Håkansson had spent most of the morning waiting. The world’s fastest piston-powered (as opposed to jet- or rocket-powered) car, the Speed Demon, was ahead of the KillaJoule in the running order. The driver was George Poteet, aged sixty-four, a legend in land-speed racing. He had broken the four-hundred-mile-per-hour mark thirty-two times in his driving career, but that morning something went wrong. As the Speed Demon reached three hundred and seventy-eight miles per hour, it began to fishtail. In an instant, the vehicle was launched five hundred and fifty feet down the course, where it struck the ground and kicked up a plume of salt. It slid and rolled several times, throwing off some of its carbon-fibre body panels along the way. The protective cage around Poteet, his safety restraints, and his helmet, however, all remained intact. Within seconds, his support team and an ambulance arrived and Poteet was walking away from the carcass of his vehicle with the unofficial record as the world’s fastest wheel-driven wreck survivor. Hours were spent picking up debris and restoring the track to a usable condition.
That said, about two-thirds (65%) of Americans believe that football is generally more dangerous than other sports; roughly one-third (34%) of the public disagrees. Views about football are generally consistent across a variety of demographic, religious and political groups
At the same time, roughly three-quarters (76%) of Americans say that if they had a young son they would allow him to play football; only 22% would not allow him to play. There are no signficant differences by gender—both men and women are about equally as likely to say they would allow their son play football (78% vs. 74%)
There are important generational differences on this topic. Young adults (age 18-29) are more likely than seniors (age 65 and older) to say they would allow their son to play football (87% vs. 59%).
and the involvement of God in sports
Majorities of Americans (53%) and sports fans (56%) say that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success; more than 4-in-10 of Americans (45%) and sports fans (42%) disagree.
Roughly two-thirds of Catholics (65%) and minority Protestants (68%) say that God rewards faithful athletes with good health and success. Six-in-ten (60%) white evangelical Protestants and nearly half (49%) of white mainline Protestants also believe faithful athletes are rewarded. By contrast, only 27% of the religiously unaffiliated believe athletes with faith are rewarded, while 71% disagree.
About 1-in-4 (26%) Americans and 27% of self-described sports fans say that God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event. About 7-in-10 Americans (71%) and sports fans (69%) disagree.
more on subjects like players and domestic violence..
Mr. Dorsch, who is now an assistant professor at Utah State University, where his research involves parents’ engagement in their children’s sports, said that spending on sports has grown so high — up to 10.5 percent of gross income in his research — that it is hurting family harmony.
“A family bringing in $50,000 a year could be spending $5,500,” he said. “Without being judgy, I’m fine with families spending that kind of money. What’s wrong is when that investment brings out some sort of negative parent behavior. Or if the kid says mom and dad are spending $10,000 on me a year, what are they expecting in return? Is it a college scholarship? The chances are slim to none of a kid getting a scholarship.”
With travel teams and indoor versions of outdoor sports now in full swing, some former top athletes and even the coaches who feed parents’ obsessions are encouraging caution. The willingness to spend heavily — in money, time, emotion and a childhood — needs to be looked at more carefully, they say.
A well-heeled couple I know spent nearly $40k for their daughter's (8th and 10th grade) coaching, travel, camps and club fees ... probably nearing the extreme, but one has to wonder how big the support industry is.