When the Green Bay Packers take the Super Bowl field Sunday, you can bet I'll be in front of the TV, tuned to the dreaded Fox, ready to root them on. They may have taken the boy out of Cheese Head Land, but put the Pack into the championship, and the youthful thrill returns.
Still, in the back of my mind, worries already are growing. Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers already has suffered two concussions this seaon. Will this be the game that sets Rodgers on the road to chonic traumatic encephalopathy or even Alzheimer's?
Rodgers, in true football fashion, has asserted that he won't alter his scrambling style in hopes of avoiding another concussion. But brave talk can't change a growing undercurrent of concern that head hits - from under the Friday night lights to Sunday afternoon extravaganzas - may be signaling the end of football as we know it.
So fart, studies offer plenty of cause for worry. But much remains unproved. For instance, scientists don't even know if 50 minor head hits are as dangerous as two or three concussions. But it is clear that college football players suffer over 1,000 such hits a year in games and practice.
My boyhood conviction that the Packers are My team is back this year. But I don't want my players turning into punch-drunk losers in life.