What about the NFL Illegal Hits? Stronger Enforcement Means Hefty Fines and Possible Suspension
A story of some rules in two different sports – Nascar Racing ‘no bump’ and NFL Football ‘illegal hits.’
With changes to some rules in sports, or stronger enforcement of some of them, where are some of these sports headed?
Nascar tried it when they decided to impose a new ‘no-bump’ rule a few years ago. It was a good rule as far as the drivers were concerned. Even though it was better for them as far as safety went, some of the drivers actually did not like the new no-bump policy. As for the fans in the stands, they seemed to prefer all of the excitement of seeing crashes and wrecks.
The average person, who goes to a race, likes to see a lot of action. They love the bump and grind, the clash of metal, and seeing parts flying all around.
If you go to a race, then when the race is over, if there were no wrecks, no big action, the average person you asked would probably say “now, that was a boring race” or “that was no fun”.
A loss of fans and low attendance at many races evidently made Nascar reconsider their no-bump rule, so it was revised again. (4)
This year, Nascar seems to have had more action and more wrecks, with more fans and better attendance.
Are the fans asking to see more action? The risk for the driver is the possibility of being hurt or disabled. But without the action, the fans tended to drift away.
Now here comes the NFL with a stronger enforcement of one of the already existing rules about the way a player is tackled. This is for the safety of the players, to try to control the hits, and to minimize the danger.
Head to head contact is one thing they are looking at because players are getting concussions. A player can be suspended or he can be fined, or both, for the way he tackles another player.
Some football injuries in Pro football, which have occurred recently happened to: (2)
1. Jay Cutler, of the Chicago Bears, with a concussion;
2. David Garrard from the Jacksonville Jaguars, also with a head concussion
3. DeSean Jackson, of the Philadelphia Eagles, also with a concussion.
Has the sport of football become too dangerous? Is it going to become touch football in order to become safer for the players?
Are some of our contact sports becoming too dangerous for the players? What about hockey? Some players are often in on-the-ice brawls, with many injuries happening there. How about the sport of baseball, with the pitcher zooming that ball at a players’ head at 90 miles an hour?
Where are our sports headed? Do we put so much emphasis on winning, that the participant is put into a dangerous position at times?
Cited by the NFL for illegal hits recently were
1. James Harrison, fined $75,000,
2. Brandon Meriweather and Dunta Robinson, each fined $50,000.
An NFL representative has said “the time has come for us to become more pro-active, more aggressive in enforcing the rules.”
And he stated that ‘the rule hasn’t changed, no intent to change how the game is played, but the fine is being escalated, and it may be fines and suspensions without pay’.
All 32 NFL teams received a memo or DVD clarifying the enforcement of the rules.
Hits to head or neck are prohibited, said a VP of the NFL.
The NFL says this will ‘help change the culture by playing within the rules’. (1)
Repeated hits have resulted in repeated concussions for Dan Morgan, a former player.
Are the players going to mind the rules? Most say no; and from the interviews on TV, it doesn’t sound like they are getting the message.
But an Executive VP of NFL, Ray Anderson, says “If they cannot adapt…won’t be playing in the NFL.” (1)
On a recent ‘Sunday NFL Countdown presented by IBM’, on ESPN, former NFL coach Mike Ditka says the way he was taught is that “football is see and react, not think and react.”
Mike Ditka also said “I’m for anything that can prevent injuries.”
How will NFL administer this reinforcement of illegal hits rules?
What will be the effect of increased discipline for illegal hits on games today?
With these changes and stronger enforcement, where is the sport of football headed?
The so-called ‘Monday morning quarterbacking’ (3) will be happening on Tuesdays, after all the weekend and Monday games are finished.
Hefty Fines and possible suspensions for some NFL players’ so-called illegal hits may be forthcoming after each Tuesday’s perusal of the game tapes.
Here is my idea of a name for this process. Maybe we should call it, ‘The Tuesday Benching of Football’?
We will have to wait until each Tuesday’s announcement to find out what the NFL will do.
(1) ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown Notes and Quotes: Week 7
(2) Inside the NFL | Concussions and fines shock NFL
By Daniel Rathman
Published: Friday, October 22, 2010
(3) def. from yourdictionary.com
‘Monday morning quarterback’ noun – Informal
‘One who criticizes or passes judgment from a position of hindsight.’
(4) NASCAR backs off on bump-drafting rules for 2010