*This is just a rambling post from a football fanatic that is a rant about the proposed changes in fines/suspensions for head shots and “devastating” hits in the NFL. It is by no means correct but I need to get it out there.*
I am a huge football fan. I have been ever since I was a little girl with an older brother playing football and a dad who coached peewee football. I was a little baby cheerleader. And every Friday we went to the high school football stadium to watch the high school kids and every Saturday we made our trek to wherever the boys were playing. And then of course on Sundays we would plop in front of the TV to watch our favorite team play. And it never seemed to cause any outburst except for the occasional, “oh crap” when a monstrous hit was blasted in our vision. And now…apparently it is a horrible thing to happen. Yes it is not cool when people intentionally injure other players. And no one wants to see a player get injured in the course of the game. But I never have thought that the players should change how they play to insure that the offensive players do not get hurt. A few years ago when they made the Brady rule (seriously…the dude is not a god. He is not even that good-looking, but that is neither here nor there) I thought it was the most ridiculous thing. Who cares if the quarterback takes a hard hit? Not me. I thought the league was taking it one step too far. My husband (even though he agrees with me) always says that the quarterbacks are the faces of the game and the league doesn’t want them to get hurt because people tune in to see the “big names.” I call bull because I could give a crap less about the quarterbacks. Well I could care less about them as much as I care less about the receivers and the linebackers. I am not an individual player kind of girl. I’m a team girl. And so I don’t think that any one person playing a team sport should be favored. I also think that if it were a linemen that went down and hurt himself the league would not have made a special rule to protect them.
So then this past weekend the league was overwhelmed with a number of hits that caused concussions. One of the hits looked pretty nasty and the player could have done it on purpose but I’m not sure but the other hits came in the course of the game. And the players that administered the hits did not receive penalties during the game because the officials did not deem them illegal hits. So why, on Monday or Tuesday did the league decide that the players needed to be penalized. To the tune of $75,000 for one player. He even left the team for a few days because he didn’t know if he wanted to continue to play. He has since returned to the team but I’m sure as a player it would be hard to know that what you did was not wrong but you are being penalized for it. And now the league has instituted a rule that you could be suspended for multiple games if you make a hit that is considered a helmet-to-helmet hit or a “devastating” hit. I don’t know what I would even consider a devastating hit. From the TV in slow motion and HD a lot of the hits that going on during the games look pretty devastating to me. But the players get up and most of the time they play in the next play. I would of course say a devastating hit would be one that seriously injures a player, whether it be head trauma or bodily harm, but that is usually unintentional. Players are taught and usually lower their heads for a tackle so I would assume (seeing that I’ve never played) that if their heads are lowered they can not see when another player suddenly changes direction and they drill into them. If they are going to penalize the defensive players then maybe they should penalize the coaches for running routes making it possible for their players to get hit that way.
So after hearing about all the nonsense that was being issued to change this my first thought was that we would be watching flag football in a few years because the people that don’t want to see hits like that will be in control. I also thought that these are grown men choosing to partake in a GAME that they are making hundreds of thousands of dollars and of course most people are making millions of dollars. While watching sports shows throughout the week I have heard similar comments being made by ACTUAL players. They feel the same way I do. So I am definitely not alone in thinking this. This is definitely a very controversial subject because people have views on both sides but I just wanted to put this out there on the slim chance that maybe the NFL will see this and take my advice! Which is to back off and let the boys be boys and play the game. At least this isn’t the 70s where the Raiders players are out there spitting in people’s faces!