New Rule Against Helmet To Helmet Contact And Big Hits: Is This The End To Exciting Football As We Know It?

1520 words - 7 pages

On Sunday October 17, over ten professional football players were helped off the field because they had all received concussions or other head related injuries (Canfora). An injury can occur at any time of day, walking across the street, going up stairs, or in a contact sport like football. Many people receive injuries when they participate in football. An assortment of injuries can occur: such as, strained muscles, torn ligaments, broken bones, or at the worst, spinal and cranial injuries.
Lately, the biggest worry has been concussions. Concussions can be caused by the jarring of the brain which doesn’t have to come from big hits, it can come from repetitive little hits and can lead ...view middle of the document...

And many more will continue to be penalized because of this new rule. These players have been taught a certain way on how to hit and tackle; it cannot be expected for these players to change what they have done for most of their lives overnight. This rule now has many NFL players, mostly defensive, outraged. When the rule first came out and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ James Harrison was fined his first time for $75,000, he threatened retirement because the NFL is no longer going to allow him to play football the way he has played for the majority of his life.
Though this rule may seem a bit skewed, there is purpose. The NFL’s Ray Anderson stated, “We’re certainly concerned” (Twentyman). Safety is definitely their major concern and in this modern society any precaution will be taken to help prevent injury of any sort.
It has been said by those behind the creation of the rule that concussions played an important role in the decision. After over ten NFL players had been given concussions or other head injuries on Sunday, October 17 by big or helmet-to-helmet hits, the players of the NFL had sealed their own fate, a fate of a more softened league and less of what they signed up for. One of the big-whigs behind the league, Ray Anderson, claimed that “It seemed like every time you turned around; there was another player on the ground for an extended period” (Maske). These guys don’t want to be responsible for any more injuries than they have already been, and they will take any sort of precaution necessary to do it.
Another recurring argument behind the recent rules against helmet-to-helmet and big hits have been to prevent neck injuries. Anderson also stated that, “We don’t want another Darryl Stingley on one of our fields” (Maske). Darryl Stingley was a wide receiver for the New England Patriots who broke his neck when hit by the Oakland Raiders safety Jack Tatum during a game in 1978 which left him a quadriplegic; he spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Stingley died in 2007 at the age of 55 (Maske). That hit was legal under the rule of that time, which was a big and helmet-to-helmet hit which would have probably gotten him suspended today. A major goal of this is to also help prevent serious neck injuries and other life altering and shortening injuries from occurring.
Though this recently established rule may have good intentions to help slow the head and neck injuries dished out in football, it has no place at the professional level, but it does have a place at the collegiate level and below. At those stages of the game, the players have not committed their lives as young adults to football, and shouldn’t have to put the rest of their life on the line in YMCA football, junior high, high school, or even college football.
Nobody is forced to play in the NFL. The pro football players of today play the game for the love of it, oh, and who can forget the millions of dollars they get paid to do it. They are all also...

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