Came across this article today from the Washington Post.
Another Northern Virginia high school is suspending its varsity football program for the 2018 season due to a lack of participation.
This is the second school in N. VA. in as many weeks to cancel the season due to lack of interest. But what really drew my attention was this:
The declines come amid the sport’s struggles nationwide. High school football — beset by injury concerns, single-sport specialization, rising equipment and participation costs and demographic shifts — has battled in some communities to maintain a foothold.
High school football enrollment dropped 4.5 percent nationwide from 2006 to 2016, the last year for which data is available, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
“Football can be a great game, and still can offer many benefits when served up well. But it is being squeezed from several angles, all of them 21st century concerns,” Tom Farrey, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program, told The Washington Post in 2017. “It takes a lot to do football right, and more than a few youth and school programs are groaning under that pressure.”
How many generations until the game as we know it is gone? It will never disappear entirely, but will football continue to be THE major sport in the United States for the next generation? What about the one after that? Kickoffs gone today, tackling tomorrow? I'll be enjoying football season while I still can.