FanPost

Should heading be taken out of the game?

Before writing this post, I think back to the rainy March night in 2012. I'm talking the home opener against Philly. The 3-1 victory over the Union was one of the highlights of the season, especially considering the debut goal of Kris Boyd. Say what you will about the guy, but he had a knack for goal (and KFC's bacon chicken burger). I remember vividly the slick move and cross by Kalif and the wonderful flick finish by Kris[py Kreme]Boyd, leaving GK Zac MacMath with the only option of watching a white blur enter his far side netting. JELD-WEN was sent into raptures, Adrian Healey cried "different country, same currency", and we all thought we had our magical DP that would lead us to glory. Well that worked out.

Nonetheless, Boyd has made a career of the very same play; excellent service which he coolly finishes. As a soccer player myself, I marvel at how easy these professionals can get so much power and placement by simply using their cabeza. Although, a simple activity such as heading a ball has been shown to have massive cranial affects.

Researchers at the Albert Einstein Institute of Medicine have discovered that people with a median age of 31 and have also played soccer since childhood, have abnormalities "resembling those with mild traumatic brain injury." The research done described an average player as heading the ball 6 to 12 times a game. Over time, this impact on their head could lead to degeneration of brain cells, which ultimately could lead to dementia. Just thinking back to the Vancouver game at home, I remember Pa Kah heading a ball that had come down from around 180 ft in the air. Personally, I think he was crazy for doing that, and I know if that were me in a game, I would have taken or attempted to take it down with my feet.

That leads to the other side of story. Forget for one second the fact that some people aren't as good as say me or Cristiano Ronaldo, and can't get a magical first touch from a ball that drops from 180 ft high. For this circumstance, if heading was disallowed, no one would be able to win those first balls. It would be a virtual aerial scrum. Without heading, crosses would be ineffective, high boots would be flying everywhere, and players like Kris Boyd wouldn't have a career. While the evidence (and there is much more other than the Einstein study) doesn't lie, the game of soccer would just not be the same, or would it?

Do you think this sport could be successful without heading?

Alright guys, I don't believe I have to say this but, just in case, please do not submit anything racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise not appropriate for even the younger Timbers fans.

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