You think that football is dangerous? We are alarmed to hear from CNN that soccer (the “real” football, don’t you know) is actually worse. At least, that’s the dope from Dr. Michael Lipton, Director of Radiology Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who has published a study on the impact (heh) of “heading” soccer balls.
It appears that anything upwards of 1300 impacts per year (that would be about 15 per practice in a three month season) produces “impairment of memory and processing speed.” Says Lipton. “Soccer may not be as benign as people thought it was.”
We always suspected that bopping a hard rubber ball about with one’s noggin was a poor idea at best, particularly if the ball happened to be traveling at a high rate of speed when the redirection transpired, but we were assured that it was in all events superior to smashing one’s helmet into the torso of an onrushing fullback. Maybe it still is, but apparently the improvement is not sufficient to warrant substituting one for the other.
Soccer moms, be warned. Tell your kids to kick the damn ball with their foot, like the name says, and take a pass on cranial reroutes. The kids most likely already had some doubts about the idea, and will need little encouragement to avoid the strategy altogether.
Of course, this may all be complete hooey, as, in our experience, “studies” often show exactly what their authors want them to show. After all, CNN would not give one minute to a press release that read “Scientists Find No Evidence That Hard Candy Causes Brain Tumors.” But for those of you wondering why your young Beckham seems a bit forgetful, or is puzzled by instructions involving more than two steps, the solution might be simpler than you thought.