Recently, US President Barack Obama stated that if he had a son, he would have to look very carefully at letting him play the sport of football in an interview with the New Republic.
Football is a dangerous collision sport. Physical pain and neurological damage is almost ubiquitous from all levels of play. Parents are even starting to not let their children play the wonderful sport despite letting them watch it on TV.
To make the game safer, kickoffs were moved from the 30 to the 35 yard line. New, innovative helmet technology has surfaced in recent years, and pads are getting lighter yet more protective.
Drastic changes could be made, however, and they will shape the future of football. There could be a one-and-done rule, meaning one concussion could take a player out of the season. All professional and collegiate football teams should have sideline concussion testing and concussion experts during games and practices. High school teams should be required to get new helmets every five years and new pads every seven years.
Middle school teams and below should eliminate kickoffs, and also utilize the equipment and helmet revamping systems stated above. This will ensure top-tier quality and technology is constantly flowing from the lower levels of football to the NFL.
More parents would be much more comfortable with letting their children play real, tackle football with these rules in place. It would not hurt gameplay and would ensure consistent play from all levels.