The League

Dan Levy
Sports Media Guru

Dan Levy

The host of On the DL with new episodes every weekday.

Isn't That Why We Watch?


Over the past few months, I've had several conversations with people in the sports world who are convinced that people only watch MMA with the expectation that someone is going to die in the ring.

It's the figure skating fall taken to the extreme. I think I've written this here before, but it's the old saying that fans only like NASCAR for the crashes, before Dale Earnhardt actually died from a crash. But nobody has died yet in MMA (at least not at the high levels where national news would cover it with shock and disgust) so the idea of watching a man pummel another man to death still seems, well, cool.

Football, granted, is a bit different. We don't root for men to beat other men into submission. We root for men who represent our city to beat men who represent another city into submission. Sure, there are rules. And scoring. And helmets. But basically we want our team to beat the other team by any means necessary, and that usually includes bone-crushing tackles concussion-inducing hits.

It's called smash-mouth for a reason, right? You literally smash the other team in the mouth. It's barbaric on it's face. The NFL can only do so much to protect it's players. One of the most lauded players in the history of Philadelphia sports is Brian Dawkins (now playing in Denver). His nickname: Weapon X. Why? Because he uses his body as a projectile, and fans love him for it.

I don't want you to think I'm against it. I love football. It's everything you want in sports, really. Guys leaving it all out on the field. But what Carson Palmer foresees -- that a player will leave his life on the field -- I'm not sure he's wrong.

By Dan Levy  |  September 9, 2009; 11:19 AM ET  | Category:  Concussions , Dan Levy , Medical Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Death Won't Kill NFL | Next: A Death Would Change Football


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Why don't you just watch snuff films?

Posted by: princeleo | September 9, 2009 3:05 PM

Wow. I don't watch football in hopes that someone will eventually die. In fact, that is part of the reason that I cannot get into NASCAR and I definitely cannot handle MMA or extreme fighting. I do appreciate a "hard" hit, but I have found myself wincing in fear over the last couple of years. A 300 lb 6'7" lineman with 10% body fat and a 4.7 40 (yep, I remembered the stats, but not the name) is a frightening human being. Frightening. I am afraid that Palmer is correct, and I don't ever want to see that.

Posted by: merzydoats | September 11, 2009 11:08 AM

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