Listening

Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. roughness
    • ex. When dogs play with each other, a little roughness is normal.
  2. a contact sport
    • ex. I don’t like contact sports like rugby; they’re too violent for me.
  3. a concussion
    • ex. My friend hit his head and had a concussion.
  4. depression
    • ex. Do you think that Paul has depression? He seems really sad and never wants to go out anymore.
  5. sharp
    • ex. My grandma is 94 years old, but her mind is still very sharp.

Article

Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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Tom Brady, quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is criticizing the National Football League (NFL) for becoming “softer.” The 44-year-old said that referees have been calling more penalties for unnecessary roughness recently, even though such tackles were acceptable only a few years ago. Brady said that football is a contact sport and players have to understand the risks.

Football, one of the most popular sports in the US, has been connected to brain injuries. Every year more than 200 NFL players have concussions. Repeated concussions can cause a brain disease called CTE, which has also been found in boxers. CTE can cause headaches, memory problems, depression, and even violent behavior.

It’s not clear how many NFL players have CTE because it can only be confirmed after death. Studies have found that the amount of damage is connected to the number of years playing football. The average NFL career only lasts three years, but Brady has played for 22 years and thinks that he could play until the age of 50. He says he does brain games daily to keep his mind sharp.

Discussion

Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Rough Sports

  • Brady said that referees are calling more penalties for unnecessary roughness recently. In your opinion, is this a good thing? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Why do you think the average NFL career is only 3 years (ex. it's very violent, younger athletes are often better)? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, which are better, contact sports (ex. football, boxing) or non-contact sports (ex. tennis, golf)? Why? Discuss.

Brain Health

  • CTE has been found in football players and boxers. Do you think it's possible for athletes to better protect their brains? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Studies have found that the amount of brain damage is connected to the number of years playing football. In your opinion, is it okay for children to play football? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Brady says he does brain games daily to keep his mind sharp. Do you think this will help him have less brain damage from football? Why or why not? Discuss.