Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
No Game for Boys to PlayThe History of Youth Football and the Origins of a Public Health Crisis$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kathleen Bachynski

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653709

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653709.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

We Are Not a Nation of Softies

We Are Not a Nation of Softies

Youth Football from the Great Depression to the Cold War

(p.28) Chapter Two We Are Not a Nation of Softies
No Game for Boys to Play

Kathleen Bachynski

University of North Carolina Press

Although the Great Depression limited funding for athletics, New Deal programs helped build infrastructure that contributed to making football a ubiquitous sport in high schools across the United States. With the end of World War II, high school football surged in the context of increasing prosperity, high school attendance, and suburbanization. Football’s expansion to increasingly include pre-pubescent children renewed critiques of the “big business” aspects of the sport. The participation of younger children also fostered a new range of concerns about physical injuries, as well as the emotional pressures of competitive collision sports for elementary and middle school children. Yet calls for limits on tackle football were ultimately obscured by the political and social culture of the Cold War. Football safety concerns were discounted as the anxieties of overly protective mothers. From the claims of coaches to the promotion of competitive sports by American presidents, tackle football was widely celebrated as a physically and morally beneficial sport for boys.

Keywords:   Children, Cold War, Football, Great Depression, New Deal, World War II, High school, Suburbanization, Physical injury, Emotional pressure

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .