Listen to dad, put on your helmet and pads, you’ll do great just like me
Hang out with your friends, before your youth ends, impress all of the girls with your jersey
Take pride in yourself, and in your team, because football’s king in our community
If you’re tough and real mean, you’ll be living the dream, like the football players on TV
Double sessions / two a day, we learned all of the plays, to beat our enemies
Taught to tackle with heads down, forced to make popping sounds, in hitting drills with my buddies
Our bells they rang, with dizzy headache pain, coaches told everyone not to worry
Bodies hit the ground, as we scored touchdowns, in the end zone we rejoiced in victory
New helmets came, to protect our fragile brains, gave us a false sense of security
Hit harder for sure, warning stickers ignored, my brain still slammed, twisted and sheared inside of me
Blood, sweat and tears, I was a captain all year, we won the youth football championship trophy
Keep your eyes on the prize, and in high school you won’t be denied, college scholarship destiny
As the years went by, more brain cells died, hid my concussions from everybody
I wasn’t the same, relationships strained, anxiety and depression filled my body
A team of one, couldn’t talk to anyone, about what they refused to see
To numb the pain, I put drugs and alcohol in my veins, high school grades quickly dropped to D’s
Under Friday Night Lights, with a concussion (not bright!) I played in a game foolishly
On the kickoff I ran, like a shell fired from a cannon, I hit the receiver at full speed
To save my brain, I quit the game, and my former teammates called me a pussy
Once again on my own, in the dark all alone, suffered post-concussion syndrome misery
Football son, with a loaded gun, teen life cut short much too early
Dad loves the game, my jersey he framed, and displayed it by my casket manfully
Mother cried, “My baby died!”, and blamed it on mental illness in the family
“Spread the word! Mental illness must be cured!” and then she joined NAMI
Another football kid dead, mental illness instead, nothing learned and that’s the tragedy!
They can’t blame the game, or my damaged brain, so they praised my coaches in my obituary!
Inner city and suburbs, gotta get your ass off the curb, tackle football will get you out of poverty
Even though injuries exist, they say “It’s well worth the risk!” and nothing will happen to thee
A new generation of kids, fighting fake wars like others did, learns to settle the score violently
Traumatic Brain Injuries galore, from the quest for fake valor, they suffer throughout life silently
To keep the game alive, rule changes they tried, but they can’t prevent all Traumatic Brain Injuries!
“Play Flag until 14”, instead of 18, to keep the flow of high school football players going to colleges and universities!
Little help at all, for those with the invisible injuries from playing tackle football, that’s our society!
Concussions can kill, also CTE will, because there’s no magic pill, so protect your brain wisely!
Don’t play the game, if you want a HEALTHY BRAIN, and your QUALITY OF LIFE to increase
Your brain needs to last, and a full lifetime must pass, before the time comes for you to rest in peace.
Photo: Getty Images