Are you (really) ready for some football?


Sailors with Naval Medical Center San Diego and Marines with 1st Marine Logistics Group fight for the ball during an Oct. 24 football game in San Diego. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chad A. Bascom/Navy)

‘Tis the season for turkey, tailgating and that classic game on the gridiron, football. But all that rough play with your best buddies can sometimes turn into a trip to the Doc or, worse, the emergency room.

Over Thanksgiving 2010, the Naval Safety Center got 54 reports of injuries, including Marines and sailors who “attempted to work off their turkey tryptophan with a pick-up game.” Some of them suffered poked eyes and sprained ankles from playing on the football field. No word about any resulting lost work days.

The fall season typically sees double the number of football injuries than any other time of the year, according to the safety center. And we’re not just talking tackle football. Marines get hurt playing flag football, too, even though it’s not supposed to be a contact sport.  Interestingly but not surprising, injuries from hunting and bull riding (yes, that’s what it says) run second and third.  So if some football fun is on your schedule, center officials offer these tips before you head out onto the field:

  • Know your limits. You’re not in the NFL and you probably aren’t a professional-caliber quarterback.
  • Use the proper equipment and personal protective equipment.
  • Check the field for holes or other hazards before starting the game.

More tips: Wear gloves made especially for football or tape fingers to reduce the chances of finger injuries. Avoid alcohol and don’t overdo it. With the prime months of the football season setting in, it might be advice worth heeding.


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