evil or wrong, it's just the way some of us behave. Do I think that there should be high school football? No. It's a tremendous liability risk and in the age of helicopter parenting and in a town where people have a much more substantial disposable income. There has not been a lawsuit yet, but as time goes on the odds go up. The point is that contact sports are too much liability for schools, but banning them outright is not a good idea. And I understand this. I am a starter on Peninsula Green Rugby Club, and I love my sport. And I'm not alone, plenty of my classmates enjoy contact weather it's Rugby, Football, or both. That's not an opinion that's chemistry. Pubescent teens have energy and like to be tough and strong. Soccer cannot replace that and if you get rid of those outlets get ready to see a lot more fights and brawls as people don't have a way to expel that energy, and those definitely cause more head injuries that Football or Rugby

Also, to the people who say cheer is not a sport. When most of the comments about cheer center around how "cute" or "sexy" the cheerleaders look rather than the athleticism or the talent, it's under aged stripping.


10 people like this
Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 12, 2018 at 9:01 pm

>>>Pubescent teens have energy and like to be tough and strong. Soccer cannot replace that and if you get rid of those outlets get ready to see a lot more fights and brawls as people don't have a way to expel that energy, and those definitely cause more head injuries that Football or Rugby

Part of growing up is learning how to harness one's aggression & knowing when to walk away from the BS.

>>>When most of the comments about cheer center around how "cute" or "sexy" the cheerleaders look rather than the athleticism or the talent, it's under aged stripping.

Scrolling back, I didn't see any references to cheerleaders other than a comment or two about them being unnecessary at a chess or badminton match.


5 people like this
Posted by Unhappy Too
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2018 at 9:11 pm

I agree with Unhappy regarding the racist comments present in this thread. In response to The Rolling Stone and others who don't see any racism in these comments - recommend you take another look. If you still can't see it (or even if you can - because we all need to do this), you need to do some self education to get more acquainted with the perspectives and experiences of people of color.


2 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 12, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Attending the FA Cup Final in person with many, many tens of thousands in London and millions around the world via TV (and maybe a handful of other Americans) was an awesome experience! That’s England.
Watching football (soccer) in the States is not that great. Will it ever be?
Exception: watch Wayne Rooney as he is now over here with D.C. United in the very late part of his career.
American Football is not interesting to me and cheerleaders should be discontinued unless including male and female and gymnastic and cheering in nature, not as female sex objects. sheesh!
Go Man United.


11 people like this
Posted by 3rdGen Chinese
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2018 at 11:46 pm

PC has gone overboard. I think the references to Asians playing individual sports is a fact, not an insulting stereotype. How many Asians play football or lacrosse? I would guess maybe 1-2 per team.

And I can tell you that the Asian culture disdains participation trophies. That is an American culture, Snowflake, socialist tradition. They know they didn't win; participation trophies are simply a waste of money and materials. Competition breeds the best in people.


6 people like this
Posted by kids
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2018 at 7:55 am

kids is a registered user.

OK, field chess with cheerleaders and maybe foodtrucks? Is that the consensus? If knights are taken, can there be a jousting section? Not sure what to do with the BIshops. Just putting in my own "portion removed" right here.


27 people like this
Posted by A Black Man Speaketh
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 13, 2018 at 8:16 am

>I am so unhappy with the racist commentary in this thread -- unsupported generalizations based on race. How is this kind of bigotry still welcomed?

>>...you need to do some self education to get more acquainted with the perspectives and experiences of people of color.

VS

>>>You are over-reacting (to say the least). The ongoing commentary is about different perceptions of what constitutes a legitimate sport worthy of recognition as a whole.

>>>>PC has gone overboard.


OK folks. I'm African-American (aka black) and the last time I checked, I'm considered a person of color.

Now that we've got that squared away...I've played football, basketball and baseball on both the prep and collegiate level. I too have noticed that some sports activities (and games) are more popular among certain ethnic groups compared to others...most notably in America. Globally, it tends to vary.

For example. The Japanese/Taiwanese/Korean MLB players from their native countries are better than the American-born ones. China (The People's Republic) turns out some very gifted and very tall basketball players...not so much in the USA. Football on the other hand, is primarily an American sports endeavor but once there was an NFL-sponsored European League that flourished for about a decade before eventually folding in 2007. Professional basketball is played in Europe and many of their players wind up on NBA teams.

Getting back to professional baseball...there are fewer and fewer African-Americans playing MLB these days while the Latin American countries are churning out talented players by the bushel. I haven't the foggiest why this is but Jackie Robinson must be shaking his head after all he went through during the initial integration of MLB back in 1947. It seems that most black athletes opt for professional basketball and football nowadays.

On the other hand, you're not going to see an all-white NBA/NFL team anymore like in the 1950s as that would be a recipe for losing. Black players are the dominant force...period.

As far as badminton, ping-pong, chess, and cricket are concerned, put it to a student vote. If the kids want it as a representative sport from their school, so be it.

But don't expect the avid followers of traditionally-acknowleged sports to buy into the concept or accept any recognition of these particular activities as letterman worthy. That's their privilege and it's got nothing to do with racism.














12 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 13, 2018 at 8:48 am

I suspect that in addition to these cultural/ethnic sports preferences, the pursuit of higher education and vocational aspirations also enter into the picture.

Then again & with today's economic climate...if you were a truly gifted 18 year-old athlete & offered anywhere from a $2M-$5M+ signing bonus + salary to play professional sports (e.g. NBA/MLB), would you turn it down and go to college instead? While some might say that one's pro sports aspirations could be enhanced with the concurrent addition of a university education, the potential injury risks that occur playing collegiate ball could pretty much destroy those dreams & it's happened countless times before.

Probably best nowadays to take the big money & run with it. Houses aren't getting any cheaper in Palo Alto & you can always play chess or badminton on the side.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2018 at 10:54 am

Gunn HS should do a cost-benefit analysis per sport. There's already a fundraiser every year to cover the fees because the parents of the participants don't all pay. With a limited budget for after school programs, someone should objectively assess their value vs their cost.


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Posted by SQL
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 13, 2018 at 1:19 pm

"Gunn HS should do a cost-benefit analysis per sport."

Your criteria and methodology to measure benefits of youth sport?

Perhaps give us the benefits you see in soccer?


15 people like this
Posted by Another Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 13, 2018 at 2:02 pm

>>> Gunn HS should do a cost-benefit analysis per sport.

The sport programs that bring in the most potential revenue should get a significant priority over the others. That's how it's done on the college level with lesser funding percentages going to other sports activities.

As for high school, if games like badminton and chess can draw a huge paying crowds then maybe they deserve some additional recognition. If not, perhaps it's best to keep them as intramural or after-school recreational activities.

To those clamoring for the acceptance of non-traditional games and who wish to see them acknowledged as letterman sports, how about coughing up some dough through various fundraising and booster programs. Start showing some real world/real time interest...and we all know that's not going to happen.


2 people like this
Posted by Aggie Football
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 13, 2018 at 7:16 pm

> The sport programs that bring in the most potential revenue should get a significant priority over the others. That's how it's done on the college level...


Kind of reminds me of this weekend's game at Stanford vs UC Davis.

At one time, UC Davis was a perennial Division II champion and some of its former players moved on to the NFL (e.g. Mike Moroski/SF 49ers-Houston Oilers-Atlanta Falcons, Rolf Benirshcke/SD Chargers, Ken O'Brien/NY Jets).

But no...that wasn't good enough. They had to go Division I because of the higher football revenues and now they are getting their asses kicked every Saturday.

Pathetic. San Jose State football fans know the feeling as well.


6 people like this
Posted by @Aggie Football
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 13, 2018 at 9:12 pm

"But no...that wasn't good enough. They had to go Division I because of the higher football revenues and now they are getting their asses kicked every Saturday."

Typical comment from someone who doesn't know what they're talking about.

To wit:

1) UC Davis went from Division II to Division I-AA (also known as the FCS) because the schools on the West Coast that were Division II gave up football -- mainly because they got sick and tired of being clobbered by the Aggies.
2) You obviously haven't watched UC Davis football either last season, or this season. Because if you had, you would know that Dan Hawkins is putting together a pretty good program.


15 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 13, 2018 at 9:55 pm

QUOTE:...and now they are getting their asses kicked every Saturday.

What sports page are you reading?

BTW, UC Davis beat Stanford a few seasons ago.


8 people like this
Posted by A Teacher in Palo Alto
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 14, 2018 at 2:45 pm

> Improved nutrition and training techniques + the continued emergence of children with mixed cultural/ethnic backgrounds could alter certain traditional Asian perspectives over time.

The beauty of our evolving times is that despite their differences in cultural perspectives, many established/long-time PA residents are gradually becoming more tolerant of various ethnic backgrounds and heritages. It has become a necessity due to the current economic climate and the arrival of many more newcomers to the area.

These calls for oddball letterman sports are probably more reflective of 1st generation parental influences and interests. This will change over time as ensuing generations assimilate more successfully into mainstream American culture.


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Posted by Aggie Football
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 15, 2018 at 9:31 am

>> 2) You obviously haven't watched UC Davis football either last season, or this season. Because if you had, you would know that Dan Hawkins is putting together a pretty good program.
>> Typical comment from someone who doesn't know what they're talking about.
>> What sports page are you reading?


5-9 last season and 2-0 as of this writing. Soon to be 1-2 as the latest line is Stanford 39/UC Davis 3.

BTW, most of the other former Division II opponents gave up football due to either lack of funding or student-fan interest.


6 people like this
Posted by Free Your Mind to Other Options
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 15, 2018 at 2:02 pm

While we're at it, how about varsity block letters for Tai Chi and yoga?

With college entrance requirements becoming so stringent due to the additional considerations for extra-curricular activities, no activity should be overlooked or neglected.




10 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 15, 2018 at 6:09 pm

> While we're at it, how about varsity block letters for Tai Chi and yoga?

Good grief. Is this what prep sports recognition in Palo Alto is finally coming to? A variety of participation activities and faux block letters for those so inclined?

Curious what the scoring protocols are for these two demanding 'sports'. Or will everyone come out a winner like in 'no-score' youth soccer?







8 people like this
Posted by Sure...Why Not?
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 16, 2018 at 3:24 pm

> While we're at it, how about varsity block letters for Tai Chi and yoga?

Better suited for halftime entertainment. Then when I step-out to get a Coke (or use the men's room) I won't be missing anything.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2018 at 8:23 am

Posted by Free Your Mind to Other Options, a resident of Stanford

>> While we're at it, how about varsity block letters for Tai Chi and yoga?

>> Posted by Sure...Why Not?, a resident of Menlo Park

>> Better suited for halftime entertainment. Then when I step-out to get a Coke (or use the men's room) I won't be missing anything.

What you folks are missing is that, back in the old days, nobody played tackle football until 9th grade JV. Not to mention no weight training until college. Not to mention the incessant modern emphasis on hitting rather than traditional (heads-up, wrapping up, "rugby style") tackling. With stronger young players banging heads, it now appears that upper body muscles are not strong enough to stabilize the head.

Web Link

Web Link

In the meantime, I think everyone is agreed on the need for more research. Except Larry Fedora:

Web Link


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Posted by Ahmad
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2018 at 8:55 am

> Just have the grounds-keepers powder-up a huge checkerboard on the playing field.

This concept could be utilized to create a form of non-contact football. Assign each player a square and when the ball is handed-off or passed, the defender running to the targeted square first gets credit for a tackle.

The line of scrimmage would be a demilitarized zone of sorts separating the defensive and offensive lines by one line of squares. Whoever gets to the middle line of squares first gets to pass through and proceed to any square the QB or RB is heading. No more physical blocking.

Any contact (intentional or accidental) would be subject to square penalties and all interceptions/fumble recoveries nullified if a defensive player used physical contact in pursuit of the football.

Football would now become a gentlemanly game and potentially free of any contact-related injuries as players would be running, stepping and stopping onto various squares while the football was in play.

I would call it Middle-Eastern-style football where one's agility and good sportsmanship supercede the violence and inherent physical dangers of the traditional American version.



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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2018 at 11:46 am

Yes, I'm not a football fan, but, I can't help but wonder how much trauma could be avoided if football players learned to tackle in high school JV like the Seattle Seahawks, who used this new (old) technique:

Web Link

Looks like football to me:

Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by a nonny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2018 at 12:00 pm

" learned to tackle in high school JV like the Seattle Seahawks"

Every Pop Warner coach across America, along with most high schools, has been teaching that for years, having been required to certify through USA Football's Heads Up Football programs.

Football is taught, practiced and played very differently from 10 years ago. Helmets have also undergone radical changes since you last wore one, Anon.


12 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 17, 2018 at 1:39 pm

>> I would call it Middle-Eastern-style football where one's agility and good sportsmanship supercede the violence and inherent physical dangers of the traditional American version.

A somewhat ironic commentary. Please elaborate.

>>>Football would now become a gentlemanly game and potentially free of any contact-related injuries as players would be running, stepping and stopping onto various squares while the football was in play.

A referee's nightmare as you would need at least 11 of them on the field to monitor infractions.

Is this where we are heading?


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Posted by a nonny, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> >> " learned to tackle in high school JV like the Seattle Seahawks"

>> Every Pop Warner coach across America,

According to what I have read (and posted links to), the current recommendation is touch/flag only before high school, for the reason that younger kids generally don't have the neck strength to stabilize the head against hits resulting in sub-concussive trauma. I know a lot of people have trouble accepting this, but, the evidence is that "something changed" to make the CTE problem a lot worse, and, pre-high-school tackle football - Pop Warner - is definitely *correlated* with the change. Correlation is not causality-- hence, the need for more research.

>> along with most high schools, has been teaching that for years, having been required to certify through USA Football's Heads Up Football programs.

I'm not sure about "years", because, AFAIK, they were just hearing about it 5 years ago. If that is what they ALL do now-- great!

>> Football is taught, practiced and played very differently from 10 years ago. Helmets have also undergone radical changes since you last wore one, Anon.

LOL. (Tackle) football is one sport that I never played. Back in the old days.


4 people like this
Posted by SQL
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 17, 2018 at 3:26 pm

Wow, from the Seahawks to causation? You are all over the map.

But this is something: "Pop Warner - is definitely *correlated* with the change"

Please prove that. Preferably without another goalpost move.

Again.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Posted by SQL, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> Wow, from the Seahawks to causation? You are all over the map.

Actually, I've been very consistent about this. Perhaps you don't like the message?

>> But this is something: "Pop Warner - is definitely *correlated* with the change"

>>Please prove that.

Web Link

Web Link

Yes, it is understood that correlation is not causality: Web Link

Research is ongoing to understand how these brain changes take place. BTW, I am also concerned about all kids, and, women, heading the ball in soccer. This is also something new-- kids didn't head the ball (much) "back in the old days".


4 people like this
Posted by Mah's Place
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 17, 2018 at 3:56 pm

That study is with 60 year old PROFFESSIONAL football players who were in the NFL.

What was their control group?

They last played youth football 40 or 50 years ago? As the other guy asked. - have you seen how the game has changed?

We do agree - more research is good.


12 people like this
Posted by The Rolling Stone
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 17, 2018 at 5:19 pm

[Post removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by Titan Football
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 18, 2018 at 2:23 pm

[Post removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by Given the Choice
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 18, 2018 at 7:06 pm

> Curious about the various offensive schemes. A West Coast style offense or vertical game (i.e. bombs.).

Just guessing. Extensive use of bombs.


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Posted by Anonnnnymouse
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2018 at 11:32 am

The football defenders like to say that the link to CTE and sub-concussive hits are not proven completely. That may or may not be true. One thing to consider is that the NFL settled with the retirees for close to $1 Billion dollars. NFL owners are the greediest people on the planet. Think about what it takes to get them to part with that much money.

The second thing to consider is that the discussion about whether the CTE/Football connection has been "proven" is that it obscures the real risks of the sport. I commend you all to follow @concernedmom9 on Twitter. Each week she provides a roundup of all the serious injuries around the country in high school football. The helicopter evacs, ambulances on the field, hopes and prayers, all of it is sobering. It's not a question of if, but when here in Palo Alto. After the injury comes the multimillion dollar settlement that PAUSD, and the taxpayers must pay out. I don't want that moral hazard or monetary risk on my shoulders as a taxpayer.


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Posted by Tamarack
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 19, 2018 at 1:09 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Womens soccer and headers
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 19, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Womens soccer and headers is a registered user.

FWIW, sub-concussive impacts are no joke. It's not just football. Dr. Michael Lipton at Albert Einstein is running some studies on this for soccer. Women are especially susceptible to brain damage from repeated headers. Web Link

See also this study indicating that degraded cognitive function stems mainly from frequent ball heading rather than from accidental head collisions. Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Keep Traditions Alive & Well
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 19, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Bottom line. If concerned about the after/side effects of playing football, don't play football. [Portion removed.]


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2018 at 5:18 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 19, 2018 at 5:30 pm

[Post removed.]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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