In today’s second On the Square piece, Owen Strachan recounts the high human cost of football from NFL defensive backs to high school quarterbacks and asks whether America’s new national pastime is worth the price:

Football injures many more than it kills. The number of reported concussions suffered in football each year is estimated at 100,000, a number that experts suspect is considerably lower than the number of actual concussions. This is to say nothing of injuries to other parts of the body which have left many relatively young former players with ailments common among people two to three decades older. The glory of the game is great, but so is the toll.

Many of us believe that a just life in this world may mean that we pay a price for worthy causes. But is this cause worthy? While acknowledging that we cannot safety-proof the lives of our children and that no one can resist the pull of Providence, we must question a sport which on a regular basis calls its players to pay the ultimate cost for their participation. Young boys walk onto a field full of dreams and drop dead an hour later, shedding this life like they once shed tacklers.