09 Oct 2013
We've had a number of requests from readers for a discussion thread to discuss last night's PBS documentary on concussions in the NFL, "League of Denial." Here's a link to Patrick Hruby's article about the documentary on Sports on Earth, and a place to discuss. You can also watch the documentary for free on PBS's website.
Just a couple of short thoughts from me.
1) Obviously, the evidence that the league willfully tried to ignore the problem as evidence mounted for years is very, very strong. I'll let the courts figure out what the league does or does not owe past players; I'm more concerned with what happens to the game going forward.
2) At a certain point, a contact sport is a contact sport. What about other contact sports? I'm curious to see a similar study for hockey players to see how much difference there is in issues of head trauma. Hockey players are generally smaller, but they hit each other at even higher speeds.
3) Furthermore on the issue of a contact sport: I say this all the time when it comes to penalties for defenseless receivers and the like. You cannot legislate against the laws of physics. At a certain point, no matter how many rules we pass to try to make the game safer, tackle football is going to involve physical contact. That not only means contact that happens even when players are trying to avoid such contact. Remember that the concussion which cost Kevin Kolb his starting job in Philadelphia came when his head hit the ground, not another player.
82 comments, Last at 15 Oct 2013, 12:43am by akn
After three NFL seasons of kicking off from the 35-yard line, what has been the impact on touchbacks, returns, field position, scoring and injuries? Also, is this rule responsible for a record number of big comebacks?