During a Facebook conversation, I was talking about talking about my opinions. The team wasn’t my own. It wasn’t an argumentative conversation at all. I was telling one particular fan of the Chiefs I hope his team has success this upcoming season. He made a response that with their off season additions, he believed they would.
The first thing that came to my mind was I have no idea who the Chiefs signed. It wasn’t very long ago I would’ve known. I would’ve known the movement throughout the league. I just don’t care anymore! The reasoning behind this isn’t because I’m older and busier. No! It’s because I barely watch the NFL at all anymore. Now anyone drooling from there mouth thinking this post is about to be somehow political can wipe their chin and stop reading immediately! My reasoning is based on the changes made to the game and the massively offensive, downright insulting way that I feel every time I tune in.
The difference between nonsense and dirty recklessness
Now I’m am all for concussion protocol rules. Sometimes you must protect a person from themselves! Although I’m not sure their always conducted honestly on a team to team basis.
My problem is football is and always was a game where if an offense is going against a weak defense, whether talent wise or mentally they can throw all over the field. 15 yard in routes at will, etc. On the other hand a mentally and physically talented defense would try desperately to detach the pigskin from the receiver’s hands.
The first time a receiver would go over the middle, it wasn’t a big deal if he held onto the ball or not. Even if the completion was successful, he knew and all his teammates knew, come over the middle and you’re getting layed out. Now how tough are you? As they used to say in the NBA, no easy layups.
I agree if a player blatantly commits a foul or even accidentally helmet to helmet contact occurs it should be a penalty. For instance Ronnie Lott hit people hard and when he played it was legal as it should be. I fear if he played today every other tackle he made would be a penalty and a fine!
On the other hand a player like Kenoy Kennedy used to fly threw the air just to deliver a helmet to helmet hit. With no other objective other than to launch himself head first into his victims thoughts. I can see him doing it repeatedly, which should have had him banned from the NFL. In my opinion, he is an example of a player trying to hurt another in a premeditated attack. This blatant disregard for your opponent’s well being is reckless and destructive.
Rule Changes that exist are actually just Fantasy
This leads me to something else that angered me when the avalanche of scrutiny took aim at Roger Goodell and the colossal entity known as the NFL. Everyone started spending way too much time talking about brain trauma associated with repeated head on collisions. The NFL brass had to be shown proof. Then congregated in the shadows as they came to terms with a shocking truth. The truth that running head first into another person might not be a healthy thing to do for one’s brain.
I wanted to bang my head into something as these billionaires came on Television and agreed after a few years of research and proof. Finally the powers that be would agree smashing your head into things is not healthy. The NFL decided that they would change some rules. Rules that make no difference whatsoever and then hoped the scrutiny would go away. Worked out well for them, I guess. Wasn’t there doctors there who knew the game and the reality to which individuals CTE was in fact affecting? What could they really do anyway. Now you got a game, ruined at the purest level of its essence and no one is safer and the changes won’t help with the health of these players moving forward.
The maturization of the rule changes
When the rules started to change at first any contact to a player’s helmet or facemask including putting your own helmet dead into the receiver’s chest with the back of the tacklers helmet just grazing the bottom of a facemask was a penalty. This drove me insane. Whenever it happened I had my own rule no matter the game I turned it off. The essence of the sport was being tampered with. Compromised. It was similar to taking checking out of hockey or headshots out of boxing. Now it’s been taken to a new level of not being able to try to separate the ball from the receiver at all. If the ball touches the receiver’s hands and you do more than pat him on the back it’s a first down and then some. Totally and utterly ridiculous!
The purpose of this rule change was said to protect player’s from having damage done to the brain later on in life. This is where I get offended to the point where i don’t even watch much of the NFL anymore. I’ve seen a lot of player’s with repeated head trauma where after their playing career’s are over their brains begin to mimic the symptoms of ALS.
Who is actually at risk of getting CTE
Commonly referred to as CTE over the last half decade or so. In these cases the vast majority of ex-players are mostly lineman, fullbacks, and linebackers. These are the players that collide with an opposing player on almost every single snap. I am not talking about just the snaps we as fans watch on sundays. I mean throughout training camp and all contact practice. Where most of the damage is probably occurring in my opinion. Just based on the number of plays practiced compared to live game snaps.
These players who play these positions probably suffer more head on collisions in one quarter than a receiver or quarterback does in an entire season. Just as it’s always been. If you shut your eyes and listen to a game, you will repeatedly hear the head on clashing of helmets as they blast into a banging echo. These are the collisions those players suffer on nearly every snap. They are the repetitive collisions through time that lead to permanent brain injuries.
These collisions remain the same as they ever were. Completely unchanged and can not be changed and still have any remnant of the game of football that is or ever was. The last two generations of players will suffer the same brain injuries of those before them. Maybe more so because the overall size, speed and strength has increased which means the damaging impact of the collisions are probably more violent than ever.
Can the rules be changed and help those in danger
Now it is impossible to change any of these aspects of the game and have it still resemble football at all! You could possibly remove the fullback who for the last 50 years mostly runs down the field and collides head first into the first defender he encounters so the runner with the ball can continue the play. A pulling guard is also sent on outside runs in kamikaze fashion to ensure more yards. So say you remove the fullback position as we know it. It wouldn’t ruin the game more than it already has given the overview of the game today and the way the middle of the field has been abrogated in the passing game.
Why not abandon key elements of the running game too. The essence of the game has already been compromised. It could still be the game most people accept today. A lot of the CTE injuries are sustained by fullbacks. Then again a lot are found on the offensive and defensive lineman as well as linebackers. You can’t do anything to change that as of now. There isn’t better equipment yet. So what do you do?
Roger Goodell be honest to the players and the fans alike
What I believe Roger Goodell and his cohorts did in a Politically Correct setting was protect the Quarterback and Receiver to appease a P.C party breathing down its multi billion dollar neck. This decision ruined the game, but did not change the vast majority of CTE brain injuries. No one ever seems to say anything about it either. I don’t see many Quarterbacks or Receivers from the past with CTE. It is most commonly found in the player’s who play the positions I have mentioned.
I think anyone who has played or knows what it entails to play these positions with a little thought can see why. Why not just give a Quarterback a flag at this point It would be easier for a 300 pound man moving extremely fast, who now has to stop and think to make sure he tackles the QB within the strikezone. If he stops and thinks for longer than .5 of a second, he may miss the signal caller altogether grabbing for a shoelace. Then the media and fans are gonna let him have it. What was he thinking, why didn’t he just make the sack? Well after overpowering or using a speed move on an even bigger gentleman, then locating the QB or any back blocking, now he’s got to make sure to tackle this man within the strikezone!
The denial then acceptance of brain injuries
Roger Goodell how about standing up and saying yes colliding with huge men at full speed head on is likely to someday cause brain damage. Fix the game the way it was supposed to be played taking out the non helmet to helmet penalties. Most of the receiver’s are not the ones who are going to have to experience CTE in 20-30 years. While your at it tell the NCAA to get rid of their increasingly ridiculous targeting penalty. I know if I was a college coach I certainly would want my players to target THE MAN WITH THE FUCKING BALL! Don’t think that could have been said any better in my humble opinion.
Roger Goodell if your easily intimidated by today’s climate just step down and let someone else who’s balls over the middle are bigger than the ones you got. Why hasn’t anyone else said anything about this. The game has been changed for the worse and the thing that the NFL was trying to protect isn’t even occurring in the player’s their protecting!
Men and Women put their lives in danger everyday with no riches or glory to speak of
Every year men and women join the armed forces and I don’t believe what they make in a year is remotely close to what the average NFL game check is. These men and women with out any literal fanfare may at any moment lose their life! They know this joining up. On September 10, 2001, men and women joined the armed forces not knowing what was to happen in less than 24 hrs. Those same Patriots found themselves in life or death situations within a few years at the most. They knew this could be the case. It’s what they signed up for. Those that did it because at the time there was no war, quickly accepted their situation if not embraced it.
My point is put out the real stats by position and let these young men decide for themselves. Person for person do you want Millions and fame? If you do and your path is through the NFL, here is what could happen to you. What you, Roger Goodell are doing now is idiotic and insulting to fans and players alike!
Players are already weighing the risks and choosing other professions
Chris Borland came out of Stanford and retired within a year. He was a middle linebacker. I don’t know anything about Mr. Borland, other than he was a tough football player. I do not believe he retired because he couldn’t hack it however. Myron Rolle, cousin of former Miami Cornerback Antrel Rolle was the top ESPN college football prospect out of New Jersey. He chose to continue his education at Florida State like another of his cousins, Samari Rolle. He would even be drafted into the NFL by the same franchise, Tennessee.
With Myron when I say he chose Florida State to continue his education that is exactly what he intended to do! As a freshman the top prospect was named ACC Defensive player of the year, and first team all rookie. In 2008 Myron was an AP 3rd team all American as well as a Lott trophy finalist.
The most prestigious award Mr. Rolle received that year was being named a Rhodes Scholar. For people who don’t know a Rhodes scholarship is only given to 32 students each year and gives the student the opportunity to spend time studying at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Obviously just by the number of students selected from this country each year for this honor shows the magnitude of importance it holds to the recipient.
Myron while being interviewed by the committee one Saturday night, flew back in time to help Florida State in a game against Maryland. This honor meant he would forego his senior season to study at Oxford. He was still drafted the following season. However he decided to become a neurosurgeon instead of an NFL Safety. The power in that is almost poetic given the problems the game is suffering on all fronts.