Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Football: Change the Rules of the Game

How many young people, from middle school to the NFL,
suffer concussions but continue to play, because of the
money, power, "opportunity" and cultural influence attached
to  football? There must be many thousands; a large number
doggedly stay on in the sport until, frankly, they are used up,
too old and damaged to play ball or do much else. --Exactly
what sort of "game" is this? It is a blood sport, not completely
removed from the days of Ancient Rome with its gladiators.

In recent years the media shocked some of us with ugly news
about NFL teams  paying bonuses to players who will seriously
hurt stars on opposing teams. This equates to brutality,
criminality (intent)  and --no particular skill other than thuggery.
It's high time for major changes in the tactics, philosophy and
morality of the game:

(1) No headshots, head butts, etc. Hefty penalties, in some
cases resulting in being ejected from play, must be awarded
to end these frequent life-altering concussions.

(2) Remove some of the "contact" in this contact sport:
five or more players jumping on top of one on the bottom
and other egregious "plays"  should leave football.
Whatever happened to touch football? You still need passing,
running, blocking et al. even in this milder form, no?
Wouldn't that demonstrate more true talent and less

Helmet design can never prevent concussions, which
are similar to shaken baby syndrome. The brain floats
inside the brain case (skull) and violent impacts will shake
it up very detrimentally, voila, a concussion. More padding,
etc. cannot successfully address this.

Boxers and football players after the age of 40 who have
had multiple concussions become virtually unemployable.
Besides the economic worry (where will the income come
from for the next 40 years?) the ruined brain performs
less well and overall quality of life is diminished.

Think about that the next time you're in the stands yelling
"Kill 'im!" Football: change the rules of the game.


  1. Hockey and many other sports I feel are not much better.

    Remember the young man from Chicago after the cheap illegal hit he took he was paralyzed for the rest of his life?
    Lady Amber. As the young people say I FEEL YOU.
    There are some young people in my family THAT PLAY AND LOVE FOOT BALL! Also other rough contact sports.Thanks for telling it as it is AGAIN.

  2. I never would have thought of comparing football-related head injuries to the Shaken Baby Syndrome. I think it's a very well-crafted analogy.

    Great piece! I'm fully in sync with your proposals.

    Muhammad Ali's a wealthy guy, but he's paid a horrendous price