Sunday, August 18, 2013

Protecting Players? More Like Protecting the Shield

I've been watching football for a very long time and I've never seen a sport get watered down so quickly. In the last 10 to 15 years the sport has gone from a hard hitting, cringe inducing sport, to an over flagged, overly commercialed business meeting. In the name of "safety" the NFL has made the game softer than ever. Why you may ask? Because the name of the game of course is money and considering that the NFL is the highest revenue producing sport in America it has some dollars laying around. Ex-players have been suing the NFL over concussions which doesn't make any sense to me because players knew what they were getting themselves into when they signed those contracts. The NFL has made the effort to take care of their veterans, but some of the veterans don't think that's enough and since I don't know the exact details I can't go into it.

So in the name of "safety" players aren't allowed to utilize those bone jarring hits that get celebrated so much on NFL films or on TV with ESPN and NFL network without getting a penalty on the field and a fine in the mail. In the heyday of the NFL Ronnie Lott would do his job and absolutely crush a receiver coming over the middle, but now that's "hitting a defenseless receiver" and god forbid you get anywhere near a quarterback that's damn near a suspension just waiting to happen. Tom Brady got a freak injury in 2008 and because of said injury there's a new rule about hitting a quarterback's legs...his LEGS you've got to be kidding me. So you can't hit a quarterback on the helmet (that's a flag), you can't hit a quarterback in the knee area (that's a flag), the only place is the chest area (and if you're Michael Vick that's not what you want to hear).

Fine football can be a very violent sport, but at the same time players weren't complaining when they were receiving checks to play football. But now that their personal well has dried up the vets are turning to the NFL to pay them for actions that the vets knew would lead to long term injuries. That's like suing McDonald's because they got you fat when you knew that eating too much McDonald's would get you fat to begin with. So with the NFL kickoff right around the corner I'm going to keep an eye on the amount of flags that the refs are going to be throwing, because with the way the game is going soon players will be wearing flags around their waist's and the NFL will cease to be what Ronnie Lott lost the tip his finger over.

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