Goodell talks helmet-to-helmet hits and more, from a barber chair

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We’ve seen NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell interviewed in a variety of contexts and settings.  In a new video interview with William C. Rhoden of the New York Times, Goodell faces questioning in a Harlem barber shop.

The topics range include Goodell’s contention that the game has been safer and still more exciting, the proper techniques for tackling, and plenty of other things.

As to tackling, the league’s effort to change the culture of hitting would seem to require more of an effort to ensure that proper techniques are taught at the lower levels of the sport.  It’s not enough for Goodell to simply opine (as he does in the video) that it’s “not good advice” for a youth coach to tell a player to hit the ball carrier in the arm with a helmet.  The NFL must engage in comprehensive and meaningful efforts to ensure that coaches at the youth level understand the preferred style of hitting and teach it to the future generations of NFL players.

Anyway, the six-minute video is worth watching.  And we rarely say that about any non-NBC video.

22 responses to “Goodell talks helmet-to-helmet hits and more, from a barber chair

  1. “Mr Goodell, thanks for ruining the game I used to love!”

    If you don’t love it, why watch?

    “Goodell go kill yourself…you’re ruining the game of football”


  2. Goodell doesn’t understand football or know what he is talking about. Youth league and High School coaches teach kids to hit with their eyes and head up. They also teach players to “bite the ball” with their facemask, roll their hips, wrap their arms and “hit on the rise”. This is fundamentally sound tackling. The problem is that in the NFL things happen fast and when the ball carrier and tackler both get low, helmet to helmet collisions occur.

    It is obvious that most players are not going to self-report concussions, because of the risk related with maintaining their jobs. In order to Rodge and the risk-adverse/greedy owners he represents should get the players to sign waivers that say they will not sue the league, teams or owners later in life. That will give Rodge and the owners a warm fuzzy feeling they desire and cease the destruction of the game of football.

    The rules at the NFL level are the less violent than either the high school or college level. The NFL is rapidly moving from the toughman league that was present in the 1960’s through mid-1990’s and to a soft, gentle, pass-friendly game that we see today. It is sad to see the hitting taken out of the game. QB’s should fear being hit and WR’s should be concerned about going over the middle. Unfortunately, the owner’s want points and superstar qb’s which means more marginal fans, improved ratings and subsequently, more money. At the core, it is just a bunch of rich old men that are worried about being sued in 10-20 years and lining their pockets with TV money. It has little to do with player safety.

  3. All these comments that Goodell is ruining the game are garbage. Yes, I too am not happy with all these changes, but in the long run its for the best. In reality the game has not changed all that much. Players are bigger, stronger and faster than they were even 10 years ago. All its going to take is one head to head hit that snaps a guys neck and kills him……….and the game we love will be no more. Law suit after law suit; millions of dollars in damages and years in the courts. The first question that Goodwll will be asked is if he did enough to make the game safer……….That’s what all this is about. I’m sure football was alot tougher in the 20’s & 30’s when they were beating the crap out of each other wearing leather helmets, but c’mon……..

    Teams have millions of dollars invested in the players now. The NFL realizes that there could be both season and career ending injuries in every game. What they want is to stop is douche waffles like James Harrison and N.Suh who don’t seem to care at all.

    Trust me, the game will remain great if our favorite players are on the field and not a wheel chair.

  4. I like how he has curtailed the outlaws and ended the ridiculous TD celebrations (have some class; act like you’ve been there before and will be again) for the most part. I hate how it has become a game of touch football especially towards the QB position.

  5. You’re ruining football Goodell. The game will be unrecognizable (and correspondingly less popular) in 10 years. Why do you keep trying to fix something that ain’t broke? Leave the game alone or I the fans will leave it for you.

  6. this guys ego is out of control.

    I know he climbed some mountain because there was a guy with a 50lb camera on his back right behind him every step of the way.

    godell is a joke.

  7. Goodell as long as those players fines keep rolling it makes such a great bonus.

    The problem isn’t the rule its the way the officials interpret it. I see so many calls that are clean or un provoked that get called.

    So with that being said It not fun to watch beautiful plays to get returned because the officials thought a player was getting horse collared when he wasn’t.

    I see some teams get away with it and others pay the price.

  8. Folks need to look through the NFL’s sudden emphasis of pointing their finger at the players by claiming, concussions are a result of improper tackling technique by the “players”.

    Don’t you get it?…

    The quality of the NFL helmets is not being questioned even though the NFL has examples (and evidence) of NFL players “successfully” using helmets altered, with padding added to the outside as early as 1967…when Willie Lanier first wore a football helmet his rookie year, with padding added to the outside.

    Lanier’s career spanned another 10 seasons and was never threatened by concussion again as Willie made famous, his helmet…with padding added to the outside.

    Steve Wallace and Mark Kelso wore a ProCap after their careers were threatened by repeated concussions and both played until they were ready to retire and not prematurely, due to repeated concussions.

    The ProCap, is a layer of extra padding worn on the outside of helmets…it works, yet the NFL continues to ignore upgrading the padding of the helmets, preferring to point the finger at the way players tackle.

    Did anyone realize some players are filing lawsuits against the NFL as a result of reports, that the NFL knew as early as the 1920s of the dangers posed by concussions and yet chose to not warn their players until 2010?

    Is it a coincidence that in 2010 the NFL began their effort to fine and suspend players who did not tackle as the NFL deemed “proper”?

    The NFL is not concerned about players safety…they are concerned about the lawsuits because they know they are guilty of ignoring the dangers of concussions and ignoring the evidence that safer helmet options were known and available, yet the NFL refused to mandate the safer helmet options or warn the players of the dangers of concussions.

    The NFL wants everyone to believe, concussions are the fault of the players, because they didn’t tackle the way Roger Goodell views as proper.

    Goodell and the NFL owners know they could be held liable over the concussion issue, dating as far back as the 1920s…and they will do anything to escape their culpability in the concussion matter….claiming it’s the players fault.

    Until the legal issues are addressed and litigated, the NFL will continue to point their fingers at the players.

    Once the legal matters are taken care of, look for the NFL to finally mandate a safer helmet design, with padding added to the outside, but not until the legal matters are done with.


  9. macbull says:
    Dec 27, 2011 5:21 PM
    The NFL is not concerned about players safety…they are concerned about the lawsuits.
    You make several valid points but I’ll take exception to the NFL no being concerned about player safety. What good does it do the league to have player getting injured especially the “super stars” that put the butts in the seats?

    Also, if the league is found to be liable to any degree the past players suffering from the effects of being concussed might receive a stipends from a mandated fund but the real beneficiaries will be the ambulance chasing money grubbing members of the American Trial Lawyers who will reap hundreds of millions! Where will that leave the financial stability of the league?

  10. Everything Roger does about helmut/helmut hits is aimed at liability mitigation. All the rules changes and fines mumbo-jumbo are to show in a future court of law that the NFL was not negligent in addressing brain injury. I think the idea of a getting the players to sign a liability waiver is a very good one. The union will sign off on it as long as they get enough money. They don’t really care about player safety anyway. All they care about is power and money.

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