League will suspend first-time offenders for head shots

Yes, the league is taking the issue of helmet-to-helmet hits seriously.  How seriously?  As of Sunday, a suspension could come for a first offense, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.

V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson confirmed that the new rule will be announced within 48 hours after hits on Sunday that Anderson called “disturbing.”

“We can’t and won’t tolerate what we saw Sunday,” Anderson said Monday, per Mortensen. 
“We’ve got to get the message to players that these devastating hits and
head shots will be met with a very necessary higher standard of
accountability.  We have to dispel the notion that you get one free pass
in these egregious or flagrant shots.”

The new rule apparently won’t apply only to helmet-to-helmet hits, but it will also encompass “devastating hits” and “head shots.” 

Curiously, the league has yet to reiterate its message from three years ago that players committing flagrant helmet-to-helmet hits will be ejected.  Since the new approach was adopted, no player has been ejected for a flagrant helmet-to-helmet hit.

Still, the league is moving in the right direction.  But we hope the league doesn’t stop by merely beefing up the words on paper; the policy needs to be applied zealously, and other methods for improving player safety should be explored.

100 responses to “League will suspend first-time offenders for head shots

  1. Can they still go helmet to helmet on Aaron Rodgers without getting called, or is that going to change too?

  2. Did you see Brady flapping his arms on the turf after a legal sack that was not even a hard hit?
    He was playing to the refs for a flag.
    That behavior should get a 15 yard lobbyist penalty, hereinafter known as the “Tom, stop being such a pussy rule”.

  3. Just get rid of helmets completely. Then no one will lead with their head!
    Ridiculous? Of course it is. But no more ridiculous than the knee jerk reaction we’re seeing from the league office.

  4. Thank god. At first I thought the post was going to be about a Brett Favre suspension.
    Thanks! I’ll be here all night!

  5. First offense, 50 grand…Second offense, 100 grand and 3rd offense 50 grand as well as a game suspension.

  6. Can they still go helmet to helmet on Aaron Rodgers without getting called, or is that going to change too?
    Exactly, this will not change at all…they will just suspend the player after the game and Rodgers will still get the weekly no calls which will encourage more helmet to helmet hits on him as players discover that they can get away with it….

  7. terrible decision…..we’ll see how this affects the games; but if this causes the games to get soft, expect to start losing money…..that goes to everyone who makes money off of pro football. Players, owners, commentators, bloggers, etc.
    This rule could make the game less popular. However, if the refs actually restrain themselves, this rule may end up making no difference at all……so I really don’t see the point unless this move was intended to simply make some lawyer at NFL HQ happy.

  8. How the hell can you play defense now? How do you separate a ball from a receiver making a catch? How do you coach your players?
    Hit that guy, but only in the stomach. Hit him hard enough to take him down, but not so hard that it may be deemed a big hit.
    If they go forward with this, just put flags on the players and call it NFFL National FLAG Football League. Let me know a week in advance so I can stop watching!

  9. For my entire life of watching football, what kept me coming back was the physical way the game was played. I understand the want and need to protect the players not only from each other but from themselves as well. However with the way the NFL is handling this I can’t think to describe what the NFL game will look like in 5-10 years. Will it actually turn into two hand touch?

  10. The solution is easy. Replace the ball with a puff of cotton, replace the cleats with metal bottom boots and replace the turf with a painted sheet of metal and plug it in. No violent collisions guaranteed. Hail!

  11. The league will suspend any player seen as having caused another player to sprain their ankle, break a nail or get grass stains on their uniform.

  12. nothing pussy about coming back from down 10 in the 4th to beat what some erroneously have dubbed the best team in the league…Brady is getting number 4 this year, no doubt about it

  13. @markt30
    “They should also suspend QBs for being pussies.
    Tom ‘Bieber’ Brady, I’m looking at you!”
    have you ever played competitive sports? Working the refs is part of the game. Why not bitch about every WR looking for a pass interference call when they do not catch the ball, or some rusher not complaining about being held every play. GG though with the hair taunt. Very original and relevant.

  14. They feel the need to level the playing field, to reign in any player that plays with intensity and passion. They strive to create a league of Stepford Wives who all act the same, move the same, and play like a bunch of little girls. NFL as we know it….. RIP. I hope players salaries are reduced significantly also.

  15. 99%= the percentage of bloodthirsty commentors that never played a down of organized football in their lives (and yes I’d be talking to marktg30, tuck1982 and Strick)
    So what’s it gonna take for you all? a death?

  16. So you layout a star player and what? You get to finish the game then get suspended. Doesn’t seem to make sense. How about this? A guy lays someone out with a head hit and he’s ejected AND he is suspended. Now we’re talking.

  17. They are doing it as suspensions rather than ejections so that officials don’t get overzealous with it. The league office will review the questionable hits on a case by case basis and dole out suspensions accordingly. Now the question I have: will they treat the marquee teams the same as small markets? I see at least 2-3 dirty hits in every steelers game I’ve seen. So will they suspend a Harrison or Hines Ward as quickly as a TJ Ward? Probably not.

  18. So now we know what the next Cowboys TD penalty will be for. Austin and Williams will butt heads and get 15 yards and both suspended.

  19. Well … I don’t own stock in Kleenex. But there’s still time to invest in companies that make those little flags they use in flag football. I have a feeling there will be a run on those soon.
    Seriously, though … no one wants what happened to Darryl Stingley to happen to someone else. But it’s ridiculous to start suspending players without ever enforcing the ejection rule. And there needs to be some clarification about what is and isn’t legal. It doesn’t really matter if we have a clear understanding. But the league needs to ensure the players do.

  20. gbditka says:
    October 18, 2010 10:44 PM
    Now what can the league do to insure we don’t have to watch Jacksonville on Monday Night’s anymore?
    My thoughts, exactly.

  21. Im sure it’ll be a Cowboy to get the first suspension next week. They seem to like the yellow hankies.
    Seriously though….wtf..? This is football right..? Why turning pansy..? These guys get paid ALOT of money to take much less risk than alot of us working stiffs for pennies. Yeah its a dangerous job…. nowhere near as dangerous as alot of the fans’ jobs though.

  22. Don’t like putting the extra strain on the officiating crew. Give it to the replay crew so it can be done right.
    Ejecting a player is a game changer, need to make sure it is done properly even if it takes a few minutes.

  23. Will we extend this same level of “concern” for the well-being and safety of everybody?
    Don’t think so.
    The top ten most dangerous professions in the United States (commercial fishing, logging, agriculture, construction, sanitation, flying, roofing, mining, merchant marine and milling) have a median income of $48,215. Notably absent from the list – professional football with a median income of $782,250 in 2009. It would take an average worker in these hazardous industries nearly 57 years to make what the average NFL player makes over a 3.5 year career. Where is the wailing concern for miners, loggers and roofers? Hey, we’ll just pull them up live on tv if the mine collapses and make a PSA about our concern starring Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb.
    But what of the children? Peewee leagues and high schools and colleges must be filled with the brain-addled products of football. Not really. Not any more prevalent than the number of injured children from summer jobs in dangerous industries or ski trips or extreme sports or bike accidents.
    Let’s please drop the crocodile tears for the pro football player. The NFL is only concerned about concussions because of the specter of the loss of its investment in players, the threat of frightened mothers who keep kids from football and lessened fan interest due to injuries to star players. As long as it is only some guy from Rutgers or a second-year linebacker covering a punt, no problem. When it is DeSean Jackson or, God forbid, Tom Brady, the sky is falling. Save it – it’s BS. Hail!

  24. What about the devastating hits that are legal? My thoughts and prayers go out to Desean Jackson but that hit was legal. How can you punish someone for that?

  25. doesn’t matter if the hit is legal….the league has decided this is no longer a gladiator sport.
    you wrap up and tackle. no more trying to dislodge the ball from the guy.
    this is like the day hockey decided no more bench clearing brawls. this is a fundamental change in the game the way everyone has known it

  26. This is great news.
    Some of the hits are just ridiculous. Some of these guys only know how to be human torpedoes, they don’t seem to know how to make a fundamental wrap tackle.
    There sure are a lot of paper tigers posting comments. They’re real tough guys when it’s not them suffering a life-long injury.

  27. For all of these helmet to helmet hits the leage needs to hit these players where it really hurts. Like a 1 or 2 game suspension without pay. These 10,ooo$ fines is like getting a speeding ticket where the fine is five dollars. Remember that half of the players in the leage are millionares so the fines they are getting they can pay out of their’ piggy banks. That will send a message and I guarantee you these dirty players will think twice before they intentinally lay somebody out.

  28. I think you guys are all assuming all hard hits will result in suspensions. I think the league will be reasonable. It’s pretty easy to tell the difference between a guy whose head was in the wrong place at the wrong time and a guy who was attempting to drill his helmet in another guy’s skull.

  29. What exactly is a devastating hit? They need something a little more defined than that.
    And how exactly are defenders supposed to get fast and strong modern players on the ground? Tickle them?

  30. So will this effect running backs that lower their head and shoulders to get those short yardage first downs too? This is ridiculous! Patrick Willis would’ve already been suspended at least twice. Rolando McClain would’ve got 10 games for his belly to back suplex. There was a few shots by Taylor mays that were pretty violent so far. This list could go on forever. Teams will be playing their 2nd string defenders within 3 weeks due to suspensions. Brady will be campaigning for the death penalty for any legal hit he takes!

  31. “Football is not a contact sport, it’s a collision sport – dancing is a contact sport.”
    -Vince Lombardi
    Well this quote no longer applies… from the greatest coach of all time. Fear not people, won’t be long before attendance and viewership falls into the toilet because the league can’t leave well enough alone. And then… well it’s “We told you so”

  32. “Football is not a contact sport, it’s a collision sport – dancing is a contact sport.” -Vince Lombardi
    Well this quote no longer applies… from the greatest coach of all time. Might as well remove his quote from all NFL literature in which it is printed.
    Fear not people, won’t be long before attendance and viewership falls into the toilet because the league can’t leave well enough alone. And then… well it’s “We told you so”

  33. Mike you and the NFL have lost complete sight of what makes the NFL the only sport worth watching. VIOLANCE. The NFL is ruining the game one rule at a time while losers like you scream for more regulations.

  34. I hate Desean Jackson. With his build and speed he should be serving beers at the Linc. He’d be able to go up and down the stairs real fast. In all seriousness though, when you have players that aren’t your prototypical body type for their respective positions you’re going to have injuries. Brandon Jacobs always has people flying at his legs, he was hurt all last year. You have to be crazy to try to hit him up high, just ask Laron Landry.
    DJ is a small guy, thats the price he has to pay to play with the big boys and get paid like the big boys. In this world only the strong survive and not everything is for everyone. I don’t know any blind snipers or deaf music reviewers. I’ve never heard a mute sing. Not every idiot that can write a comment on a PFT article can have his own blog. That’s nature, only the strong survive. The NFL is turning into an anorexic teenage girl determined to kill itself for no apparent reason.

  35. 99%= the percentage of bloodthirsty commentors that never played a down of organized football in their lives (and yes I’d be talking to marktg30, tuck1982 and Strick)
    So what’s it gonna take for you all? a death?
    Who gives a rip? Like Childress said about Favre today…”we pay him a lot of money, he’s going to get hit” NFL players make more money in one season of football than most people make in a life time. I don’t care about their injuries…And keep the H to H hits on Ms Rodgers coming

  36. I’m an Eagles fan so ya’ll can call me biased if you want. I thought the same away as most that they were taking the hitting out of football until this past June. My bestfriend died from a helmet to helmet hit during a semi-pro summer league. His equipment was the same as what they’re using in the NFL, the only difference is the size, speed, and skill of the players.
    I’ve personally been concussed, and I’ve had to help bury my bestfriend at 25 years old. I was at the eagles falcons game and saw that live. I haven’t watched a replay of it, it makes me sick.

  37. # 1up says: October 18, 2010 11:18 PM
    have you ever played competitive sports? Working the refs is part of the game. Why not bitch about every WR looking for a pass interference call when they do not catch the ball, or some rusher not complaining about being held every play. GG though with the hair taunt. Very original and relevant.
    Gee I must’ve missed that memo from coach. ” Hey team if you ever find that you just lacked the talent or focus to execute a play just throw a tantrum for a false penalty. That will fix it, then we will be true winners” That is the most retarded statement I’ve ever heard. The reason people bitch about Brady is because he flops around like a fish if his jersey is even touched!

  38. This isn’t your father’s football anymore. Bigger, stronger and faster players make it a more deadly game. As long as teams will keep the Jacksons and Merrimans around, and some people even glorify them lives are in danger. I want to watch a game, not a bunch of gladiators trying to kill an opponent. First offence – ejection, suspension and fine. Second offence – ejection, longer suspension and fine. Third offence -ejection, suspension for 18 games, cancellation of contract. At the rate it’s going people will be cheering Jackson’s sack dance around a dead player.

  39. I somewhat agree with an article about James Harrison. There is a difference between hurt and injury. No body wants to see someone become paralized, etc. However if a player gets the wind knocked out of them, that’s different. Football is an intense physical game. The risks are there. However if a player just wants to injure another, that’s just not right. Lawrence Taylor and Joe Theisman…. not good. That Rutgers player that is paralized… worse.

  40. I love all these comments from morons about how these guys get paid a lot of money so it doesn’t matter. In fact, vikings rule said “Who gives a rip?” in response to a question about guys DYING.
    Yet I bet most of you are among the people that want to string up Vick. Dogfighting and the modern NFL have a lot more in common than you want to admit. It’s about time these rules get stricter before somebody dies on the field. If they don’t do something about it, then in 15 years football is going to be like boxing – a fringe sport.
    And if any of you think someone is a pussy for not wanting to be crippled or a vegetable, then you’re a disgrace.

  41. the writers of the “touch football ” comments should line up and take one of those shots and then come talk.

  42. so the very hits that tv loves to show over and over will now get the player suspended? treat the bad hits the same way they treat people that run onto the field and the bad hits will start to go away. no air time, fewer cheap shots.

  43. One reason players may do helmet to helmet hits is the likelihood their hit will be featured on Madden 201-.

  44. Two things solve 80% of these problems:
    1. Have one stipulation in the “devastating hit” interpretation. And that is, the defender is NOT guilty if he makes every attempt to wrap up. The problem is that these guys are projecting themselves like missiles. If they were encouraged to make a real tackle, however, they would cause less harm to their opponent. Encourage them to wrap up and the risk of injury will go down.
    2. Put every one in bike helmets with or without facemasks. This is the leather helmet idea. And before you write this idea off, think about it. These guys have a weapon on their heads. Put a thin plastic shell over a styrofoam helmet, and players would not lead with their heads as much. And yet their own heads would still be protected.

  45. I guess they won’t post my last comment. Too ethereal and true.
    Here’s the thing.
    Dudes are jacked up these days. It ain’t old time football no more. Temple kill shots are exactly that. Kill shots. Dick Butkus wouldn’t last 10 games with the kind of hits Lewis and Harrison like to deliver on guys that they FAILED to get in front of.
    Take your 4 yards son, I’ll make sure you can’t run another 2 for the rest of the month.
    That is not football. Eff the dirtbags, just like hockey. You don’t want to regulate? Then regulate mofo, take that punk’s knees out with a fullback dive.
    Harrison wants to be old school? Play him old school. Crossing route, crackback; booyaka.
    Mess with the bull? Take the horns.
    Socially speaking, we are doomed. Give em all swords and axes and let’s see some blood.
    Bread and circuses; clowns pay to watch.
    Murderers, rapists, sadists; paid to play.
    I only play fantasy so I’m guilt free.
    Buy a ticket?

  46. If this pink and fluffy stuff carries in I will end up watching arena football.
    Surely it is every players dream to make a devastating hit, isn’t that what defesive football is all about?
    If I wanted to watch flag football I would go watch exactly that! This is the NFL for Christs sake! Dick Butkus and Mike Curtis couldn’t have played in this sort of league.
    Going in the right direction my ass!

  47. Its not that big a deal. Just dont launch your helmet into another players helmet. Not that difficult. You guys are overreacting worse than the league.

  48. There used to be a thing called CLEAN form tackling. You keep your head up and drive ur shoulder through an opponent. Not this BS where guys drop their heads and launch their helmet at a guys head and neck like a missle… also keeping their head up and tackling clean will cause less Kevin Everrette hits. Alot of these potential paralysis hits are coming from guys dropping their heads and launching their helmets. DIRTY. Look at Sheldon Browns hit on Reggie Bush, head up, driving the shoulder. CLEAN and hard.

  49. It won’t end head shots. All it will do is alienate the fans. If you’ve ever played football, you would know that 98% of the head contact is incidental.
    This literally means the NFL will be suspending players for tackling, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If they could prove that the tacklers intent was to take off the guy’s head, then fine; suspend him. But the NFL will get it wrong, as usual.
    You know it, too, Florio.

  50. There is a difference in taking a shot at a guy’s head instead of hitting him hard and separating him from the ball.The rule should be easy if your head goes down and or you launch yourself at a player you know your wrong.Any hits with the helment or any part other than the face mask has to be a penalty.

  51. Does everyone here honestly think every defender is aiming for the ball carrier’s head? Isn’t it at all possible, with a guy running at 30 mph, the defender miscalculates his form tackle and hits the guy six inches higher than he intended to, meaning his helmet slams into the ball carrier’s head?
    I’m not a physicist, but I have played football, and I know the overall concept is to get the guy on the ground. You lead with your shoulder, but the problem is, your head follows you. When you have 20 pounds of hardened plastic on your neck, it’s pretty much impossible to ensure that never strikes the guy with the ball.
    This will ruin the balance of the game. One defender trying to earn his paycheck and do what he’s supposed to do will be ejected, ending a team’s game plan and forcing them to play with less than what they came in with.
    We completely flip out when an official misses a pass interference call. What’s going to happen when Jerod Mayo gets tossed for something that, in review, looked harmless?
    Creating more rules and regulations will only lower the level of the game.

  52. “League will suspend first-time offenders for head shots”
    Oh this article is about hard hitting tackles? I thought it had something to do with Brett Favre’s texting ‘glamour head shots’.

  53. I guess the younger people out here don’t remember what happened to Darryl Stingley after taking a vicious shot (intent to injure) from the dirty Jack Tatum. Harrison and Merriweather are nothing more than modern day Tatums.

  54. im not going to pay good money to watch flag football.
    Lets get Tagliabue back, at least he didn’t try to change football.

  55. I never thought I’d say this, but maybe the NFL needs to take a look at how some youth football leagues are run. This may sound crazy, but here me out …
    I honestly believe the majority of the injuries in the NFL – including concussions – are caused because the players are bigger, stronger, faster. Don’t tell me that today’s players are more physical than they were 30 years ago. The difference between ‘Mean’ Joe Greene and today’s defensive linemen is about 50-75 pounds … or more! The difference between Jack Lambert and today’s top linebackers is about 35-50 pounds.
    Maybe the NFL should quit glorifying and encouraging ‘Bigger, stronger, faster’ players. I just wonder if there were a weight limit on players for each positions would the amount of vicious injuries decline. I mean, you can still be a physical player, but take away about 30-60 pounds of weight from the force of your hit and maybe the hit may not be so devastating.
    Why do defensive linemen/offensive linemen have to weight upwards of 350-360 pounds? Why are some linebackers and running backs weighing 260 or more? heck, some quarterbacks are over 250. WTH?
    Start in college and weight train the athletes to be more finely tuned at a lower weight. That’s my idea.
    All I have to look back at is when I was younger, the Steelers of the late 70s were the beast of the NFL and their biggest player was Joe Greene, who played at 270-275. Hell, he wasn’t much bigger than Brandon Jacobs. The game then was exciting and the hits were furious, bone-crunching. But there just wasn’t as much brute force and weight behind them.
    Just sayin’.

  56. So when a RB crashes thru the line with his head down and spears defenders on his way downfield, does he get suspended? How is the D supposed to tackle him exactly?
    “Devastating hits” – I dont like that they are giving the refs so much power and that it is being done by sole authority rather than competition committee or some other body of people that KNOW football.

  57. special shout out and thanks to James Harrison for ruining it for the rest of the league. his dirty play and then stating afterward he is looking to watch guys leave the field on a stretcher is why the league is now going to suspend for “malicious hits”. I honestly think Harrison goes out each game looking to end the career of whoever he can by headhunting. He tried it twice last week.

  58. So when a receiver see a cornerback coming to clean his clock, all he has to do now is lower HIS helmet to initiate helmet to helmet?
    Who get’s suspended there?
    The receiver or the cornerback?

  59. Brady… and any other player… who plays up a hit trying to draw a penalty ought to get one themselves. That would stop the soccer-style acting that girlie QBs like Brady are pioneering.

  60. You know the saying “Speed Kills”? Well apparently DeSean Jackson didn’t get the memo on Sunday…
    So Dunta Robinson delivered it to him.

  61. This ruling will single-handedly ruin the careers of James Harrison, Troy Polamalu and Brandon Meriweather.
    Buck up though, guys… I hear the UFL is looking for former-talent.

  62. Hey Pastabelly, watch what you say about Jack Tatum. R.I.P. Harrison and Merriweather couldn’t carry Tatums jock

  63. Patabelly:
    Look at my name – I saw that LIVE on TV. We are talking apples and oranges here. Merriweathers hit WAS NOT intentional, Tatums was.
    ncoolong, PFTiswhatitis and 3octaveFart (love the name) – You are all dead on with those. And unless the league is going to look at things from your perspectives, this is just a load of crap.
    This is football people, not hopscotch or ball room dancing. Hard hits, injuries and loss of playing time because of them are part of the game. Wimps and sissies need not apply….

  64. What the hell is everyone complaining about? The league is finally getting serious about enforcing the ban on helmet-to-helmet hits that have been outlawed for a long time now. If you think that a defensive player absolutely has to jam his helmet into an opponent’s grill to make a big hit, you are not a football fan. If you think Ray Lewis can’t deliver a devastating blow by ramming his shoulder into a guy’s gut, you are a fool.

  65. “Since the new approach was adopted, no player has been ejected for a flagrant helmet-to-helmet hit.”
    Dante Wesley was ejected last year after launching himself at a punt returner waiting for the ball. A brutal hit that caused a concussion, player on the ground for awhile. Stupid play by Wesley, he got the ejection he deserved.

  66. –Curiously, the league has yet to reiterate its message from three years ago that players committing flagrant helmet-to-helmet hits will be ejected. Since the new approach was adopted, no player has been ejected for a flagrant helmet-to-helmet hit.–
    Didn’t a guy get ejected just last year after going at the punt returner’s head? I think it was a Carolina/TB game.

  67. The problem isn’t the rule. The rule I can live with. Players that hit an opponent with the intention of injuring them need to be punished/fined/suspended. Period. I have no problem with that.
    What I have a problem with is this:
    The league isn’t going to let the officials guess what the player’s INTENT was.
    This is just like the rule that says you can’t hit a quarterback’s helmet with your hands. Since the league needs to keep the officials from guessing a players intent, the rule effectively means you can’t TOUCH a quarterback’s helmet with your hands.
    Good rule, poorly implemented.
    Any time one player’s helmet touches another player’s helmet during a tackle or a sack, it’s going to be an automatic penalty/fine/suspension, and that’s bullshit.

  68. Dear Commissioner Goodell,
    The Steelers hit too hard and they’re hurting us.
    Please make them stop.
    The Rest of the League.

  69. Remove the face masks and play football.
    As for the guy who had not watched a reply of D -Jackson hit after seeing it live… You really think you can judge the hit better by seeing it once from the stands then seeing it on TV with multiple camera’s focuesed directly on it>

  70. Deacon Jones, Dick Butkus, Jack Tatum, Jack Lambert, Ray Nitschke – today’s players could never compete with these guys. There’s too much estrogen in the Gatorade now.

  71. patpatriotagain says:
    October 19, 2010 3:32 AM
    the writers of the “touch football ” comments should line up and take one of those shots and then come talk.
    I’m willing to bet that the majority of those posters wouldn’t suit up to play a game given the chance. BUT…….. every player on the field knows the risks involved and still chooses to play the game. Why?? Because they become instant millionaires when they sign to play. They elect to take the risk for the big bucks, and fans pay to see those hits. I can imagine an owner if a player said, “OK, I want this job, but I don’t want to be exposed to any potential risks while I’m playing.” Brady may feel he has that right, but they all know there are risks when they sign those obscene contracts.

  72. You blood lust freaks just don’t get it. The sport has become more dangerous every year and that’s in every level of the game. Let’s face facts, when Jim Brown was playing, he was as big or bigger than most of the guys that were tackling him but you’re not even going to see any kind of relationship like that today. The guys are bigger, faster and stronger and their hits are far more devastating than they were 30 or 40 years ago and the equipment that they have today gives them the “courage” to launch themselves at a helpless human being in order to get the adoration of the fans at the Coliseum.
    You can say that they get paid millions to take those hits but that’s bullshit, even if it were true. Most of the players DON’T make millions and their careers last 3 years or less and they don’t get vested in any retirement program and the most that they might get out of their career from the NFL after taxes is $600k-$700k. That seems like big money until you realize that quite a few leave the NFL not because they don’t have the talent but because they’re damaged goods and can no longer play and they have to use most of that money to pay for the bills that come. Of the rest that leave early but seemingly healthy, they end up suffering the long term effects many years after the fact and they end up like the many old timers that the NFL has neglected for all these years: afflicted with no one caring about their plight.
    Maybe if the NFL started clamping down on the head hunters that many, even on defense, will have extended careers and we can watch them for more years than before. Hell, the 18 game schedule is going to take its toll and unless they find a way to cut down on these hits, more guys are going to be lost and more bench players are going to find themselves in the lineup and soon, the last 2 or 3 games will be filled up like the ones now but out of necessity and not because teams are trying to protect their starters for the playoffs. Yeah, that’s really going to get me excited….

  73. Uh, I watch football to see “devastating” hits.
    Does Goodell not know that if you kill the goose, it can no longer lay those golden eggs?
    Deacon Jones would like a word.

  74. used to love pro football but might as well put flags in their pants now and play touch, you make 3 millon a year you might get hurt

  75. @ry82274
    Are you seriously blaming James Harrison for this???? This has been an ongoing issue for years now. First of all, this is football, not twister! You’re gunning for the guy with the ball…you’re not out to kill or maim him, you want to tackle him and dislodge the ball in the process. If you think that anybody intentionally goes in helmet to helmet your crazier than your stupid comment about Harrison! You can’t control your body and/or head when your running 30 mph down the field to make a tackle. Unfortunately, shit happens and people get hurt. You can’t determine if it’s intentional or not and to eject players is absolutely ridiculous! Just play the damn game!

  76. patpatriotagain says:
    Why?? Because they become instant millionaires when they sign to play.
    Instant millionaires – who told you that, the instant millionaire fairy? Most of the guys that got drafted or went undrafted this year DID NOT — I repeat – DID NOT become instant millionaires. Now, if you take a typical 4th rounder and factor in taxes and agent’s fees AND if by some miracle they get all three years of their contract they should make $831k and it gets progressively worse from there (Up to and including the fact that many won’t get a big signing bonus, especially the undrafted players). Most WON’T make it past their third year and thus, won’t be vested in the NFL’s pension plan NOR will they have a health plan that will help take care of them when they need help for all those blows they took to satisfy your blood lust.

  77. Old broad here. ( 63) with an older perspective. Hell, we-evryone-grew up playing football in my part of the country ( W.Pa./E. Ohio ) even us “girls.” And we didn’t play FLAG. Kids are kids with a huge amt. of energy to expend, & then the testosterone kicks in later ( for the guys), so wonder why football was invented in the 1st. place?
    I often wonder why there is so much more violence in the workplace, schools & on the streets than in the past. I guess we want our country “hooked-up” to digital-anythings, rather than expressing some of the frustration & general unhappiness that has been more & more prevelant in our society. Football serves that purpose. ( And it’s a GREAT game, too.)
    Granted, there are some players who are doing dirty hits, but this latest ruling is kinda like the slippery-slope of “Monday-morning Q.B-ing.” Who is going to be the final arbiter? Can we just have the players’ attorneys meet with the Football “Judges” & work out a deal? I actually saw a penalty called for “intensional grounding” for the 1st. time since I can remember. Yet it is flagrantly ignored beyond belief.
    I’ve wondered forever how many guys were killed/permantly injured years ago before all the sophisticated conditioning & better equipment? As a retired nurse I watch the hits both as a fan & from a medical perspective.
    HOCKEY. Maybe by letting people live vicariously through it, just like in ancient Rome, it allows pent-up frustrations out in a safe & healthy way for the fans. But I, too, am worried that the “powers-that-be” are intent to “Pablumize” it the same way everything else in our society is being done. America didn’t get the way she is by NOT taking chances & there are NO guarnatees in life. Get over it!

  78. Another thing that needs to be looked at here is the future of our sport. Kids of all ages from pop warner to college that play football idolize these players and try to do everything the pros do. With that the younger generation of players could be one hit away from being disabled for life. If something does not change by the NCAA or the iron fisted commish. We may just end up with a flag football leauge.

  79. @Iknow …
    With that ridiculous job of hand-washing, you’re either the reincarnation of Pontius Pilate or a modern-day politician. The NFL makes most of its money on television contracts and merchandising, not ticket sales. Fantasy Football was the NFL’s salvation. It brought the crucial youth market, that might have been lured away by school soccer leagues, back to the sport in droves.
    Baby, if you watch the NFL and you play Fantasy Football, you are just as “complicit” in what happens on the field as the guy who buys the ticket.

  80. To respond to the person asking me about not watching a replay of the Jackson hit after seeing it live…
    I don’t choose not to watch the hit because of the hit. I choose not to watch a replay because it looked exactly the same as the hit that KILLED my friend on the football field. Until you bury someone who was killed playing a game, don’t talk to me about turning football into a pansy sport.

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