The safety rules in pro football are getting to be ridiculous. I understand wanting to keep people safe, but the new regulations the league is trying to enforce seem to come at the cost of the game.
One of the major reasons people love football is because of the hits. You can’t find that kind of toughness and physicality in any other sport. However, it seems that Commissioner Goodel and the league are doing all they can to take that away. Nowadays, if a guy gets his bell rung, officials have to review the play with a fine-tooth comb and find something wrong with the hit. And it’s not as if NFL players aren’t fully aware of the dangers in their sport. They CHOOSE to go out on the field, no one makes them.
Some rules I agree with, like protecting defenseless receivers in the open field. They can’t see the defender coming and an illegal hit could render catastrophic results. However, I feel that the new rule prohibiting running backs from using the crowns of their helmets is a little over-the-top.
In many ways, the running back position is more defensive than offensive. As soon has he touches the pigskin, a runner has to defend himself and the ball from 11 other guys who want to smash him in. He’s trying to do all he can to get that extra yard, that extra inch to help his team move forward (yes, I used an ‘Any Given Sunday’ analogy).
In these circumstances, I don’t feel sorry for the defender one little bit. He and his 10 other compadres are trying to take the running back down, stopping him from reaching his goal. It’s their job to make the tackle, and if they can’t, that’s their fault.
Many are using the hit Cleveland running back Trent Richardson put on Philadelphia safety Kurt Coleman as an example of what NOT to do. (Here it is if you haven’t seen it.)
You heard the announcer at the end of the play; “That’s the way you finish a run! That’s the way you play football in the National Football League!”
Well, not anymore. And as hard of a hit as that was, it wasn’t Richardson’s fault that Coleman nearly got his head knocked off. If Coleman had gotten low and anticipated the tackle like he was supposed to, he wouldn’t have been trying to figure out what planet he was on 5 seconds later.
Now, my perspective is a fan’s one. I’m sure there are plenty of players who agree with the new safety measures, and the running back rule was approved 31-1 by NFL owners. But, as a wise man once said, (Denzel Washington), “Let the boys play!”
I have a feeling that’s what everyone around the NFL wants to see, players included.
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