Roger Goodell has a very big problem. Football is a contact sport, in case any of you did not notice. I just reviewed the tape of that Tuck hit on Bollinger. (Q3 5:55 left, incomplete pass, 15 yard personal foul.) It is a sad state of affairs for the league when a referee can even THINK of calling a penalty on that play. Tuck’s hit and subsequent penalty are part of a much bigger trend (CAMPAIGN?) in trying to rein in hits and injuries. You might as well whip out another 94 flags and place one on each player’s hip so we can remove hitting altogether. This is quite simply madness and someone somewhere needs a wakeup call.
Rumors and theories are circulating more violently than any of these hits. Allegedly the league is trying to protect players as it expands the regular season to 17 games and reduces preseason to 3. If this is the cost, then someone needs to realize quickly that this is 6% forward to go -106% back.
Football is a violent sport. I grew up watching Dick Butkus and Deacon Jones. I just checked their weights, and the Sports Encyclopedia lists them as 245 lbs. and 272 lbs. respectively. Is the game bigger and faster? Yes, certainly at the line of scrimmage. But Strahan was slimmed down to 255 lbs. in his last year as a pro. He played most of his career at 275 lbs., but the point is that the game has not gotten that much bigger and faster. Tuck’s hit on Bollinger looked softer than garden variety LT. Granted that no one ever saw anyone with the size and speed of Taylor when he came into the league, but the point here is that if the league is so worried about preserving the health of players, then DON’T have a 17th game!
The economy is in a recession. Television networks are releasing earnings- ad revenue is dropping. If the NFL teams and players experience a reduction in their revenue and salaries too, well, welcome to the rest of the world. Please don’t become like baseball and manufacture synthetic growth at the cost of the product. The NFL is so much better than this. Or is it?