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Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by NorthAlabama, Oct 11, 2013.
You should watch the show and listen to Lee Steinberg's tale of that day. It's pretty frightening.
Look at what they said about Mike Webster and how he lead with his head on blocking so much he developed scar tissue on his forehead. Would he have done that had he not been wearing a helmet?
My thought is, if the NFL took away hard hits, would anyone watch? I kind of look at it this way. Boxing, UFC and other fighting sports are popular (or have been popular for years. The difference is, that fighters understand that it's part of the sport, and fans do too. Nobody is going in with their eyes closed. There have been movements to ban those sports for years now. Maybe football needs to be lumped in with those sports. You play those sports, you understand the risk. But to me, it's up to the league (or the conference in the NCAA or the High School) to be up front about it. At the high school and below level its up to the parents to decide if their kid should play. For some, it will be worth the risk (Thinking that it might be their kid's only chance to go to college, or whatever), for others, it's not. My problem isn't with the brutality of the sport, but the fact that it's swept under the rug in the quest for the almighty dollar. Heck, feeding people to lions used to be a sport during Roman times too.!!
I plan to. I know the story because Aikman has talked about it numerous times and it's scary that any doctor would approve of him playing in that condition.
Exactly. They talk about the players being bigger. But proportionally are they bigger compared to each other than they always were? For instance, an OL is probably averaging 325, but a DL is now approaching 300. Years ago, you might have an OL who was 275, but a DL was probably only 250. Proportionally it's about the same. Every position players are bigger. But what has changed since the 1950s for instance? Pads are bigger and harder, helmets are bigger and harder, and there's more of a fearlessness because of it. Rugby is an equally brutal sport. Tackling and running and a lot of the same thing. Yet we don't hear about this. Because the players padding and head protection is more limited. The added force of getting hit with those big helmets has to be exponentially greater than getting hit with a leather helmet. Same with hard padding.
without hits, the nfl would crumble as an industry. i believe if there was less "protective" gear (that offers limited or the wrong type of protection at best), certain hits would hurt a little more, and the players would be forced to become more creative, and not so quick to rely on force.
of course, if other injuries skyrocket as a result, a change could be as bad or worse. this will take dedicated, objective research, but bottom line - playing for the nfl shouldn't cut your enjoyable life after the game in half, or stop cognitive mental functioning - that's too much to ask, even of willing players.
Exactly. Without the protection, the entire sport would be different. When I was in college, I spent a semester in Australia. My Aussie friends would always make fun of the NFL players and say stuff like, "Your American football players are such pussies compared to our Australian Rules players who don't wear any protective gear." I would say to them, "Have you ever actually watched an NFL football game? Have you seen the hits? Players would literally be getting paralyzed or killed on a regular basis if they didn't have all that equipment."
I haven't watched this episode yet, but about a month ago there was another Frontline called Football High, which I thought was really good. It sounds like it was along the same lines as this one, but it focused on how hard kids are pushed in high school, where there is far less regulations protecting them than than there are for college/pro level sports.
If you ever watched old newsreels of football from the 30s and 40s, it's much more like Aussie Rules or Rugby in the way tackles were made. Much less hard hitting. I finally watched most of this, and as they pointed out, when the NFL because such a huge TV sport (MNF they claim is the seminal moment), they amped up the violence. The game as we know it today is a creation of the NFL marketing machine. And this was increased 10 fold once ESPN and other highlight shows (HBOs Inside the NFL..now on Showtime) became must watch. Much like hockey highlights tend to be fights a lot of football highlights focused on hard hits. But apparently that's what people want, because popularity skyrocketed. If they went back to the old game where technique was everything, I'm not sure if people would watch. I actually think it would be a better game and you'd see less mis-tackles and holding penalties. But I tend not to be drawn to team sports by violence, especially over the top violence.