Possible changes to kicking game in NFL
by CARL LANGLEY
Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced that he will have a committee study and recommend changes to the kick off in the NFL for the 2013 football season due to the large number of concussions occurring across the league.
Seems just a little late to do a study when the number of concussions in this violent sport has piled up now for several years.
It seems that it took the New Orleans Saints’ “bounty gate” scandal (if there really was one) to open his eyes to some ideas that would revolutionize the game.
I love to listen to the John “Spud” O’Connell talk radio show on WWL radio in New Orleans because the 54-year-old calls it like it is.
In a very recent call-in survey, 51 percent of his listeners from coast to coast said they would continue to watch NFL games if the NFL removed the opening kick-off and 49 percent said they would not attend any more games or waste time watching them because the very essence of the game would be destroyed forever.
Many believe that Goodell wants to back the kick off point to the 20-yard line to reduce the possibility of concussion.
Think about it: If that were to occur, the danger would actually increase in many folks’ opinion because the kick-off team would actually build up a faster speed for hitting the return man as well as the collisions that would occur to the up men, etc.
Some have fostered an idea that a rule should exist on kick offs where only the kick-off man and receiver would move to position themselves then all other players could move to make the tackle.
There are those fans who believe they have seen enough change in the NFL to last them a lifetime and are fed up with more moves.
The real issue behind all this is (as so many things are)—the big dollar.
Sponsors are becoming overwhelmed with the tremendous salaries and the NFL fears the loss of big dollars if the concussions continue to pile up. Just about everything has been done to reduce concussions from the pro level down to the high school level, were concussions training continues.
The real issue is not only money, but fans who obviously, from surveys made, will not buy into this change that is being proposed when the entire study is done.
It’s a shame to say, but Americans have become no less brutal in their games than the Romans were centuries ago when they cheered for death in the arena. Americans want football to be as brutal as possible. A good hit on another player is cheered, not just for the delight of the home team, but often because of good technique on the part of the one making the play. Often the player who is hit stays down a while; often he may be injured.
Multiply the high school hit times five and that’s about difference the pro game move up from the high school danger of being injured. Of course, the latter are in better condition and have become men knowing they will face this all game long.
I still believe that Goodell’s ideas will not all fly because the fans will not allow the game to exist without a kick-off in each half, and what about the kick-off about a touchdown? What happens then and what difference would this kick-off be from the regular opening kick?
There doesn’t seem to be an answer for that.
Goodell seems to be a drifter – drifting from the right to the left – dishing out punishment , as he did in the case of the Saints, and then altering his decisions.For the complete story and more local news, please subscribe to Jennings Daily News by clicking subscribe or by calling 337-824-3011.
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