Stating the Obvious

…at a time when the Saints seem to have become the symbol of all that is wrong with the game of football, there are other players on other teams saying and doing very similar things.

via Saints not the only ones straddling the line between football and assault | Shutdown Corner – Yahoo! Sports.

So, there are, now, more than 50 lawsuits against the N.F.L. related to head injuries, which takes in more than 800 defendants. Which is not yet 10 percent of the pool of retired players. Which means more lawsuits are sure to come.

From this, it is obvious that, if it is not already happening, insurance liability is going to become an onerous financial constraint for organized football. These pressures are sure to have a crippling effect, beginning with youth programs, extending through all levels and leading eventually, inexorably, to the N.F.L; the result will eventually be fewer teams, fewer players and fewer great performances.

I read a comment the other day in which someone said the former Saints assistant Gregg Williams was “done” in the N.F.L. That may only be partly right.

Maybe football only regresses to a level of popularity akin to the N.H.L. of the past decade. The real game changer will be the bloodthirsty American sports fan. I ask, How popular is the N.F.L. going to be if, in the future, “60 Minutes” starts doing news features on Hall of Famers like, say, Tom Brady, who sit glumly in rooms full of trophies and vacantly gum their oatmeal?

See also:

Theres money in injuring star players, and money will always win.

via Is it even possible to play a version of football without some Gregg Williams-style crazy in it? | Shutdown Corner – Yahoo! Sports.

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3 thoughts on “Stating the Obvious

  1. I think the game will be better because of it, and talented players will last longer. Head injuries have not hurt the sport of boxing, even with examples such as Muhamed Ali (C. Clay) walking about slowly, and talking slowly. The rules changes enacted last season did not hurt the level of play. All they did was hold accountable those few players who try to hurt their opponents. Helmet to helmet contact should have been penalized severely long ago. I feel bad for those who had to leave the game because of one too many malicous hits. Some fans thrive on those hits, but even they admit it needs to come to an end to save, and extend the shelf life of players such as Quarterbacks, who, by the way, get hit almost every play, in one way or another. As for the lawsuits, no one forced these guys to play. They knew the way it was, yet played anyway. Baseless lawsuits, and I believe they will be settled out of court, even though they have no merit.

    The Saints, their bounty program, and the ensuing bounty-gate was just what we needed to hear to justify the rules changes made BEFORE this came to light. In my opinion, the Saints got off too easily. The New Orleans Saints should have been stripped of their Super Bowl title.

    On a side note, the recordings that brought all of this to light were illegaly released to the media by a film maker working with an ex Saint who has ALS on a film about the team, and his experiences. A lawsuuit on this matter will be forthcoming, and i forsee severe penalties for the film maker illegaly releasing the tapes.

    cheers!

    mark

    • I hope football is more resilient. …And I agree that few football players are worthy of our pity, I just do not think the courts will share this view. …What I wonder is, How likely is it that New Orleans was the only N.F.L. team to be so ruthless? I have no way of knowing, but it keeps me from wanting a more severe sanction for the Saints. Until there is a more arduous accounting, I think it is hard to tell how things are going to turn out.

      • From what I have heard, living in an NFL City, it was widespread, in one form/degree, or another. I do not think most teams had a bounty for knocking someone out of the game. Donovan Darius, a retired defensive player for the Jaguars has stated to our local media that a pool type system was used on most teams, with the money being payed for sacks, turnovers, interceptions, etc. He has nothing to lose being retired, and he was one of the leagues hardest hitters in his time playing for the Jaguars. I think his assesment is about the most correct one.

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