Football season and our obsession with safety

Amy Simpson

August 30, 2012

There is a difference between foregoing safety to serve God, to do something good, and foregoing safety to make more money or be famous (like a boxer or perhaps a football player). I don't know much about football, but if "All lives are valuable. And risk for the sake of risk is … well, stupid," then that seems to be an argument against dangerous sport. I do like the reminder not to live as if staying alive were the goal (a difficult thing to remember as a parent).

Angie Mabry-Nauta
August 30, 2012

Great reminder, Amy! I'm a huge football fan, too -- like you, primarily college football. My parents raised me in what is now Darrel K. Royal-Memorial Stadium, home of the Texas Longhorns, and the University of Texas Longhorn Band band hall. Football is in my blood, and I've been watching it (somewhat "religiously") all of my life. Strangely, I didn't begin thinking of its hazards until my nephew walked on as a defensive player at the University of Michigan. Despite at least two injuries (one that required surgery) over the past three years, he continues to love and play the game. He lives out his faith just as bravely. Yes, all of life is a risk. Personally, I never felt as alive as when I stepped out in faith with no plan beyond trusting God and left my vocation. It's been difficult and challenging, but oh so worth it! Write on, sister!

August 30, 2012

We worship safety. Pure and simple. It's more important than God in many cases. Just about every pursuit, both entertainment and professional, we have is maimed and hindered by safety advocates. Doctors don't take risks that might be dangerous. The space program barely functions under safety regs. Hospitals dump millions into safety.

Meanwhile, several journals that I read have noted that none of this has actually contributed to any significant increase in quality of life or length of life. If anything, it has made everything more costly and difficult. In many cases, safety advocacy makes things more dangerous. For example, a study conducted by Scott Adams of the University of Wisconsin and Chad Cotti of the University of South Carolina determined that banning smoking in bars, which is all about safety, has contributed significantly to an increase in drunk driving.

The US doesn't contribute much that is big and important to the world anymore because safety advocates prevent us from taking big risks. Until this changes, we'll continue to lose ground in every endeavor. Safety advocates need to allow the people who want to do dangerous things to do those dangerous things. Sure - make sure that innocents are reasonably protected. But the line has to regress if we're going to keep from getting knocked back into some kind of version of the stone age.

November 5, 2012

Excellent, Amy.

Add your comment to join the discussion!