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A dear football mom column: Should I let my son play football?
Helmet Kisses

Dear Football Mom,

What would you do if last year your son broke his collarbone on the field, and has been in rehab since Christmas, then started lifting weights again this June, and insists on playing football with his team again this fall? We have talked until we are blue in the face, made him watch the movie “Concussion” and threatened to ground him all season if he is determined to play without our permission. 

We don’t think he’s good enough really to qualify for a college scholarship, yet he still wants to play.

Dear Reader,

Are you sure? Sure he won’t qualify for a college scholarship? Sometimes it’s not always about a scholarship. Sometimes, it’s about the love of the game, the love of competing, pride of school, being part something special, and part of the team. Sounds to me like this young fella of yours is quite the competitor, through and through. 

Let me let you in on a little secret. Honestly, more than anything — well, almost more than anything — college coaches look for competitors who love to compete, have a proven record of laying it all out on the field, go the extra mile, and aren’t afraid of little snags like broken collarbones. 

But before going any further, please tell me he’s been released by his doc. Also, please tell me you’ve had him to a sports orthopedic surgeon’s practice, rather than a regular orthopedic guy. And — now all non-sports orthos will hate me — but the sports dudes or dudettes have it going on. They have so much more experience, expertise and knowledge of the latest jazz. Boom! There, I said it. No mollycoddling. 

Regular orthopedic docs or medical physicians are kind of like all hat and no cattle. In other words, you won’t hear them say they don’t treat sports injuries as much as other injuries, but most times they don’t. Sometimes, their practice is geared toward our older folks and not so much our athletes. We certainly need all of them for all kinds of injuries. Please, no offense y’all. Sports injuries are not only different in many ways to other injuries, but so is the patient. Athletes are a different breed. They need doctors and surgeons who understand them. Sports medicine physicians spend most of their time in their office, the training room or on the field around the athletes. They can move the ball fast as lightening when the need arises for a sport surgeon’s eyes. They’ll know who the best surgeons are in your area, because of knowing who provides what, and what body part certain surgeons specialize in. Of course, second opinions are priceless. 

Now that the physical part of this question is covered, we’ll rock on with the rest of your question. Ask yourself, why are you so adamant that your son not play? Why are you as determined to keep him from playing as he is determined to play?

In my opinion, if he really isn’t qualified to play in college (and I’ll bet he could play somewhere), if this was really going to be the last year he’d ever step onto the football field to play, would you really want to keep him from that?  

Each question is handled with discretion and privacy. Identity of persons asking questions will not be shared. All information is strictly confidential. Questions are not limited to Forsyth County and encompass surrounding areas, including other states. As “The Heart Behind the Gridiron,” we try to answer a variety of questions and scenarios surrounding the game. Answers are opinion-based. We are not responsible for results. All questions should be submitted by email to