Football High: Keeping Up with the Joneses

Competition is steep in games like football. The desire to win often trumps safety.

[male voice over] With a new awareness about head injuries, the coaches at Shiloh say they are more careful, but their big loss to Trinity only strengthened their resolve to play a more physical game. [male] We're going to run you all to death. We're killing you all, I'm just telling you. [Jimmy Harris, Shiloh Christian Asst. Coach] We are aware of concussions, we are aware of head injuries, and we take that very serious, but you can't play worrying about getting hurt. Trinity taught us that "If I hit you hard enough or I hit you often enough, I can knock a little bit of fear into you." If we could be physical enough to make the other opponent not want to keep fighting, that's what we're going to do. [shouting] [male] It becomes a "keeping up with the Joneses" issue. If School A has got this unbelievable program, unbelievable athletes, and then they go and beat up on School B, well, School B is going to go, "We've got to do that too." But then I'm beating you every day and eventually you figure out how you're going to turn around and get me. Well, we've just raised the bar again.
Posted on BrainLine December 10, 2013.

Excerpted from the documentary "Football High." Used with permission from Frontline, PBS. www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline.