It seems like every weekend I watch football and I see a helmet to helmet hit a ref throws a flag and instantly my twitter timeline blows up with people saying “football has become flag football” or “its football, people going to get hit in the head.” I can’t defend every helmet to helmet flag as being a good call but when for some the reality of football is death at 55, or severe mental disorders. Can you really blame any league for trying to prevent those realities?
I’m fully aware that every helmet to helmet hit can’t be prevented and frankly in football it shouldn’t be and I could argue its necessary in a lot of cases. Helmet to helmet hits happen hundreds of time during a game without any incident but for people to act like the entire game of football has gone “soft” because an element of helmet to helmet contact is trying to be taken out is crazy. People will argue and say “its football you know what you’re getting into”. Very true, there are many occupational hazards in football but because something dangerous could happen doesn’t mean that you should expect it to happen.
In high school, one of my classmates told me he was joining the army. I told him he was crazy and he basically signed his death certificate. His response to me was, “do you think I joined the army to die? My training, my equipment and my squadron will do everything possible to make sure that doesn’t happen. Can it happen? Yes, but do I expect it to happen? No.” With Football I believe it’s the same way, people don’t sign up to play football with the expectation that they will die at 55 or that when they retire they will suffer from severe mental disorders. We hope (at least I do) that the trainers, medical staff, teammates, the organization and my family will do everything possible to make sure that doesn’t happen. Even with all that help can it still happen? Of course, but that doesn’t mean that we should disregard the rules that are in place that try to prevent it from happening.
As I sit here and write all this I know for a fact that if I got a concussion in a game I would at least try to finish the game and deal with everything else later. That’s part of the problem with our generation it’s the generation of now, everything has to be now. I think society would have a very different view on concussions if the long term effects were felt instantly, because the effects are felt years down the road people tend to have that I’ll deal with it later mentality.
Today in the NFL you have current players advocating for helmet to helmet hits while former players have 6 pending lawsuits against the league saying they didn’t do enough to protect them from concussions. I guess all those former players are about to turn 55, suffer from a mental disorder and realize their clock is about to run out. As their clock ticks down they realize they won’t be there to see their son graduate, see their daughter get married or worse be there but not have the mental capacity to remember it.
Let me know what you think about the state of football and concussions by commenting below…..