By Rob Holt aka robholt91

The ever changing phrase; “It was better in my day”… Are our views subjective or is there truth to that? You always hear older guys talk about the good old days in football, guys taking huge hits, no face masks, hardly any penalties, and let alone any rules. Yes, I’m sure that was great, a bar room brawl on the gridiron squaring up huge guys and smashing them together, but where is longevity in that? The commissioners of the NFL have gone to great lengths to protect their investments and their brand. With the amount of studies, lawsuits, and everything else, where is there room for the brutal game that used to exist? Well, in short, there is no room. The NFL is going to great lengths to avoid the bone crippling hits and career ending brutality of yesterday. Sure, it’s great to see the cringe worthy hits, but with the NFL’s growing fan base, there is no place for people destroying each other anymore. I know there are still career ending injuries/hits/etc, but taking the precautions the league has, it’s going to help prolong the careers, bodies, and minds of these young stars.

For better or worse, football has become a veritable showcase of talent and with that, the league has to protect those talents in order to keep the money flowing, in order to bring us all the broadcasts, gear, cards, and everything else we enjoy. It’s a double edged sword, because change the game and people will complain, but if you don’t set some restrictions, you run the risk of driving the whole franchise to the ground. Some of these rules are completely nonsensical, don’t get me wrong. I feel like I can say with good confidence that this will prolong the longevity of the game we love so much. Think of it like this; NASCAR and racing in general has certain restrictions in place, if they didn’t a lot of the invested money would be circling down the drain. I could almost guarantee that if they lifted all bumping/contact rules, there would be ten times more crashes. Their profit would go down and it would be over. No-one would want to drive in a demolition derby if they just enjoyed the thrill of the race. So, why can we expect NFL players to do the same? I mean, certainly the risks aren’t as high, but if someone takes the wrong hit they could be injured with life-threatening injuries or worse. Now, that normally doesn’t happen, but it can. It is a dangerous sport, even just cutting wrong can put you out for the season.

I trust that the league does right by its players and fans to help ensure that these players can keep playing. Sure, it waters it down a bit, but we still watch. I always hear that football is getting “closer and closer to flag football” but with all the injuries that happened last year, I don’t see the game getting any bit easier. I just don’t see that when a LOT of players got banged up last year, seriously banged up. It’s human nature to reject change and exile those who implement it, but I really hope some people will open their minds to accepting some of these implemented rules. I get legitimately concerned during some games, not seeing things called. It puts these players at risk when they shouldn’t be. I know this is an inherently dangerous sport, but I have no problem with these rules being put in place, because I don’t want to see anyone get injured when it could have been avoided. These athletes don’t need to be babied, that isn’t what I’m saying, but with all the technology we have today, the game SHOULD be safer. With hindsight being twenty/twenty, I’d like to look back on this era in twenty years and say: “This is when we got it right” and not worry about player health and safety. There’s no reason some of the most talented people in professional sports should have to go down on the account of some stupid play that could have been avoided with one single rule in place. I’m not for changing the game, but I’m about protecting the athletes that we admire so much.