I was watching Real Sports and they did a piece on concussions at the college level. The NCAA has never paid to take care of injured players, so they haven't yet set the precedent of the NFL. But they too seem to have a major legal issue on their hands and now have their own concussion issue.
They made a point on the show that a player can only take 1000 hits to the head. Not sure where they came up with that number. But they were saying they've got to limit practices and the amount of non game contact like the NFL to help fix the problem.
On the flip side, they mentioned college coaches are telling the players they need the contact in practice to become better players. And I just realized this may be the crux of the problem with the current NFL. If you can't practice hitting, you don't become proficient at hitting. And the game suffers. Everyone becomes mediocre. And that's what we are watching today. Average teams. Everyone is middle of the road.
I also wonder if this is why we see so many injuries. We're not weeding out the weak in practice. The attrition is now happening in the regular games. It's weird that there's still so many injuries given less practice in pads and less hitting outside of games. It's like the NFL is trying to address the concussion issue, but they're introducing new problems into the game as a result.
And how does this impact the Steelers? It seems like it's taking us a little longer to develop as a team. In past seasons, we've developed team chemistry much quicker. We knew what we had in terms of talent by about week 2 or 3. This year it took until about week 7 or 8 until we started to see what this team is capable of. I wonder if players took as many hits by week 7 or 8 as they typically had by week 2 or 3 in the past?
I never really thought about 20 or 30 year old college kids completely disabled from football. Not able to walk. Not able to talk. Not able to care for themselves. And they did it in exchange for a college education. Something that some of these kids can't even use given their condition.
This whole concussion thing is a mess. It's a huge NFL issue, but it trickles down to younger kids. It's messed up even if the NFL gets it's house in order. Even if the NFL will take care of players if they get hurt, will the NCAA? Will this trickle down to high school? Pop Warner?
Football may be dead. We may just be watching the game slowly bleed out. Knowing what we now know about the game, why would anyone let their kid play?
Society is on the verge of realizing football is a vice. Would you give your kids alcohol? drugs? cigarettes? whatever? We may be at a point where its better for your kid to be mixed up in some other bad crowd other than a football team.
How can you fix it other than to just blow it up?
If you're a current player that's made a fortune, why not just walk away now if you're lucky enough to be healthy? Why hang on and take so much risk? I'm surprised we haven't had more Barry Sanders.
All that said, I really like football. And this stuff bums me out the more I think about it. And I realize those of us that enjoy it (everyone) is to blame for watching. I can't figure out why I can't give this vice up? Man are we flipped up as a society. We love what is bad for us. It's sad. But it's unfortunately at our core. That's the real American dream.
Oh well, who cares?
Let's go kick the snot out of Cleveland today!!!!!
Let's destroy those mother humpers!!!!!!
Let's make those Brownies regret the day they were born!!!!
This is gonna be a nice little tune up on our way to #7!!!!!