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Bill Rhoden: A Quick Reminder of Football’s Violence

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by YankeeFan, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Will be interesting to see if this becomes a larger issue in the media, or remains a sidebar:

    In Week 1 of a new N.F.L. season and at Game 1 of Todd Bowles’s tenure as Jets head coach, the dark cloud of violence that has been a fixture over the league descended on MetLife Stadium as if it had been waiting for just that moment.

    It took all of 14 minutes for the first concussion to occur, another 25 for a star Jets player to tear up his knee, and three and a half quarters for a player to be carted off the field, motionless, as teammates, opponents, fans and many thousands of TV viewers looked on.

    Bowles and the Jets emerged victorious over the Cleveland Browns, 31-10, while the violent pastime that the N.F.L. peddles and packages brilliantly and without shame was on full display.

    Cleveland quarterback Josh McCown sustained a concussion on the Browns’ first series. McCown tried to dive for a touchdown and was hit by linebacker Calvin Pryor. He fumbled away the ball and was forced out of the game.

    The Jets’ Antonio Cromartie wrenched his knee in the second quarter and was carted off with a towel over his face, presumably to hide the contortions caused by the pain.

    In the fourth quarter, the Jets’ defense was feasting on Johnny Manziel, Cleveland’s second-year backup quarterback. Facing a third-and-18, he fumbled after being sacked by Muhammad Wilkerson. The crowd roared, music blared and young Lorenzo Mauldin, a rookie linebacker for the Jets, lay facedown, motionless.

    A few moments turned into uneasy minutes. Stretchers were summoned, and Mauldin’s teammates walked over, then knelt.

    The stadium, bursting one moment in pandemonium, was now gripped by an eerie, uncomfortable stillness as more medical personnel were summoned to attend to the fallen player.

    Finally, Mauldin, strapped down, was lifted and carefully placed on the waiting cart to hearty applause. He may have given a reassuring thumbs up, but I didn’t see one.

  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Two things:

    • I go to the local high school game on most Friday nights. Grown men hoot and holler ravenously for devastating hits by the home team. It's uncomfortable.
    • My 6-year-old and I often play football in the yard. Part of his NFL play-acting now involves getting the concussion protocol administered. He likes to pretend he can't remember what grade he's in, for example, or where he lives.
    YankeeFan likes this.
  3. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Some other columnist must've already called dibs on the "A Quick Reminder: The Sky is Blue" phone-in column.
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Is it getting more violent?

    With the size and speed of the current game, I think it is. We also no more about the long term damage that this violence does to the players, so I'm not sure how you can ignore the issue.
  5. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Too big, too fast, too strong, too violent.
  6. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure anyone IS ignoring the issue.
  7. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Well, then maybe like a NYT ISIS editorial, we've identified a problem, but offered no solutions.

    Have we just decided that the level of violence in football is acceptable in return for the entertainment it provides?
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Yes, kind of like guns.

    Someone will die on the field in an NFL game, probably in the next 5-10 years.

    (For the record, I will probably let my kid play football.)
  9. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    this is the end of Western civilization Bread and Circus Death games. Religious wars. Economic disparity. Donald Trump. We are merely awaiting the Visigoths return
  10. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I'll at least give Rhoden credit for including the quote at the end from the youth football parent who said participation isn't as down as much as you'd think, and that youth football is safer than youth baseball or soccer. I agree with that. But yeah, 350-pound guys who run like gazelles crashing into each other and getting hurt isn't a newsflash, in Week 1 or any other week.
  11. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    I think it's much less violent than say, the 70s and 80s. Go back and look at some of the NFL films highlights, and even one of the opening show montages (maybe CBS or Monday Night football) where a clothesline around the neck was considered a legit and highlight worthy hit.

    They've legislated a lot of the big, vicious hits out of the game to make safer than it used to be, at least in my view.

    But, by nature of the physical contact, it's always going to be a high risk sport for serious injury.

    Maybe we are headed down a continued slope to where we'll move to flag football or two hand touch and eliminate hitting and tackling all together.

    Of course, the Patriots will still be embroiled in a cheating scandal when there's word that they've affixed their flags to the uniforms with a special adhesive that makes them harder to remove....
    I Should Coco and Mr. Sunshine like this.
  12. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    You beat me to the punch (so to speak), Cap'n Kirk.

    I watched some old Bears highlights on YouTube last week, and it's amazing how many of Dick Butkus' highlight-reel tackles were at or above the shoulders. And in those days, they basically wore plastic helmets.

    Then you see all the "head down" tackles being made and realize how coaches have tried to make the game safer these days. But it's sports, and collisions happen on every play. Not just in football, either.
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