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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Commentary: Bruce Arians wrong on parents’ football choice

By Nick Canepa San Diego Union-Tribune

Bruce Arians is a smart, innovative football coach. But off the field, in many yuletide front yards, he will not effect a Nativity scene. Arians is not the fourth wise man.

As a sage, theorist and philosopher, he doesn’t belong in the same Magi caravan chasing a star with Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar.

It was the Arizona Cardinals coach who said last month that people who don’t allow their children to play (tackle) football are “fools.”

That, in itself, was foolish enough. But he recently topped himself when he blamed mothers for denying their kids the right to participate.

“We feel this is our sport,” he said. “It has to be stopped at the grass roots. It’s the best game that’s ever been (bleeping) invented, and we got to make sure moms get the message. Because that’s who’s afraid of our game right now. It’s not the dads, it’s the moms.”

Now that is a loaded diaper.

Two great quarterbacks, Troy Aikman and Kurt Warner, have said they would not allow their sons to play. As for me, I raised three sons, all of whom wanted to play football. I wouldn’t allow it.

And my kids are grown and out of the house. When I made that decision, we’d never heard of CTE or excessive concussions. I just didn’t think football was a good idea for youngsters in life’s growth stages. No regrets.

But, if you want your kids to play, OK by me.

The NFL has young players retiring at a scary pace. It’s an adult game and should be an adult choice. And that means parents should make the decision for their children until they are of the age to decide for themselves.

We have reached a sickening point in America, a country of self-help books and ready advice. I had a mandatory college course called “Marriage and Family Relations.” The textbook was written by a married couple. They had since divorced.


That’s the problem. People such as Arians know better than everyone else. No one told us how to raise our kids. Nobody told my mom and dad how to raise me, my brother and sister.

Blaming mothers, most of whom (I assume) want what’s best for their children, is ludicrous. If a mom doesn’t want her kid to have ice cream, should Arians chime in?

Football is a dangerous, violent game. For adults, let alone children.

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