Me and my grandpa sat on the couch watching the Patriots Vs Ravens games enjoying every second of it. I think this was due to the fact that neither of us had anything invested in it although I was hoping the Pats would win and he wanted the Ravens to win. We we're just talking then this happened:
My grandpa looked at me in a face that I don't really see that often and he looked at me and said
"There's no way that this kind of play will be in the NFL in 20 - 25 years and in no way is that kind of play sustainable"
I would have laughed because my grandpa has long called this generation of football players pansies but he didn't have any kind of smirk on his face. It was full of seriousness with kind of a scared look on his face then I thought about it. What exactly did he mean by this. Since then I have thought and thought about it, then last night I heard it again on a political channel
"This kind of play is not sustainable."
Lets look into that, shall we?
I have come to the conclusion have weeks of off and on thinking on the subject that my grandpa was correct. Most people will blame this on the fact that the NFL is changing because of The NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell but lets be honest, no matter who the commissioner is big hits as a whole will eventually have to be brought to the table and talked about in totality. Goodell first tried to deal with this by saying you can only hit on a certain place on the body. But this will not solve the problem long term because look at Junior Seau. This guy never had a concussion in his NFL career but after the doctors looked over his brain after he had committed suicide, they had reported that even though he never had a concussion he had brain cancer.
Advanced tests done at the National Institutes of Health on the brain of football star Junior Seau, who committed suicide in May, showed he had signs of a degenerative brain disease, the Associated Press reported.
The examination of Seau's brain showed "abnormalities consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)," the kind of injury associated with repetitive head injuries, the AP said.
You could say this is all hogwash and ignore it but can you ignore when even past stars and Superbowl winning players have come out and say they wouldn't let their kid play football?
Kurt Warner said:
"They both have the dream, like dad, to play in the NFL," Warner said. "That’s their goal. And when you hear things like the bounties, when you know certain things having played the game, and then obviously when you understand the size, the speed, the violence of the game, and then you couple that with situations like Junior Seau — was that a ramification of all the years playing? And things that go with that. It scares me as a dad. I just wonder — I wonder what the league’s going to be like. I love that the commissioner is doing a lot of things to try to clean up the game from that standpoint and improve player safety, which helps, in my mind, a lot. But it’s a scary thing for me."
Terry Bradshaw said on Jay Leno:
"If I had a son today, and I would say this to all our audience and our viewers out there, I would not let him play football,"
"I'm a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football," Obama told New Republic. "And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence."
These aren't people who hate the game, these are people who watched/watch and played football for years. Now lets not blame the commissioner because in all honesty there are two main factors that are the reason why football can't sustain where it is at and those two things are:
2. Bigger, Stronger, and Faster Players
These two things that I mentioned above do not mix with each other. As our society gets smarter and looks more into football they will see more fault with it. As they see more fault with it, as they have in the past, there will have to be more change. The NFL just can't say we are going to do so and so because of the bigger, stronger, and faster players. Players will continue to find ways to legally knock the hell out of each other and we as a society how violent the sport really is. With that more and more regulations will be put into football which brings me to where football will eventually get to, the NFFL.
The National Flag Football League
Yes, you might laugh now but I could seriously see this happening within the next 20-30 years. Our society will continue to see the violent hits and want to save face. Stars will continue to come out and say how they wouldn't let their kid(s) play the game for the same reasons as the three have said recently and people will listen because these 3 guys are on their TVs advocating against the big hits. Don't get me wrong, people will continue to let their kids play the game because you can't really tell your kid to not have ambition and not be active but some parents may because of bounties. You could say we are making it less violent because of no helmet to helmet hits but just ask yourself with your bias out of the window, what's the difference between the hit above that Pollard laid on Sidney and this one?:
And the words repeat in my head
"This kind of play can not be sustained."