For some young—and even no-so-young—boys, the life of a professional football player seems like a dream, a whirlwhind of fame, fortune, adoration and adventure. But a new survey Do no harm: Retired NFL players endure a lifetime of hurt by the Washington Post offers a sobering jolt of reality: 91 percent of more than 500 retired football players surveyed said that they suffer pain on a daily basis, and overwhelmingly attribute it to their football career. As controversy about youth football continues to swirl, fewer than half the players said they’d recommend the career path to children.
“I’m 40 years old going on 65,” said Roman Oben, a former lineman. “God knows what I’ll feel like when I’m actually 65 years old.”
The stats on injuries suffered during the players’ careers is equally shocking: Nearly 60 percent suffered 3 or more concussions during their career, and two-thirds of those surveyed said they still had lingering effects from concussions. More than 90 percent said they suffered what they consider a major injury, while more than half had three or more. Joint replacement surgery will be necessary for at least 44 percent of retired players, if they haven’t had it already.
Read about 4 other sports you may want your child to avoid. The Five Most Dangerous Youth Sports