"If you love the game, you have to be concerned. You can't put your head in the sand. We've got a crisis of broken bodies. If we don't do something about it, we're going to wake up in five or 10 years and there won't be any football."
Teddy Roosevelt never intended to abolish the game when he inveighed against its excesses 70 years ago. He said in an address at the Harvard Union that he did not in the least object to sport because it was "rough." He emphasized that he did not wish to have colleges "turn out 'mollycoddles,' " or "men who shrink from physical effort or from a little physical pain."
But, he said, "I trust that I need not add that in defending athletics I would not for one moment be understood as excusing that perversion of athletics which would make it the end of life instead of merely a means in life."
President Roosevelt's words are no less meaningful today.