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JAMA 100 Years Ago
August 7, 2002

The Football Mortality.

Author Affiliations
 

JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor

JAMA. 2002;288(5):646. doi:10.1001/jama.288.5.646-JJY20023-2-1

The football season is now over and leaves behind it a very respectable record of casualties, enough to supply a respectable Spanish-American war, and only second to the Fourth of July mortality. Thus far the returns give 12 deaths, several fatally injured and over eighty seriously injured, smaller items, such as sprains, bruises, torn ears, loss of teeth, etc., not enumerated. The query whether the game is worth all this naturally suggests itself. There is something in most of us that makes danger a sort of relish to our pastimes, and it is perhaps to this barbaric element in our natures that some of the world's progress is due. Professionally, however, we can not approve of anything so unsanitary even in a purely traumatic way, and it would seem that something might be done by those in charge of college athletics at least, to modify the roughness of the game and somewhat reduce its risks.

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