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Sam Huff rips NFL for limiting helmet-to-helmet hits

jamesharrison

As an All-Pro linebacker for the Redskins and Giants in the 1950s and 1960s, Sam Huff was one of football’s hardest hitters. And he’s not happy with the way the league office is cracking down on the hardest hitters of today.

Huff told the Charleston Daily Mail that fines for helmet-to-helmet hits are handed down from league executives who don’t understand the game.

“‘Look, he’s getting hit! They shouldn’t do that!'” Huff said. “That’s what they sit there in the offices up in New York City and say. What the hell? They’re up there sitting looking at replays. They’ve not practiced, not touched a football, not been on the field, not worn a helmet.”

Huff, who works as a radio commentator on Redskins games, said he thinks the league is out of touch with what players want.

“I know what it’s like to be a player,” Huff said. “Today’s players know what it’s like to be a player. The people making these rules don’t know what the game is really like. They aren’t out there.”

Huff believes that helmet-to-helmet contact is an integral part of football.

“It is tackle football,” Huff said. “It’s the NFL. It’s not a game of touch football. It’s blocking and tackling. Helmet-to-helmet? It’s why you wear helmets.”

And Huff singled out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for criticism.

“It’s all been built up over a period of time, and if the people who run the game — Roger Goodell, those people — aren’t careful they’re going to tear it down in short order,” Huff said. “And that’s sad.”

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64 Responses to “Sam Huff rips NFL for limiting helmet-to-helmet hits”
  1. damnskins703 says: Dec 21, 2010 9:14 PM

    That’s the truth

  2. moolah954 says: Dec 21, 2010 9:15 PM

    I love when these old NFL tuffs come out and call Goodell a corporate punk

  3. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Dec 21, 2010 9:33 PM

    With all due respect to Sam(I’m a HUGE ‘Skins fan and Sam Huff fan), the game was different then. Players were MUCH smaller and the head to head, or lead with the head contact was much less. Times do change and what was true way way back then, is not really so now. I appreciate his stance on tackle football, but one can tackle without using the head as a “weapon”. I really like the idea of no face mask. They’d almost all be clean hits in that case. And the risk of breaking you nose/face/teeth…well isn’t that what the $5m per year is for!!!!!!?????

  4. chaz1975 says: Dec 21, 2010 9:34 PM

    What the NFL is considering to be fine worthy hits is getting ridiculous. When you are watching replays of the game in slow motion they look much more violent then they would live. There needs to be some helmet to helmet contact allowed, it’s part of the game.

  5. thedjbambam says: Dec 21, 2010 9:42 PM

    If you’ve ever heard Sam broadcast you will see why the NFL needs to protect players from head injuries.

  6. daffy87 says: Dec 21, 2010 9:45 PM

    Roger Goodell is a gigantic hypocrite. He always says how player safety is his primary concern, but at the same time wants to see players take more of a yearly beating by switching to an 18 game season.

  7. goodjet says: Dec 21, 2010 9:46 PM

    Thankfully there are some brave enough to stand up for the great game and the destruction of it. Goodell should be replaced with a person who actually loves football before it’s to late if it isn’t all ready.

  8. carryingweight says: Dec 21, 2010 9:50 PM

    Sounds like what everyone has been saying. Can’t wait for a blackout

  9. sportsmediacritic says: Dec 21, 2010 9:54 PM

    The NFL is becoming the NBA. In the NBA, stars (Kobe, Lebron) get away with traveling and have fouls called for their benefit when no foul should have been called. Now, in the NFL, golden boy QBs get way too much protection and calls that aren’t consistently applied (e.g., Brady/Manning).

    People started leaving the NBA because they got sick of it. The fans may do the same thing with the NFL.

  10. thejuddstir says: Dec 21, 2010 9:55 PM

    Huff is 100% on the money. First, Goodell is a spoon-fed corporate lawyer who just happens to also be a puppet for the NFL owners. He carries none of the authority that Pete Rozelle did and the owners barely give him the time of day. Goodell has convinced the owners that it is time to change football from a sport into entertainment as the liability of players health (both short term and long term) is a lawsuit that could destroy the NFL as we know it. A book could be written about everything that Goodell has did to transform the NFL into pure entertainment but alas, the normal football “rube” doesn’t get it and won’t get it until it’s too late. The NFL owners really only care about the billions they make from “girlie football” and they don’t want to risk losing it to litigation.

  11. jerryloler says: Dec 21, 2010 9:57 PM

    Says a guy who probably blacks out if he tries to figure out a restaurant tip in his head at this point. Rooting for old school mud and guts football is is great if you’re watching NFL Films docs on Dick Butkus. In the reality of today’s NFL, I don’t see the point in crucifying Goodell for actually putting the things we’ve learned about head injuries into practice.

  12. freedomispopular says: Dec 21, 2010 10:01 PM

    I agree with him to a point. As many have pointed out, some of these calls are absolutely ridiculous. However, using the helmet as a weapon can seriously injure somebody. Like Huff said, there’s a reason they wear the helmets, but it’s for defense, not for use as a weapon. Like pretty much everything else in today’s world, some serious common sense needs to be injected into the discussion.

  13. raiders4life says: Dec 21, 2010 10:04 PM

    Huff is on to something. Changing the game on the defensive end of the football field will indeed alter the game entirely. Football will never be the same.

  14. profootballwalk says: Dec 21, 2010 10:04 PM

    Next week, Sam Huff will be complaining that the NFL doesn’t take care of retired players who suffer with brain damage – from taking head shots.

  15. comeonnowguys says: Dec 21, 2010 10:05 PM

    In other news tonight, a elderly man yelled at several neighborhood kids to get off his lawn.

  16. heyzeus143 says: Dec 21, 2010 10:05 PM

    preach on sam, don’t these guys get paid MILLIONS to do what they do, goodell must go

  17. tobiasjodter says: Dec 21, 2010 10:08 PM

    I knew there was a reason I always admired Sam Huff. Finally someone who makes sense.

    Funny how you put a photo of Harrison with the story – NO ONE made any comments or noise at all about Winfield’s helmet head butt on Cutler last night. No flag, no stories. I guess if it’s not a Steeler linebacker no one is really that concerned or paying any attention to player safety…

  18. tenntuxx says: Dec 21, 2010 10:11 PM

    Obviously this guy has been hit in the head a few times…so I guess players WANT to have head butts and long term injuries, paralysis and broken necks…yeah, thats real football…grunt, groan…

    Funny how the loudest whiners are either the dirty players that dish it out or some has been or person that’s never touched a football… Until you’ve been on the receiving end of head trauma, shut up… We are talking about people’s lives here…it’s a da&@$!? Shame they make millions and won’t be coherent enough to know what they have or how to count it…at the expense of some ignorant uneducated idiots!

  19. 4sacroc says: Dec 21, 2010 10:11 PM

    Roger Goodell is a PR exec with a CEO title. He is an empty suit. The worst commissioner in any sport in past 50 years.

  20. thejuddstir says: Dec 21, 2010 10:16 PM

    The NFL wants entertainment (offense)…next they will implement a rule where defensive backs have to have their hands tied behind their backs, linebackers can’t wear helmets and defensive linemen have to count to 10 before they rush the QB. It’s no longer FOOTBALL, it’s going the way of All-Star Rasslin’ and NBA basketball…….purely entertainment.

  21. swagsuperstar213 says: Dec 21, 2010 10:17 PM

    I am a vikings fan but have always loved the steelers because of they way they played, consistently violent, and intense. People like James Harrison and Troy Polamalu are being driven away with rediculous fines. Goodell needs to realize that helmet contact will happen (not saying players should run around headbutting people but then again no one does that now). Trying to protect the players but driving them away, if Goodell continues, the NFL will be soccer

  22. paulieorkid says: Dec 21, 2010 10:19 PM

    The great Sam Huff is right.

    And it’s clear that Goodell must have an assembly line of people in his midst tonguing his butthole.

    Goodell should go commish the MISL or something. He’s not fit to work the NFL.

    Football is not for everybody. You don’t like it – go play tennis. Get the hell off the field.

  23. PFTbitesthehandthatfeeds says: Dec 21, 2010 10:25 PM

    Maybe if there is a lock out we could see the beginnings of a player controlled league. One where you get to actual play tackle football. Are they allowed to hit in the UFL?
    Shouldn’t the people getting hit be the ones who decide how its being done?
    Its not a safe game by nature, make it safe and you change the game.

  24. mborz says: Dec 21, 2010 10:28 PM

    One thing we’re seeing is that the penalties and fines are not having an effect on how many concussions are suffered. Favre’s concussion last night is the latest example.

    It’s proof that a minority of concussions come from “illegal” hits and there’s no way the NFL is going to be able to develop rules to actually reduce concussions.

    What does it mean in the end? That by adding games to each season, there will be more concussions suffered than ever before. And the NFL is going to have a hard time selling the story that they’re concerned about player safety once everyone realizes this.

  25. tiproast says: Dec 21, 2010 10:36 PM

    sportsmediacritic says: …Now, in the NFL, golden boy QBs get way too much protection and calls that aren’t consistently applied (e.g., Brady/Manning).

    How many Patriot games have you seen this year?

    Brady has been the beneficiary of one roughing-the-passer call so far this year.

    If the league is protecting some QBs, then please show some statistics on the number of RTPs calls and who has been getting the calls. Because it’s not Brady.

  26. snnyjcbs says: Dec 21, 2010 10:41 PM

    With the real Football owners getting older and passing, the Al Davis and Mora types. And they are replaced by the Dallas and Redskin types it all becomes about the money.

    Why do you think all the rule changes where they can call the exact same play two completely different ways depending on who they want to try and help to the finish line.

    Sad to see what these men and players built up being turned into a JOKE.

  27. pastabelly says: Dec 21, 2010 10:44 PM

    To all of you who say that Goodell is ruining the NFL, the league keeps getting record ratings for all time slots, especially SNF. People must really hate what Goodell is doing.

  28. jc327 says: Dec 21, 2010 10:46 PM

    Sam Huff was great, but one look on TV and it’s clear Sam Huff is absolutely nuts. Not exactly the best poster boy for old-school hard-hitting football.

  29. smellmyface says: Dec 21, 2010 10:47 PM

    @tenntuxx

    So how many players have you seen come out and say oh these new rules are great? Ive heard alot of current and former players say the NFL is turning into a flag league. They know the risk and choose to play if you dont like it go watch golf.

  30. jackhall00 says: Dec 21, 2010 11:00 PM

    Sam Huff craps his pants every day and is best friends with a squirrel.
    15 years of head to head hits aren’t that good Sammy boy.

  31. turk2875 says: Dec 21, 2010 11:05 PM

    Bout time someone calls out Goodell

  32. bradwins says: Dec 21, 2010 11:07 PM

    What is truly sad is hearing a once-great player like Sam Huff expose himself as an ignorant, deranged old man. This game is nothing like the game he played. The game is far faster and far more violent. The players are far stronger. The equipment is far more useful as weaponry. The science available to those that make decisions if far better now than it used to be, too.

    In life, generally, the argument that something should be a certain way because it has been that way in the past is ALWAYS wrong. That is never a justifiable reason to do anything. It is not a justifiable reason to continue to allow players to expose each other and themselves to permanent neurological damage, pain and suffering that will last far longer than their careers and/or potentially shorter and less fulfilling lives.

  33. nesuperfan says: Dec 21, 2010 11:22 PM

    Clearly there has to be middle ground. Is the league right to try and protect the health of players? I believe so, but they have to factor in when a helmet-to-helmet hit is clearly unintentional or could not be avoided.

  34. 6isgr8lamehaters says: Dec 21, 2010 11:33 PM

    Scur-ew Godell and his cronies for trying to change the NFL into the NFFL.

    Huff may not have all his marbles and certainly may be suffering from the long-term effects of head to head hits, but he has a point. Helmet to helmet when incidental is going to happen within the current rules.

    Fine the “intentional” helmet to helmet hits. Otherwise, let em effin play Roger.

  35. guppies66 says: Dec 21, 2010 11:44 PM

    Sam Huff apparently has the current mental aptitude of a 4 year old. Sam, good luck remembering your name in a few years.

  36. swagsuperstar213 says: Dec 21, 2010 11:44 PM

    @bradwins

    Far faster and more violent. Why do you think its that way? cuz people were born more athletic? People are pushing themselves to new limits and changing the game because thats what they love to do. They are fully aware of the risks in playing football and they make a concious decision to do so. If your looking to eliminate the injury rates then turn the NFL into the MLS. People realize exactly what they are getting into, embrace it, and get bigger, faster, and stronger so they can elevate the game. As a highschool player being recruited into a D1 football school I can understand that passion.

  37. mborz says: Dec 21, 2010 11:47 PM

    @bradwins: I can understand someone disagreeing with Huff, but to call him deranged? Really? Is it just because you fall into the category of people he’s speaking out against?

    I only hope you speak out as vehemently against the proposed extended season. It’s sure to cause more damage than letting the players play the game the way they always have. I’ve seen more players laying motionless on the field in the past 6 weeks than ever before.

    Let me ask you this, since enforcing the current rules are not slowing the rate of concussions, what do you propose should be done next to help players not suffer from the terrible things you outlined?

  38. FinFan68 says: Dec 21, 2010 11:56 PM

    I hate that they are changing the game from what has made it great. The problem seems to be that the league is not sure what it wants to do. The league should absolutely protect the players as much as possible but they are taking this to the extreme. There are a couple things that make the water a little murky here. 1) the phrase “leading with the helmet” is BS. It’s impossible to hit someone with a shoulder without your head leading the way. (go after the guys that intentionally use the helmet as a weapon…on both sides of the ball) 2) The league seems to be trying to adjudicate the result of a play rather than the play itself. Many times, a flag has come in very late, not because the refs saw an illegal hit, but because there was a player lying on the turf immobile. Many illegal hits have not been called because the players kept on going and thus did not warrant the extra attention of the trainers or the ref’s flags.
    This is a fast-paced game of violent collisions, to try to change that is to change the game itself and that is what Huff and others are saying.

  39. goldsteel says: Dec 22, 2010 12:07 AM

    Sam you’re preaching to the choir. You are 100% correct. So does the helmet hit do the most damage or the subsequent helmet hit on the playing surface? Example: Look at the latest concussion hit on Colts receiver Collie.

    Goodell is all about image. The Rooneys rarely make a mistake but dragging Roger Goodell into the front office is one of them.

    Fire Goodell.

  40. Deb says: Dec 22, 2010 12:10 AM

    @tenntuxx …

    Let me be sure I understand you correctly. You’re a former NFL player who suffered a devastating head trauma, so you’re qualified to speak on this subject? If you didn’t suffer a head trauma while playing football, you’re no more qualified than you say the rest of us are.

    Someone close to me has suffered a head trauma, so I understand the seriousness of the injury, but it didn’t happen on a football field. And thus far, none of Goodell’s ridiculous pretenses and fines have resulted in minimizing the frequency or severity of head injuries in games. But how could they? Most of his fines have been for hits that weren’t even flagged. So obviously the refs don’t understand what is or isn’t dangerous. And some have been for hits film study shows weren’t illegal according to the rules. So the league doesn’t understand it either.

    What’s more, Goodell has demonstrated by his actions that he does not care about player safety. We’ve been aware of the effects of post-concussion syndrome since at least 1990, but he made no move to address the issue until Congress began threatening regulation. It can be demonstrated that lengthening the season increases the risk of serious injury, but Goodell is pressing to lengthen the season with only a one-person increase in the roster to offset the heavier play-load. He’s trying to push the NFLPA to take a cut in health benefits. These aren’t the actions of a man interested in player health issues.

    Don’t be naive. These debates are about many things. Protecting the health and welfare of players isn’t one of them.

  41. kimcon22000 says: Dec 22, 2010 12:13 AM

    jerryloler says:
    Dec 21, 2010 9:57 PM
    Says a guy who probably blacks out if he tries to figure out a restaurant tip in his head at this point. Rooting for old school mud and guts football is is great if you’re watching NFL Films docs on Dick Butkus. In the reality of today’s NFL, I don’t see the point in crucifying Goodell for actually putting the things we’ve learned about head injuries into practice.

    ==============================

    You made everyone just a little more stupid with your “comment.”

    -Congrats on that Einstein …………..

  42. kimcon22000 says: Dec 22, 2010 12:15 AM

    jackhall00 says:
    Dec 21, 2010 11:00 PM
    Sam Huff craps his pants every day and is best friends with a squirrel.
    15 years of head to head hits aren’t that good Sammy boy.

    ================================

    I’m sure you’ve been more successful in your life Jethro – moron.

  43. philaeagles31 says: Dec 22, 2010 12:17 AM

    Yeah. He’s a moron. I liked him until he wanted to have an 18 game regular season. Lets see…

    I care about injuries and the future of players…

    BUT

    I don’t care if they get killed twice more per season.

    Those starters don’t play much in the pre-season so limiting pre-season games doesn’t do those starters, and their future health, any good.

    Same with records. Why the hell does a player next year get to accumulate stats for 18 games per season when the old timers played a lot less? Records got goofy when we went to the 16 game season (and unfair).

    Sometimes, there can be too much of a good thing. 16 games is enough. Don’t water down your product. With as many injuries as there are, you are going to water teams down even more with all the more back-ups who will be playing.

  44. cubano76 says: Dec 22, 2010 12:54 AM

    Ahhh, gotta love that crazy old coot! He would have head butted Dodge right in thr forehead, made the bitch bleed. The slap him on his ass and tell him to “get back in there and getten next time son!”

  45. warriorking1112 says: Dec 22, 2010 12:55 AM

    SAM IS SO VERY RIGHT! IT’s A SHAME HOW THESE PANSIES AND CHUMPS THAT DO NOT PLAY FOOTBALL ARE TURNING THIS GREAT HARD HITTING VIOLENT SPORT INTO A WUSSIE BORING SPORT LIKE BASEBALL! These chumps that “want safety” the PROBLEM! THESE WUSSIES ARE TRYING TO RUIN THE GREATEST SPORT EVER IN AMERICA BECAUSE THEY DON’t WANT VIOLENCE AND WANT THE PLAYERS TO BE SAFE BUT THE FACT IS THE PLAYERS WANT IT HARD HITTING AND VIOLENT AND THE FANS WANT IT ALSO! I SEEN SUM JOKE OF A FOOTBALL FAN SAYING “JUST BC HARD HITS ARE THE HISTORY OF THE NFL DOESN’t MEAN IT’s RIGHT” lmao THIS GUY IS A JOKE OF A FAN AND PROLLY LOVES TO WATCH LMAO LMAO BORING BASEBALL!! MLB SUCK!! THE FACT IS TO THE CHUMP IS THAT’s HOW FOOTBALL IS PLAYED AND THE HARD HITS ARE RIGHT! Players will always get hurt get over it! When I SEE A HARD “knock your head off hit” I STAND A CHEER AND CLAP IN THOSE PANSIES JOKES OF A NFL FAN’s (prolly a closet mlb fan lmao what a joke) face!! These players make more more than ppl with even more dangerous jobs so when a player gets his head taking off by a hit IT’s FREAKING AWESOME!!!! IF YOU DON’t LIKE VIOLENCE AND HARD HITS GO WATCH MLB AND THE NBA BOTH OF THOSE ARE ARE MORE SUITED FOR THOSE PANSIES!! I CAN’t WAIT TIL AMERICAS GREATEST SPORT THE NFL AMERICAS REAL PASTTIME FINISHES OFF AND KILLS LAME BORING JOKE OF A SPORT MLB BASEBALL AND NBA BASKETBALL! DIE MLB DIE!!
    I HOPE THE PLAYERS STAND UPAND GET WHAT THEY WANT AND THAT IS TO BE ABLE TO HIT LIKE IT’s FOOTBALL not flag football! If not the fans will stop watching and the greatest sport will turn into lame mlb! GOOD JOB SAM I HOPE MORE MEDIA AND PLAYERS STOP BEING AFRAID TO COME OUT WITH how these safety pansies ARE RUINING AMERICAS GREATEST SPORT!!! IF THE PLAYERS THINK THEY ARE SAFE ENOUGH THEN THEY ALREADY ARE!! IT’s A MANS GAME HARD HITS NEED TO HAPPEN WHETHER THESE CHUMP PANSIES LIKE IT OR NOT!! If you want a joke of a sport, that’s boring, THAT HAS NO HARD HITS GO WATCH MLB BETTER HURRY BC THE GREAT NFL IS KILLING IT AND I CAN’t WAIT TIL IT’s DEAD!!

  46. jeffa43 says: Dec 22, 2010 1:32 AM

    Comish Roger Gotohell…..

    He does not care about the players… And that is where this league is going under his “control”.

    Get high on the hide, and then comdemn it. Fine for hard hits, then sell the pictures.

    It is so bad, that even after review, they cannot tell the diff. between helmet to shoulder, or helmet to helmet…

    Way to go Sam Huff !

  47. dumbaseinstien says: Dec 22, 2010 1:50 AM

    Goodell is in somoene else’s pocket. Everything he does has alterior motive. The guy is a terd.

  48. sjoyner56 says: Dec 22, 2010 2:28 AM

    Hey goodell,why don’t we just cut to the case and make it flag football in time for the super bowl.If we do that then next we also should skip the 18 game schedule and go straight to a 20 game plan that way the owners could make more money.I want to be crystal clear about this the goal of football and the total purpose of it all is to make more and more and more money for the owners.I am all for protecting the players but some of the calls and fines are just outrageous and sooooo inconsistent.

  49. patpatriotagain says: Dec 22, 2010 2:45 AM

    holiday wishes of alzheimer’s under huff’s christmas tree

  50. ruggerlad says: Dec 22, 2010 4:55 AM

    Thank you Sam, I wish the league would listen to what not only the players but the fans want. It is tackle football, it is what we enjoy. Big hits, helmet to helmet is the best part of the game! I don’t care how many TD’s some pampered pretty boy throws while a flag flies each time he gets hit, I WANNA SEE BIG HITS!

  51. tv426 says: Dec 22, 2010 6:50 AM

    Helmet to helmet hits occur every single play. That isn’t illegal.

    What is, is hitting with the top of the head – THAT is spearing. It has been illegal for decades and simply now being enforced like it should.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand that must be a moron because it is very simple!

  52. BernardPollardIsAnAss says: Dec 22, 2010 7:11 AM

    And I am sure this guy would be near the front of the line looking for a disability handout from the NFL. Guess what morons, if you want the NFL to pay extended healthcare for players it makes more sense for them to eliminate excessive head trauma from the game. It is a business decision. They don’t want to be paying someone to put diapers on these guys from 45 years old on after they forget their names and how to crap in the toilet.

  53. grogansheroes says: Dec 22, 2010 7:41 AM

    I said it after spygate. The penalty on the Pats was murder, the offense was jaywalking. Goodell is a guy that was stuffed in his locker when in high school and is now exacting his pathetic revenge. I think everyone here wants the players protected from dirty hits, its the non dirty hits that are penalized that are the problem. How can you change the rules mid stream? The officials (as bad as there is in sports), don’t even know what to call. Also, the reason ratings are so high? Lots of people are out of work and have no money, but people have a HD TV and most games are on free TV. It has nothing to do with that corporate lawyer ruining things.
    One more thing, when a player lowers his shoulder to make a hit, he also lowers his head, you have to, the opposing player moves and there is some helmet contact. You can’t avoid it!

  54. bcgreg says: Dec 22, 2010 7:56 AM

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The criteria should be if a player ducks his head and LEADS with his helmet.

    There will be incidental helmet contact on a lot of plays (like the McCourty play Sunday night). These are the ones that need to be left alone. I am all for cracking down on hits where the player ducks and leads with the helmet.

  55. cleverbob says: Dec 22, 2010 8:02 AM

    Stuff and nonsense. The game he played was much slower. He’d probably be too slow to make a practice squad in today’s NFL.

  56. worldsgreatest says: Dec 22, 2010 8:41 AM

    What a bummer football fans are. Sheesh. Its pretty bad when you’re the Redskins and your gameday broadcast team is STILL the most embarassing thing about your franchise. Sam and Sonny make it impossible to listen to the game.

    I haven’t seen any decrease in the intensity of hits this year, even with these fines. Like most talking heads say: players wont care until they start getting suspended.

    It seems like most people who agreed with Huff should be applying new Tapout window decals to their trucks, and settling in for this week’s UFC, not watching football.

  57. VonClausewitz says: Dec 22, 2010 9:53 AM

    Sam Huff is willfully ignorant. While he may have played 5 decades ago (that should be your first hint) he doesn’t understand the situation now. You don’t need to be a trauma specialist to know that the players are much bigger and faster than they were then, and that the corresponding energy and momentum in a football collision today is proportionally that much larger. And while helmet technology may have improved by leaps and bounds too, the weight of the human brain has stayed at around 3 pounds. Perhaps Sam can get a high school physics teacher to plug in some variables in the conservation of momentum equation and rough out how fast the human brain will be pinging against its shell in a hit. Sam speaks of things he clearly does not understand.

    As to Goodell’s place in this whole thing. His agenda is not player safety. Like the leaders of most businesses his agenda is about money and control of the ability to make this money indefinitely. Now normally the public would have at least an instinctual sense that when you have a money vs. health debate the people on the money side are somewhat less trustfworthy than those who aren’t. But in this particular case, the delicious irony is that Goodell is more of a champion for health than the players and former players who should be lined up alongside him. This is truly remarkable. How this has played out for the league so far is both an example of the mastery of spin, and that people, in general, are sheep with a staggering affinity for the status-quo. So props to Roger for showing us all how it should be done.

    The ugly truth is that football with helmets lends itself to more head injuries than football without helmets. And because of the belief that helmets are part of the game, some degree of brain trauma will remain a likely outcome for most players. All Goodell’s policies do is help to ensure that high profile photogenic players will remain more intelligible in front of a camera after football than the no-names who won’t get that much attention anyway.

  58. richm2256 says: Dec 22, 2010 10:11 AM

    The fact that Sam Huff made these comments while talking into a parking meter sorta negates his points a bit though, wouldn’t you say?

  59. swagsuperstar213 says: Dec 22, 2010 10:13 AM

    People seem to forget that EVERYONE in the NFL has trained to play football, spent years of their life playing football, and know exactly what it means. Huff is right, sure the game was slower and less violent back then, but the reason is because people have been elevating the game higher than its ever been and improving the sport. Like i said in my last post Im a linebacker being recruited to a D1 school so I know how it feels to wanna push your game to the limit. Everyone wants to be the best so they get good, people want to catch up so they do like magic football is an improved sport. Is Goodell wrong for wanting to “protect the players”? of course not but dont add games for people to get injured. The problem is that no one knows what is a penalty, what is a fine. and one thing about leading with your head, try running and lower your shoulder but not your head, if you could, congratulations because the second you hit an opposing force you will snap your neck and possibly get a concussion. Headbutting should be illegal and is a fine but helmet to helmet contact will occur

  60. Deb says: Dec 22, 2010 11:01 AM

    @VonClausewitz …

    That’s the most convoluted BS I’ve read in a while. Yes, the game is faster and more dangerous than when Huff played. But you can stop talking down to the athletes as though they just knuckle-dragged out of a cave. And you can sure as heck stop talking down to those of us opposing Goodell as though we’re too ignorant to see the Big Picture. DATA, darling. That’s how the smart people measure “how it should be done.”

    Goodell began a haphazard campaign with a knee-jerk reaction to three big hits on a single day. He didn’t take the money–i.e. corporate–route of planning a well-thought campaign to intelligently communicate to players, coaches, owners, and fans the purpose behind changing the way defenders hit. As a onetime corporate communicator, I can tell you, he could have created an effective campaign using testimonials from players suffering post-concussion syndrome, discussion of the potential for Congressional oversight, the potential of increasing to 18 games and how that will benefit players but including the need to ensure player safety, and step-by-step visual instruction on how to minimize head injuries.

    Instead he just announced that after ignoring the ejection provision passed three years ago, he was going to start levying gargantuan fines and possibly suspending players. Then he waged war against anyone who questioned him. He’s been fining plays that slo-mo replay showed were legal. Refs aren’t flagging shots to the head even when the defenseless player has a broken nose and is streaming blood. And the head injuries continue unabated.

    If you think this is how it should be handled, you have less upstairs than any player you’re condescending to.

  61. VonClausewitz says: Dec 22, 2010 4:16 PM

    @Deb,

    Lol thanks for the laugh. I’m not sure what parts were hard for you to understand, or why you think I was being condescending but I’ll reiterate in a short blurb format you can probably get (<–that was being condescending).

    -the postmortem study on those boxers and football players showed some degree of brain damage in 100% of the cases, including those of relatively young (20ish) players whose cause of death was by something else.
    -the data on helmetless sports with comparable violence like rugby and hockey (pre helmet) showed more physical injury but nowhere near the level of concussion that football has.
    -In hockey the risk of concussions has gone up greatly since they mandated helmets. When the change happened there was considerable speculation by some old timers that this would shorten careers and lead to head injury. Turns out they were right.
    -The physics of collision won't change the fact a head shot will cause your brain to bounce around the inside of your skull. Helmet technology can't fix this. And yes I did go to school for mechanical engineering and I do understand the physics. Not that credentialism should be a defense against the obvious but I figured it might appeal to your overuse of it.
    -Goodell started addressing head injuries immediately after the postmortem study came out not just when those hits happened this year. It wasn't a knee jerk reaction.
    -The rules (or rule interpretation) changes are biased to protect qb's, receivers, and special teams wedgers. Qb's and receivers make up the bulk of players who do post-career media work. This could be just a convenient coincidence.
    -Goodell still hasn't done enough to address the root problem which is hits to the head. It doesn't matter that his rules have been applied inconsistently and whether the refs even can apply them consistently. This is completely irrelevant. He's dragging his feet. And this is ironic because while he may be taking his sweet time, he is still doing more to help players than guys like Sam Huff. Funny that.

    I can understand your typically American attitude (and yes that too is condescension) that one can only be on one side or the other in a debate. However the truth doesn't operate according to this retarded dialectic. People against the rule changes are speaking for the health of others they don't have the right to speak for. People on the side of the rule changes are ignoring that their changes are minor at best. Nobody is advocating the only rule change that will work – removing helmets. Now maybe you can comprehend that and maybe you can't.

  62. Deb says: Dec 23, 2010 1:48 AM

    @VonClausewitz …

    Your condescension is wasted. These are issues I’ve been following for years. And since I’m often contracted to write books for medical research organizations, I’m well aware of the data on brain trauma and post-concussion syndrome. And my sources are much better than a sloppy blog commenter who’s in love with the sound of his own voice.

    The fact remains that whether or not current or former players have a full understanding of these issues has more to do with how the issues have been communicated than with their inability to understand. And Roger Goodell most certainly has not shown anybody how anything should be done. He has botched the message from the get-go. Reducing the number and severity of head injuries is an important goal. His policies have done nothing to achieve the goal. Nor, as you apparently are not bright enough to grasp, does he have any DATA to suggest that his methods have or will reduce head injuries. He is doing nothing more than giving lip service to a serious issue. He’s doing things to make it appear that he is acting in the interest of health and safety when in reality he is doing nothing substantive.

    I don’t have to ask whether you understand my meaning because you’ve made clear you don’t. You’re too busy assuming you’re too bright for the room to listen to what people are actually saying. I’m not arguing with the trauma data or the need to address head injuries. I’m saying that Goodell has botched the job–and that could be proved by simply studying the number and severity of brain traumas before and after his efforts began.

  63. allessior says: Jan 6, 2011 11:21 PM

    NFL football is meant to be violent ladies. If it is too tough for you, then try out for the UFC (Even a 48 former running back in one Herschel Walker can make it there, but I have yet to see the reverse). But if Mr. Goodell gets his way, soon you will see tougher action on the sidelines in the form of cheerleaders.

  64. allessior says: Nov 8, 2012 9:20 AM

    Look, which other sport has 220lb, cut to shreds running backs, colliding with 235lb Cut to shreds linebackers? Without helmits, the forces are comparable to car crashes, and with helmets, that force is amplified. BUT THAT’S FOOTBALL LADIES. Try chess or field hockey if you don’t like the dangers.

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