Despite knowing the dangers of concussions, neurologist Mark Granner allowed his son, Alex Granner ’18, to play football in sixth grade.
“We considered it pretty carefully. We understood there was risk of traumatic brain injury, including concussion risk. In fact, one of the kids he played basketball with at that time had already had a concussion earlier in fifth grade when he was playing tackle football,” Dr. Granner said.
“I think behind the scenes, his mom and I, were hoping he didn’t really go farther than that and that’s what ended up happening,” he said.
In line with his parents’ beliefs, Alex decided after one year that he did not enjoy the sport, causing him to choose to stop playing.
“They sort of steered me away from it because it’s not the best sport to play long-term. I didn’t like it either because … I only touched the ball like once per game,” Alex said.
Although Dr. Granner did not want his son to play the sport, he has held season tickets to Iowa football for twenty-five years.
“I cringe when I see players getting hit with the ball. I cringe when I see them going down on the turf,” he said. “It’s tough, knowing what the risks are to the brain and the nervous system. It’s a little bit conflicting.”