Estimated reading time: 16 minutes
Ethics, image and the head on collision of CTE in football covers the issue concussions and brain trauma. How the NFL owners and front office were brought from denial to acceptance on the issue because they didn’t have any other play.
They made changes to the rules of the game affecting its essence but did they make football safer for the future players? Or was the essence of the game affected without making the NFL safer from. future CTE in football issues.
Table of contents
- The difference between nonsense and dirty recklessness
- Rule Changes
- Who is actually at risk of getting CTE
- Roger Goodell be honest to the players and the fans alike
The NFL and CTE have become synonymous with one another over the past decade. What is the NFL more concerned about the ethics or their image and brand?
I don’t watch the NFL anywhere as much as I used to in the past. The essence of the game has been tampered with and contrary to what the NFL brass will tell you, no one is safer for it.
The difference between nonsense and dirty recklessness
I’m all for concussion protocol rules. Sometimes you must protect a person from themselves. I’m not sure they’re always conducted honestly on a team-by-team basis.
Football was a game where a good offense could have their way with a bad defense. Offenses could take advantage of a defense suffering from a lack of talent or mental toughness. The offense could throw or run all over the field on an inferior squad. 15 yard ins, slants over the middle, etc.
On the other hand a mentally and physically talented defense would try desperately to detach the pigskin from the receivers 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. 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 accidental helmet-to-helmet contact occurs it should be a penalty. For instance Ronnie Lott hit people hard and it was legal. That’s football.
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 Kennoy Kennedy used to fly through the air to deliver a helmet-to-helmet collision.
With no other objective other than to launch himself head first into his victims thoughts. He should have been banned from the league.
The NFL didn’t have the pressures of CTE damage thrust upon them back then though.
In my opinion, Kennedy is an example of a player trying to hurt another player in a premeditated attack. This blatant disregard for your opponent’s well being is reckless and destructive.
When the avalanche of scrutiny about brain trauma took aim at Roger Goodell and the colossal entity known as the NFL, everyone started spending way too much time talking about whether it was a fact or just made up.
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 a person’s brain.
This was the NFL and its denial of CTE turning into acceptance only because that was the only play available to them.
I think we the public have become desensitized to the collisions. Put on any football game, then pick any play, now close your eyes, that sound occurring is the helmet of a player striking another players across the line.
How it worked out for the owners
I wanted to bang my head into something, when these billionaires came on television and agreed after a few years of research that they had proof. Finally, the powers that be would agree smashing your head into other people’s is not healthy.
The NFL decided that they would change some rules. Rules that make no difference whatsoever regarding the problem. The owners and league officials hoped this would make the scrutiny go away. It worked out well for them in the interim.
Where were the medical experts?
Wasn’t there doctors present, who knew the NFL game and the reality of the situation. Ones that knew who CTE was in-fact affecting. It’s not the quarterback and the receivers.
Today we 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 NFL will continue to be affected by CTE as much as it ever has.
The maturization of the rule changes
When the rules started to change 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 want to watch the NFL. I probably wouldn’t be so hard-headed if the game wasn’t already ruined by meaningless changes.
Who is actually at risk of getting CTE
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is most commonly referred as CTE. The changes the NFL made is not making for safer football. I have no doubt that the people in charge are aware of this. If I’m aware of what I know, then they know more. What the NFL is doing is ostentatious at best and CTE is still a problem as big as it ever was.
The vast majority of NFL players affected by concussions and CTE 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.
During training camp and all contact practices, NFL players collide and concussions occur and this is where CTE really takes hold.
Where Brain Trauma occurs
Players don’t report the concussion and with no one watching, coaches and medical staffs aren’t as fast to pull the player out of practice. So concussed athletes continue to suffer trauma to the brain.
This is 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.
I guess I’m beating a dead horse here but 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, that through time that lead to permanent brain injuries.
Colliding head first
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 present.
The last two generations of players will suffer the same brain injuries as those before them. Possibly 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 before.
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 attack.
Why not abandon key elements of the running game too. The essence of the game has already been compromised. It would 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 line and at linebacker too. 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 climate was protect the quarterback and receiver to appease a P.C party breathing down its multi-billion dollar neck.
It killed two birds with one stone, like in the NBA by removing thrhand checking rule and then calling more fouls. Both sports invented increases in scoring, which is more exciting to casual fans. The NFL in the same fell swoop got advocates of brain safety to pause and step back. It was false, just a sham that mocked safety.
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.
chasing a sack within the strike zone
I think anyone who has played or knows what it entails to play in the defensive front 7, with a little thought can see why the rules are ridiculous.
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 strike zone. If he stops and thinks for longer than .5 of a second, he may miss the signal caller altogether, grasping 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? 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 stepping up and admitting colliding with huge men at full speed, head first, 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. CTE is going to occur in the NFL as long as football is played.
Most of the receivers are not the ones who are going to have to experience CTE in 20-30 years. While you’re 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.
If Roger Goodell is easily intimidated by today’s climate, he should just step down and let someone else, who’s balls over the middle are bigger than his, give it a try.
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 without any fanfare, at any moment can lose their lives. 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 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. Do you want Millions and fame? If you do, and your path is through football, here is what could happen to you.
You could have brain trauma, resulting in CTE from your time in the NFL. What 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 though.
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 as his cousin, the Tennessee Titans.
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 was a 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 as 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.
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 from today on all fronts.
CTE will be an issue in the NFL as long as football is played. Just as death will occur as long as there as wars on Earth.
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.