Sunday was an epicenter of violence on the football field and the leaders of the National Football League took notice and reacted. With the size and speed of players today simple physics will tell you the violence of collisions can have dramatic negative effects on players.
A few years ago the NFL put in new roughing penalties to protect their biggest investment – the quarterbacks. Now they are putting in serious suspensions for those who cause helmet to helmet hits. How can a game that has promoted violent hitting suddenly make an about face? They saw the future and it didn’t look good.
In the last few years new medical studies have documented the long term effects on retired players who have experienced concussions while playing in the league – and that was from hits taken 20 years ago. The NFL had to consider what are the future effects on the level of hitting occurring to current players? We already know the average life span of an NFL player is roughly 20 years below the national average. Something had to be done before a player died in the game from a hit or became brain dead from a blow to the head.
I take my hat off to the league leaders for making this step. Imagine if suddenly there were repeatable studies done that indicated cell phones contributed to brain cancer, would the leaders of AT&T mandate a termination of cell phones or fight the studies as the tobacco industry has done for decades?
When billions of dollars are involved it’s seems easy for leaders to look the other way when damage is being done. I applaud the NFL for taking a new direction to remove some of the violence from the game. I only ask they look ahead by ten years to envision the product they want to put in front of the public. Now is the time to plan it and be proactive.