The League

Jason Brewer
Eagles Blogger

Jason Brewer

An economics student at Fordham University who runs Bleeding Green Nation

A violent, dangerous game


There's no doubt that it seems like we're hearing about more guys suffering concussions than ever. However, I suspect that the rate of concussions hasn't really increased, just the actual diagnosis and reporting of them. Ten to 15 years ago if a guy was having headaches after a game, that was just life in the NFL... Today, we know it's a serious symptom of a concussion which could have severe long term effects.

As for what could be done to curb helmet to helmet hits? I really don't see what else the NFL can do. Sure, there's old joke that everyone makes that they should play without helmets, but obviously that's not realistic. Fact is, they've made the hits illegal and discourage them with fines, suspensions, and penalties. Helmet technology continues to improve... What else can be done?

It's a fantasy to think that a guy is ever going to be safe playing in the NFL. There simply is no way to make a game with 300 pound guys running at full speed trying to tackle one another safe. By nature it is a violent and dangerous game. The NFL should continue to be strict with its enforcement of the rules, it should continue investing in concussion research and it should always be looking to improve helmet technology... but beyond that, I don't see anything that can be done. This is what football is, for better or worse.

By Jason Brewer  |  October 19, 2010; 12:10 AM ET  | Category:  Concussions , NFL , NFL Rules , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Thank you, thank you!!
This story is being overblown by a football/sports media hell-bent & determined to eat its young.
What about the field turf?
It's a good chance that the attempts to save money by introducing yet another "too hard to be safe" playing surface is a much a cause as anything else.

Plus, far too many players don't wear bigger, lower-hanging,chin-protecting facemasks. Everyone including far too many d-linemen wear running back cages. Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and London Fletcher represent the last generation of LBs that wear LB cages. Lavar Arrington was the 1st player I can recall that started wearing a RB cage-he wore it at Penn State and with the Skins'. To my suprise,so did other LBs and DLs.

The QBs of the league almost never wear the 3-bar cages that Marino, Cunningham, and Bledsoe once wore. Eli Manning is one good hit from a concussion-look at his cage, it only covers his nose.

Look at the supposed shoulder pads-they never reach down past the ball of the biceps anymore, now combine that with a cheap, hard playing surface and Voila!-more shoulder/upper body injuries or so it would seem. So many players are so vain, they must show off those tatoos, even at the expense of protecting their shoulders.

Now look at the uniform pants, far too many RBs,WRs and DBs don't wear any leg padding-so when they fall on the ground, where is all that kinetic energy that isn't absorbed by the cheap playing surface supposed to go? That's right, back into their bodies. Everyone likes to point out how bigger,stronger,faster, better trained and conditioned the players are, so why so many hamstring/soft tissue injuries? Well, without any pads to diffuse some of the energy, it goes right through their legs with their muscles being the shock absorbers. I know, they're trying to be as swift and quick as possible, but it comes with more injury risk. Maurice Jones-Drew complained after a pre-season game last year that the opponent was purposefully trying to hurt him,but he didn't have any thigh pads on.

So in a league that supposedly cares so much about "safety", the shortcuts players take to try to gain just a little more quickness should be taken into account in all conversations concerning it.

I just finished watching the Titans/Jaguars on MNF and I'm struck by how close RB Chris Johnson's dreads push his face is to his cage, he doesn't have even in inch of separation-all it's going to take is one good shot to his face and he'll either have a broken jaw, nose or a concussion.
We must also take into account a media that overdoes every newsstory. The sensationalism around this story almost certainly guarantees that another rule change, which of course, ruins the game even more for a core fan such as myself.

I'm souring on the NFL more and more because of the whining, crying, legislating, and handwringing.

As another poster wrote, at some point in time everyone involved knows it's a calculated risk-same as boxin

Posted by: ArmchairGM | October 19, 2010 3:19 AM

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