NFL Player Safety – Current Concussion Comments Crave Comment

“You want to know the real reason Roger Goodell came down so hard on the Saints  for Bountygate? Take a walk down to the federal courthouse in Philly and peruse the lawsuits filed by more than 400 ex-players charging the league with negligence and deception over the long-term effects of concussions. Goodell and the league hope that if they mention enough times how important player safety is to them, they might be able to sway a potential jury. If Bountygate had surfaced 5 years ago, the league would have fined Gregg Williams $50,000 and moved on.” – Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News…on the New Orleans Saints’ recent woes.

“That [change] was made for one reason only and that was player safety.  Looking at the results of it, it achieved its objective. Concussions and injuries were down [on kickoff returns].  As much as 40 percent on concussions. We knew quality-of-game wise it would have some impact. But we were still committed to doing it. There’s been no push at all by any team or anyone on the [Competition] Committee that we should change the rule.” – Rich McKay, Atlanta Falcons President & Co-Chair of NFL Competition Committee… on moving kickoffs up five yards last season.

Can someone tell me why kickoff returns are still a part of the NFL at this point?  If you are quoting concussions are down 40% on kickoff returns it means, a) you have an active metric for them and, b) by continuing to leave things as they are you are accepting a certain percentage of concussions as being acceptable…when in this instance you can eliminate them by eliminating the play in question.  We’re trying to eliminate the “moving target” of bounties…how about the “fixed target” of kickoffs?



About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside the City of Brotherly Love. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen of our United States and Canada (twice). Addicted from birth to Television/Movies/Sports. Took three years of French and got credit for two of 'em.
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18 Responses to NFL Player Safety – Current Concussion Comments Crave Comment

  1. tophatal says:

    Let’s see the stance taken by the fans and print media alike had one the league’s elite qb’s been seriously injured or had their careers curtailed by this stupidity . The fine was a pittance and shows the lack of a backbone with Goodell . But then again simply look at the owners who were his proponents to succeed Paul Tagliabue . Tom Benson , Dan Snyder , Robert Kraft , Woody Johnson , Steve Biscotti and the Mara’s . Reciprocity has its privileges and has to have a meaning don’t you think ? The NFL hierarchy is akin to the NCAA …………. it’s bark is worse than its bite ! ‘nough said at this juncture .



    • At this point, I’m just pushing for consistency on the “player safety” issue. Kickoffs are as dangerous as they come in terms of high-velocity impacts. In this new world order Goodell created, they surely have to go. Not my doing. I just figure if I can’t swim against this tide for taking violence out of football, I might as well swim with it for awhile…and ask some questions of those changing the sport forever.


      • tophatal says:

        The NFL being concerned with player safety issues is akin to asking the Palestinians to describe what’s the best attribute of someone they know to be Jewish . For years they (NFL hierarchy) ignored all of the evidence placed in front of them and we’re now to believe this change is stance is something meaningful ? Hell , Gene Upshaw as the former NFLPA Executive Director summed it up best ………… my concerns are with the players now playing not those of past ! Need one say anymore on the matter ? Payback can at times can be a bit#h not long after his @@s (Uphsaw) was toes up and six feet under .


  2. I actually feel for Goodell.

    While his sport is clearly king of the mountain by far, he took over at a time where some difficult decisions have to be made.

    Kickoffs have long been one of the most exciting parts of football and now the decision to remove them from the game entirely rests squarely upon his regime.


    • Here’s where I think we’re at. The NFL has made player safety “Job One.” Fine. You have a crap ton of lawsuits against you already claiming you have always known how dangerous concussions have been…and still are. Yet, you are bragging about moving up kickoffs 5 yards and simply reducing them. Are you kidding me? You now have to ELIMINATE the play entirely. There’s no turning back now for Roger. He opened the flood gates starting with those Tuesday morning film sessions where he decided this play was bad…this one was OK. (Can you tell Goodell is off my X-Mas Card list…?)


      • Brandyn says:

        Great points, Bruce, and an intriguing post. The selection of quotes shows the conundrum of the NFL’s PR stance on safety, but it’s incompatibility with the game itself. Taking your point on kickoffs, is simply lessening the amount of injury enough? They seem satisfied. And how much can you preserve the essential components of the game while taking some of the inherent violence of the game?

        I can’t pretend to have the answers, but it seems to me that there isn’t one. You can’t have your cake and eat it , too, and that’s what the NFL and Roger Goodell seem to have their hopes pinned on.


  3. Let’s just have every player sign a waiver to play in the NFL admitting that they knowingly are playing a dangerous sport that may cause irreparable harm to one’s body and brain. Admit that the game is what it is and be done with it.


  4. The excitement of NFL kickoffs has gone down significantly. I miss the abundance of returns for TDs.


  5. sports’ Goodell now becomes judge , jurist and executioner ? It’s almost as bad as the idiocy within baseball !

    tophatal ….


  6. Brandyn, indeed it is as simple as Roger and the NFL want to have their cake and eat it too. This will be interesting to watch…the de-construction of football as we have always known it.


  7. Blog Surface says:

    Great post Bruce. The Flyers and the Penguins series is really crazy. Definitely was not expecting a 3-0 lead that would favor the Flyers. Playoff hockey is tough to beat. Quarterfinals is as exciting as ever!


  8. Steven Jeffries says:

    The kick-off return can be one of the most exciting plays in football. Watching a guy like Hester streak down the sidelines and into the end zone can be the most 8-9 seconds in a game. That’s harder to “yank away” from the fan than an X-box from a teenager!

    Are kick off and punt returns safe? Obviously we are finding that they are not. Will we take them from the game? Obviously we are finding that they will not…


    • Steven, it is the classic, textbook example we all can point to where the NFL wants to have it all. They are perfectly willing to allow concussions…they just want to show they are reducing them. I klnda thought the whole point was to eliminate concussions where ever possible. Unfortunately, they have no argument that makes sense to keep the potential for returns when they are admitting concussions are more likely on those specific plays. Easily removed from the game. (I know I’m playing Devil’s Advocate here but since they’re taking the game I know and love away I might as well go down swinging…!)


  9. sports’

    If the NFL hierarchy in the early 2000’s were already denying the evidence placed in front of them concerning the cause and effect of blunt force head trauma and Grade II concussions were without merit . Then what makes anyone now believe that this latest change in stance should be taken seriously ? Jeff Pash the NFL’s Chief Legal counsel is now seeking to have both cases in which the league is the defendant be conjoined and tried at the Federal level in Pennsylvania , rather than have the two cases proceed as seperate cases .

    Speaking of which , concerning legal issues and cases , Rocket’s (Clemens) case begins today within the US District Court . Should fun packed and be filled with a great deal of humor , thrillls and spills don’t you think ? Expect Clemens to throw everyone including his immediate family “under the bus” as he looks to save himself .

    tophatal …….


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