Football = Sin?

Sorry if this is posted in the wrong location. Here is my question. Football has been shown to lower the life expectancy of its participants; one study has stated that the average expectancy of an NFL player is between 50-60 years old. Thus, is it a sin to participate in or watch football since it appears the sport leads to a decreased life expectancy? Or is it not a sin because the lower expectancy is not the goal of the sport and the sport could be made safer? Thanks,

Ryan

[quote="RyanC883, post:1, topic:214648"]
Sorry if this is posted in the wrong location. Here is my question. Football has been shown to lower the life expectancy of its participants; one study has stated that the average expectancy of an NFL player is between 50-60 years old. Thus, is it a sin to participate in or watch football since it appears the sport leads to a decreased life expectancy? Or is it not a sin because the lower expectancy is not the goal of the sport and the sport could be made safer? Thanks,

Ryan

[/quote]

You are quite correct that since the lowered life expectancy is not the pont, football is not a sin. There are many jobs out there that are not sinful, that carry the grave risk of death or decreased life expectancy. I know that if I worked as an electrician for a company like Chevron, I would have a much higher likely hood having cancer later in life, but there would be so sin, as the point of the job isn't to get cancer, it's to support a family or yourself.

Anyway, it's a sport, and a healthy one at that. Yes it is dangerous, but NFL players make money, so it's a job. If someone was playing at NFL levels without pay, I might have problems, but nobody does that.

Possibly sinful activities that lower life expectancy are things like smoking and eating junk food. Some junk food occasionally is okay imo, but a habitual diet is very unhealthy, and we all know this. We have a duty to keep our bodies strong and healthy if possible. Smoking is even more dangerous. It is addictive, and we ALL know that 2nd hand smoke is very, very bad, and smokers are being irresponsible by smoking near people who do not smoke.

I hope that answered your question. :thumbsup:

Alexander,

Thanks for your reply. I agree with what you have to say. I guess the thing that keeps bothering me, however, is the analogy I make in my mind between smoking (when there is no risk of secondhand) and football. Smoking on average takes 10 years off a person’s life. Football (NFL) appears to take 15-20 years off a persons life. Therefore, isn’t smoking safer and better for the body than football? Now, I could argue football is a sport and is fun to play, and amusing for spectators, and could be made safer with better equipment. I guess the counter to that argument is that smoking is also enjoyable for the smoker and as an industry tobacco employs thousands of people (I am also making the somewaht dubious assumption that all smokers know the risks, obvisouly not telling people about risks such as this woudl be sinful). Just so you know, I am a non-smoker and football fan. Just trying to figure out how there is a difference. Perhaps neither are a sin, but if one is, how isn’t the other. It has been bothering me all week. Thanks.

Ryan

Ryan

[quote="RyanC883, post:3, topic:214648"]
Alexander,

Thanks for your reply. I agree with what you have to say. I guess the thing that keeps bothering me, however, is the analogy I make in my mind between smoking (when there is no risk of secondhand) and football. Smoking on average takes 10 years off a person's life. Football (NFL) appears to take 15-20 years off a persons life. Therefore, isn't smoking safer and better for the body than football? Now, I could argue football is a sport and is fun to play, and amusing for spectators, and could be made safer with better equipment. I guess the counter to that argument is that smoking is also enjoyable for the smoker and as an industry tobacco employs thousands of people (I am also making the somewaht dubious assumption that all smokers know the risks, obvisouly not telling people about risks such as this woudl be sinful). Just so you know, I am a non-smoker and football fan. Just trying to figure out how there is a difference. Perhaps neither are a sin, but if one is, how isn't the other. It has been bothering me all week. Thanks.

Ryan

Ryan

[/quote]

The difference in my mind, is that one has an overall positive impact with a negative tradeoff, and the other has a negative impact, with a positive tradeoff.

NFL players play football because they love the game, but also because it's their job. The play football to feed their families and themselves. Yes they sacrifice some longevity, but this is not just the sport, it is the poorly designed training system they use (does not greatly strengthen ligaments and connective tissue afaik), the use of steroids, and the way football has become more violent over the years.

Smoking on the other hand, has an immediate negative impact. Yes smoking is pleasant for many people, and things like pipes are definitely not nearly the same issue as cigarettes and cigars, but it is not something that can be done as a job. It has a negative impact on the health of the smoker and people around the smoker.

Looking at both of these together, it seems to me that NFL players are doing nothing wrong playing football, as it is their career, and the path they have chosen. If an office worker found out that using the computer 8 hours a day would lower life expectancy by 10 years, should he quit his job? No, because many jobs have risks, and professional football is a job. The risks are sometimes high, sometimes low, but they exist. The risks associated with football can be lessened by better training, and stricter penalties for actions that lead to injury. The risks associated with smoking cannot be lessened, unless somebody finds a non-carcinogen alternative to tobacco.

Now if people were playing football outside the NFL not as a job, but as a hobby or something. I would have a problem with that. Like smoking, the tradeoff of enjoyment would be far less than the risk involved, and I don't think that makes good sense.

Thanks for your insight. I think the benefit/risk analysis you put forth and the argument that football can be safely played makes a lot of sense. In fact, I think recreational football (or those who play in college w/ no NFL hopes) is also be ok under this analysis because there is a correspondingly lower risk of injury (less games, smaller players, etc.) Thanks again,

God Bless!

Ryan

Wow!! If football is a sin, Notre Dame is going to have to dump a 100+ year tradition. Catholic schools nationwide are going to have scrap their programs. No, seriously, you have to view the question in it's perspective.

If "possible" shortened life expectancy is the problem, then based on the football analogy, we'd have to no longer have the Armed Forces. Law Enforcement and Firefighting would have to go. How about the guy who works on power lines, in a coal mine, on a railroad? The list goes on.

Yes, our bodies are "Temples of the Holy Spirit" and we are obligated to care for them in a manner keeping with that status. That does not mean the elimination of any and all risks that could compromise or endanger one's health/life expectancy.

OTH, drinking, eating to excess, smoking, could be sinful as they have been proven to shorten or compromise life expectancy.

[quote="RyanC883, post:1, topic:214648"]
Sorry if this is posted in the wrong location. Here is my question. ** Football has been shown to lower the life expectancy of its participants**; one study has stated that the average expectancy of an NFL player is between 50-60 years old. Thus, is it a sin to participate in or watch football since it appears the sport leads to a decreased life expectancy? Or is it not a sin because the lower expectancy is not the goal of the sport and the sport could be made safer? Thanks,

Ryan

[/quote]

I don't think that football is the cause of that. The players weigh upwards of 300lbs. People that weigh 300lbs just don't live as long as average-sized people.

[quote="PhilipCal, post:6, topic:214648"]
Wow!! If football is a sin, Notre Dame is going to have to dump a 100+ year tradition. Catholic schools nationwide are going to have scrap their programs. No, seriously, you have to view the question in it's perspective.

If "possible" shortened life expectancy is the problem, then based on the football analogy, we'd have to no longer have the Armed Forces. Law Enforcement and Firefighting would have to go. How about the guy who works on power lines, in a coal mine, on a railroad? The list goes on.

Yes, our bodies are "Temples of the Holy Spirit" and we are obligated to care for them in a manner keeping with that status. That does not mean the elimination of any and all risks that could compromise or endanger one's health/life expectancy.

OTH, drinking, eating to excess, smoking, could be sinful as they have been proven to shorten or compromise life expectancy.

[/quote]

I understand your point, but football is a sport, a game. Law enforcement, the military, fire fighting, these are all jobs. Risky ones at that. More than that, they are necessary for the good of society. We cannot say the about football.

If the risk of death in a sport was as great as for a fire jumper or something, I would have a problem with that. People shouldn't be risking life and limb to play a game.

By the way, this is why I strongly dislike movies like "Remember the Titans." It had a pretty good message about racism, but I couldn't stand the glorification of the sport. Football players can never be heroes in my eyes. They are playing a game, real heroes are those who risk their lives, their reputations, or their jobs, for a greater good. The moral difference between team A or team B winning the super bowl is nil.

[quote="Luigi_Daniele, post:7, topic:214648"]
I don't think that football is the cause of that. The players weigh upwards of 300lbs. People that weigh 300lbs just don't live as long as average-sized people.

[/quote]

That's only partly true. The primary reason for the lower life expectancy is the type and severity of injuries that can result from smashing 300lbs of muscle into another 300lbs of muscle. Injuries to the knees, the extreme levels of stress put ont he heart as a result of a ton of muscle combined with a lot of running, injuries to the ribs, chest, head, all these can contribute to a lower life expectancy.

I was so confused about this thread.
Wish you Americans will stop calling American Rugby, football! :D

My personal opinion is football(American Rugby), or any other sports is not a sin, it shows how man through challenges, perseverance and determination, can achieve and be successful pushing the body to the limits to achieve his goals, showing us how God as created man to withstand alot of physical pain and push the barriers and our physical form.

Only Cricket can be classed as a sin, it's such an awful sport!

Pope Benedict XVI even applauded sports, you can actually see a little video on youtube if you type in "romereports" and it shows him meeting alot of sports people and offering congratulations on they achievements.

[quote="Luigi_Daniele, post:7, topic:214648"]
I don't think that football is the cause of that. The players weigh upwards of 300lbs. People that weigh 300lbs just don't live as long as average-sized people.

[/quote]

[quote="Alexander_Smith, post:8, topic:214648"]

That's only partly true.

[/quote]

If its partly true and I think it is partly true then there you go if they weren't so big they would live longer. So the stats on short life expectancy wouldn't be so bad, smoking could be worse than NFL after all.

Australian Football is played by big guys and not so big guys and I still think the bigger guys don't live as long.

I'm curious about the source of this study.

E.g., specifically which football players are at risk for decreased life spans? I can't believe that the field goal team is at risk, and they certainly don't weigh much more than the average man. I can see where the running backs and the receivers are at more risk, maybe, but OTOH, since they run a lot, they're in incredibly good physical condition and they usually don't weigh much over 200 pounds.

What actually causes the earlier death? Is it heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer? Game injuries--I don't recall ever seeing a football player die on the field, but I know of at least one figure skater who has died on the ice while skating. I'm thinking that this would bump the statistics of dying while figure skating up to a pretty high incidence, which means that perhaps figure skating could be a sin. I hope not!

Is the earlier death actually caused by the game, or by the fact that football players are often on the road and therefore have a higher probability of dying in a motor vehicle accident?

I kind of have the feeling that the study in the OP might just refer to statistics, which really aren't "real life," but only a mathematical model. Many players defy these statistics and do NOT die young, but live to a ripe old age. So something can't be called a sin based on theoretical statistics. (Just like figure skating can't be called sinful just because one young man died on the ice.)

Can the OP post a link to the study, please? I'm watching the Bears/Giants game right now and I hate to think of Hester or any of the Bears dying young!

Thanks for all the great answers. Some of you have asked for sources of the information I read regarding the life span of football players. Here are some of the articles I read (in no particular order). BTW, they are all very short articles.

archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/10/3/122610.shtml

seattlepi.com/football/362412_nflhealth09.html

nowpublic.com/sports/average-lifespan-football-player-52

sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/21/SPG6JNM6MN1.DTL&feed=rss.news

[quote="Alexander_Smith, post:4, topic:214648"]
The difference in my mind, is that one has an overall positive impact with a negative tradeoff, and the other has a negative impact, with a positive tradeoff.

NFL players play football because they love the game, but also because it's their job. The play football to feed their families and themselves. Yes they sacrifice some longevity, but this is not just the sport, it is the poorly designed training system they use (does not greatly strengthen ligaments and connective tissue afaik), the use of steroids, and the way football has become more violent over the years.

[/quote]

10-15 years is not merely "some" longevity; those are a lot of year, much more than those taken away by the life-time use of tobacco.

I am aware that NFL players are more likely to suffer CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) due to continued blows to the head, but I want the source that NFL players have shortened life expectancy by 10-15 years. I am winning to accept higher morbidity for neurological diseases, but this does not seem to translate into a 10-15 reduction in life expectancy.

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