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Thread: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

      
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    Default Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    So as we are all seeing the discussion of concussions in the NFL is becoming very real and really taking a turn for the worse for defensive players. Here is my analysis of where the NFL is going wrong in this whole discussion.

    #1- Not understanding that players do not have to be in the NFL.

    The NFL is not an occupation that the players necessarily have to be in. They can opt to leave. If the dangers of concussion or serious injury are simply too much for any player to handle then they can peace-out.

    #2- The NFL is a violent game in which if you opt to consent to play in you do, in fact, expose yourself to injury.

    It is true that the NFL is a league based on a sport which in its very nature is violent. Players of this sport choose to be playing this sport and receive huge financial incentives to play in the sport--actually earning much higher wages than is necessary relative to the risk of injury they face. In law and philosophy both there are two essential forms of consent: implicit and explicit consent. When a player chooses to play in a sport he knows to be violent and chooses to expose himself to the possible dangers therein he is necessarily (and sufficiently) giving his implicit consent to play in the sport GIVEN his sufficient understanding of the risks involved.

    #3- No one actually wants to see the players end up with life-depleting dementia or other serious mental illness after their playing days are over...however the only real way to solve this entirely is to eliminate all contact from the game.

    It is quite true, and there is video footage to prove it, that some players have had concussions from even the slightest hit or from tripping over the field or other causes in which the result is their head hitting the turf/grass and giving them a concussion. The only way to completely remove the threat of concussion...and really the only way to SUFFICIENTLY remove the threat is to actually eliminate contact all-together from the sport. If the NFL isn't willing to go this far then they are, in essence, only marginally affecting the likelihood of concussions and head-traumas while possibly exacting huge affects on the quality of the game. This seems counterproductive.

    #4- Hypocrisy is not sexy.

    No matter what the NFL thinks, hypocrisy will not win them any fans. To say they are serious about dangerous hits while selling memorabilia and having images in the hall of fame depicting some of the most vicious hits ever rendered in the game...shows the league to be little more than a cash-whore organization.

    Conclusion-

    It is certainly correct to want to protect the players from injury and leave them with the best possible life after their days in the NFL are over. However, it has to also be understood that these men playing in the NFL are just that, men...and if they do not want to be here or are too worried about the possible risk to their health they are more than capable of choosing not to play in the NFL. As a fan I certainly feel terrible when I see players injured either on my team or a rival team. What I do not, however, want to see is the NFL become a league where over-legislation leads to a diluted form of the game in which one whole aspect (specifically defense) is taken out of the game almost entirely. Things happen very quickly in this sport and what happens in a split second between when the player commits himself to a tackle and what the opposing player does simply cannot be legislated. Certainly there are appropriate measures of fines which can be levied in response to the absolutely most egregious instances of such hits...but suspensions and overly excessive fines simply should be left alone. The NFL cannot and should not allow itself to become a league of consequences where a player getting hurt or getting a concussion immediately means that someone on the opposing team did something wrong and deserves harsh punishment. As a life-long, die-hard Steeler fan I can honestly say that while I find the results, the consequences, of James Harrison's hits to be terrible and never look forward to seeing an opposing player leave the field due to a possible brain or spinal-cord injury, what James Harrison did on the field was play the game the way it has always been played and acted/reacted in split-second decisions with hits that are, truly, unavoidable in the game of football. James Harrison exposed himself to as much of a chance of injury as either of the players he hit (see the Dunta Robinson hit) a decision he deemed worthy of his actions. Harrison chooses to play the game knowing the possible results and accepting his implicit consent to those consequences. All NFL players necessarily do. Leave the game of football alone.
    Last edited by Kipper; Oct-09-2012 at 08:56 AM.
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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    Addressing points.

    #1. I agree. I'm a firm believer that here, in America, folks are free to up and leave a job if they think it's too dangerous, the pay is to low, or any other valid reason. If you don't like your job, then leave. It's simple. If someone stays in a job and complains about the job (more than the usual 'bad day' type stuff), then I just don't get it. That's just me philosophically.


    #2. I agree, to a point though. It's true that with any job there are built in risks involved. Often, not always, the higher the risk, the more compensation for work. However, just because an employee assumes and takes on the risk of a job, that doesn't mean that the employer shouldn't do their best to minimize said risk.

    For example, the mining industry is big in the news now. Black lung was a risk associated with working in that field. Miners back in the day knew that full well going into the mine. Over the course of decades though, steps have been introduced, both by employers and by law, to decrease that risk. Same with cave-ins. That's a risk every miner knows he's taking, but there still have been many procedures and safety guards (some notably through technological advances over the years, similar to football equipment) put into place to minimize that situation.

    Risk and injury will never ever completely go away, and we can squabble about what steps to take, and the how to of it, to minimize injury, but I think that working to do it, to minimize a job's inherent risk, is a worthy cause.


    #3. Agreed. The simple legislating of a helmet to helmet hit may reduce the overall % and chance of concussions, but it's not an end all fix.

    Any non-contact fall to the ground, and hitting your head off the ground, can cause a concussion. Now, it's more unlikely to happen, but it's certainly within the realm of possibility.

    Running out of bounds to avoid a hit, a player can slip on the wet turf and fall hard enough that he hits his head and gets a concussion. The QB can get stepped on by the pulling guard on the snap, fall down and get a concussion. Diving for a ball in the back of the endzone and hitting your head of the goalpost could do it. Etc etc etc. We can all think of examples. Now granted, these might be milder concussions, but once you get one (I've had 2 myself) it's easier to get another and so on and so on. So all those little mild concussions will certainly add up over the years and be just as detrimental as one or two severe ones.


    #4. Agreed, nothing to add.

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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    Further:

    #4- Hypocrisy is not sexy.

    No matter what the NFL thinks, hypocrisy will not win them any fans. To say they are serious about dangerous hits while selling memorabilia and having images in the hall of fame depicting some of the most vicious hits ever rendered in the game...shows the league to be little more than a cash-whore organization.

    Check this bull**** out. They levy a fine on this hit, yet here in the official NFL photo store...

    http://www.replayphotos.com/nflphoto...uoi_321187.cfm




    Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison (92) hits Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (11) during the second quarter of a an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010 in Pittsburgh.(AP Photo/Don Wright)

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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    They removed the picture. How funny.
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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    They removed the picture. How funny.

    Not before their bs hypocrisy was posted here for posterity...

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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    **** near the same thing happened back in the mid 90s with Greg Lloyd. The NFL fined him for a couple of hits on the QB (one was on Favre in a preseason game) and then at seasons end put them on a "greatest hits" video.

    Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    If they were really concerned about player safety there wouldn't be talk of an 18 game season.

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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    Really good article, Benny.

    I completely agree with you on all points.

    My problem with these head to head hits is that they are all being penalized by virtue of a fine for the after affects not for the intent. To start off, a lot of these incidents aren't even called penalties on the field. I also don't see the League rewarding players with cash sums for things that Referees blow during the game that could've cost a win or lost or in the long run affected personal stats that are weighed heavily come time for contracts...

    Ok, I extended a bit there but head to head hits aren't always incidental. You can have a guy going in for a legit tackle, head aimed for a players mid section and the player with the ball ducks and now you are hitting them head on head. Maybe they get hit from the other side right before you get the chance to hit them and now it s a head on head.

    I really cannot see how a player would actually risk paralyzing themselves to make a tackle. That in effect is what the NFL is telling people. They are saying that James Harrison was willing to risk crippling himself to make a tackle..

    Your article is right. The game of football is a risk and when you sign up to play it you know that the risks could be something like being paralyzed. Those risks are all over the place. There's a ton of professions where you could end up crippled or simply lead to something much mroe fatal. Everyone tries to be safe but sometimes the nature of a job dictates that the risks are higher
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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    Mark Schlereth is my hero now. Seriously.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5706132
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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Mark Schlereth is my hero now. Seriously.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5706132

    I was just gonna post that.



    That was simply fantastic.

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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by vandelay industries View Post
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    I was just gonna post that.



    That was simply fantastic.
    No, I mean it...Mark Schlereth is my hero. I hope people have him on more. I wonder what Ditka has to say about these things?
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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    The conspiracy theorist in me wonders how closely the long term effects of steroid abuse look like the long term effects of concussions. If I ran the NFL I guess I would rather people think that ex players were dying younger and their brains looked like mush and that they lived their last years of life in a depressed and paranoid state due to the vicousness of the sport, rather than because they simply loaded themselves up with steroids to even compete on this level.

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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    I think it all comes down to the mighty dollar. If the NFL could get the players to sign a waiver ensuring that the NFL would not be responsible for any injury or death then I'm sure the game would get even tougher.

    Is it a case of just bolstering the future against mass insurance claims from head injuries in particular? Medical science is improving very fast especially when it comes to diagnosing brain injuries.

    If for instance in the near future a doctor could identify that the reason a player suffering headaches, diminished vision or depression is directly causes by blows to the head, the flood gates would open and the NFL insurance claims could cost billions.

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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Mark Schlereth is my hero now. Seriously.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5706132
    That's beautiful

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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    To start off, a lot of these incidents aren't even called penalties on the field.
    I get that, however, look at even last week with Letang and the Pens and that bs call against him. The game's are so fast that sometimes ref's miss calls.


    Ok, I extended a bit there but head to head hits aren't always incidental. You can have a guy going in for a legit tackle, head aimed for a players mid section and the player with the ball ducks and now you are hitting them head on head. Maybe they get hit from the other side right before you get the chance to hit them and now it s a head on head.
    Exactly. I was gonna say the same thing in my initial post on this thread but I was tired of typing.

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    Default Re: Where the NFL is going wrong in the concussion discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    No, I mean it...Mark Schlereth is my hero. I hope people have him on more. I wonder what Ditka has to say about these things?
    Ditka said, and no I'm not making this up, that maybe they should do away with the facemasks, that way these pretty boys (his exact words) won't lead with their head and face.

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