“Slower” NFL will cause more severe injuries
SEATTLE- After the NFL sent out a league wide memo to all 32 teams on Saturday enforcing the crackdown on illegal hits it showed that players are starting to play without the “head-hunting” mentality. However by preventing sever head injuries through illegal hits it’s left open a slew of other sever injuries.
Watching some of the games across the league there were several plays that reflected the new ways of NFL play. Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was cut around the knee’s which caused him to be taken out for a period of the game. Ravens safety Dawan Landry was loading up on a hit on Bills wide receiver Lee Evans but suddenly pulled up allowing Evans to score a game tying touchdown.
Those are just two examples of how the new NFL mandate has hurt the NFL and also leaving players open for other sever injuries.
As ESPN NFL Live analyst Mark Schlereth said “each team should play two-hand touch football, and see what happens to the league’s ratings.”
After seeing some of the games played this weekend I think fans might get more of a feel if each team just throw on their team jerseys, no pads, and a colored towel or some form of flag and either play backyard two hand touch or flag football.
Think about it, just like in Invincible, “OK so this is the play were we throw the ball to Vince and he runs around everyone.”
In reality the league is trying to cover itself from future law suits and the current image of the league. However the fact is the NFL wasn’t built as a “Power Puff Girls league” and it surely wasn’t built to be as slow as baseball. Ever since the AFL and NFL the league has promoted bone crushing hits and playing as hard as you can for four quarters.
Jack “The Assassin” Tatum, Lawrence Timmons, Lyle Alzado, Dick Butkus, Chuck Cecil, “Mean” Joe Greene, Ray Lewis, John Lynch, and Ray Nitschke among so many other hart hitters that built up the tough NFL mentality.
Now it’s not to say that if you have a concussion you still have to play, because there is a fine line between safety, protection and playing through pain. Some injuries like a broken thumb or a sore shoulder you can play through but when it comes to fractures, concussions and broken bones that’s when you have to call it off.
In the modern day kids are tough at a young age to be tough, and play through pain. As you play through the ranks up to high school, college and into the NFL you know from the moment you put pads on what you’re signing up for.
Now if you watch a Wranger commercial and see Brett Favre and think you have what it takes to play in any football league outside of Fantasy Football you’re wrong. However because no one has done that in league history the league should have some say in how the game is played.
Thus maybe adding in more penalties to insure that players still have it in their mind not to go helmet-to-helmet. However fining players and suspensions should only result in the highest severity of hits. What suspensions are for currently in the league is off the field problems, like Jeremy Stevens.
Hopefully the league gets it right and allows the players to play hard and fast, but still within the league rules.
You can follow Lars at Twitter http://twitter.com/larshanson| Brett Favre, Buffalo Bills, Hines Ward, Invincible, Jack Tatum, Lee Evans, NFL, NFL General, Pittsburgh Steelers