Marshall Faulk doesn’t want a safer game

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The concussion lawsuits filed by former NFL players have generated a lot of interest of late, but not every ex-NFLer is involved in them.

Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk says that he never had a concussion in his 13-year career, which likely colors his opinion about moves being made to make the game safer. Faulk, who admits to worrying about how his body will hold up in 10 years, isn’t a fan of such moves and told Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as much in a recent interview.

“It’s pretty simple for me,” Faulk said. “Player safety is ‘Go play golf. Go play basketball where they call fouls for slapping you on the hand.’ … But it’s football. I hope guys get to play longer and there aren’t as many injuries as there were in the past. But I’m sorry, it is a contact sport. And I will feel cheated to a certain extent (if too many changes are made) because I want to watch the contact sport that I grew up loving and watching, but I know that’s no longer possible.”

Faulk’s opinion doesn’t make him unsympathetic to the players suing the league, however. Faulk likens the situation to that of smoking, where people are upset about a lack of information about the dangers involved instead of knowingly making a decision that might cause them harm. Smoking is still legal, but packs of cigarettes now come with warning labels about the potential damage they can do to smokers.

It’s not a bad analogy, because, as Faulk says, there’s a violent nature to football that you can’t eradicate without fundamentally changing the way the game is played. Players now know more about the risks involved in playing that game, which means they are free to make the same decision as smokers about whether or not to partake. The majority of the players will likely continue to make that choice, even if they share Faulk’s fear that things might be different a decade down the road.

19 responses to “Marshall Faulk doesn’t want a safer game

  1. Bingo! He hit the nail on the head! Don’t want to get fat, don’t eat at Mcdonalds. Don’t want to get a consussion, don’t play football. Pretty simple. High risk, high reward.

  2. I love Faulk but he did grow up during the time when overly-macho-win-at-all-costs coaches were teaching intentional helmet to helmet hits. That’s just dumb. Get back to proper shoulder tackling technique and protecting your head instead of using it as a weapon and we can still enjoy the game we love so much.

  3. High risk, high reward. I like what Faulk has to say and it is validated based on his credentials. He played in an era where the violence was not only allowed, but essential.

  4. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Marshall Faulk and was glad to see him get a ring. Great player that was dangerous in more ways than one.

    He’s right on with this one. It doesn’t matter how you shape it. Football is a collision sport. All the players know the risks so they can’t play dumb. Hell even a coach standing on the sideline is at risk of injury, imagine the players risks. If the game is too violent, play another sport. Very simple.

  5. Hey sj39……

    When they start calling offensive players for lowering their heads and lanching themselves like a missle the same way they do against defensive players, then, AND ONLY THEN will I believe they truly are concerned about player safety. Until then, the new rules are a joke meant to penalize good defenses and make it easier for the offense to score.

    For Faulk to say things like this speaks volumes. The man took hits worse than almost anyone else during his days.

  6. How is it not in Faulk’s interest to keep the “big hits” in the game? He makes a living on the NFL Network talking about what we see on video. That’s the ultimate self interest as he describes physical play on the field.

  7. i have to agree with Marshall Faulk and Lester Hayes. It’s sad that the league, the media, and a new generation of soft shell fans are trying their best to ruin the game.

  8. there is a middle ground. and from all i’ve seen it looks to me like the nfl is tying to find the middle ground, not overcompensate and ruin the nature of the game. so far the rule changes and attempted culture changes have not bothered me.

  9. Big Hits and big offensive plays are what have drawn all of us to the game of football.When you take contact and defense, out of the game, you have left a watered down version, that few people will have the attention span or will to see!There is only so much you can do to make the game safe[ de-acceleration is most a most difficult phenomena to conquer] and, if we take contact away…we do not have enough left to interest most of us !

  10. I don’t understand these complaints about the “wussification” of NFL football. These players need to understand one thing. The NFL is a private organization that can enact any football rules it feels are pertinent. If they was the players to wear furry costumes and play football..that is what will happen.

    If you don’t like that then go restart the XFL!

  11. There’s one simple way to reduce the injuries and allow as much contact as possible: steroid testing that the players can’t get around. Test everyone, not just some. Test their hair and blood, not their urine. And kick them out of the league if they test positive, not suspend them for 4 games.

    But lets face it, 80-90% of these guys are on roids and that is what makes them so athletic and so fun to watch. I’d like to see full enforcement, but the NFL realizes that pro football without steroids is boring.

  12. This is exactly how I feel about the situation except I give players today the benefit of the doubt, only because players are bigger and faster in today’s NFL

  13. Ask Marshall Faulk did Derrick Brooks take it light on him, when they played? Heck no. Defenders want to discourage a player from roaming in there territory. That’s how the game is played. Physical, very physical!!

  14. All sports, with the exception of the NFL, are self policing. With the use of two platoon football the sport is no longer self policing. Two substitutions per play and you have, not only, a level playing field, but probably much more exciting games.

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