15 April 2012
Last year, the NFL decided to change kickoffs from the 30 yard line to the 35 in what they said was an effort to reduce injuries. The NFL now claims that the increase in touchbacks led to a decrease in concussions. The NFL has been pressed by lawsuits from former players and their families in regards to concussions to make changes to the game that can be "perceived" as trying to make the game safer.
In that same vein, John Mara, owner of the NY Giants and a member of the NFL's Competition Committee, said that he can see a day when kickoffs are eliminated from the game all together. He said there is no plan in place at the present time to do it or on how to do it, but that he can foresee a time when it will happen. There appears to be little to no support for this type of action from NFL teams, but there was also NO support for moving the kickoff line before it was implemented either and it now exists.
It seems that the NFL is now looking for any possible way to appear to be addressing the concussions that occur in the NFL. However, as anyone who follows or plays the game knows, concussions can come from all over the field of play at any time and in any type of situation. To fully address concussions, the game would have to be fundamentally changed. The NFL has already deemed that some hits are "illegal" and even more could be added at some point. They determined that increasing touchbacks was a good thing and it has happened. Now, there are those who believe that eliminating kickoffs is a good idea.
Where will it end my fellow football fans? With a pocket sewn onto the rear end of every player and flags hanging out of them? You laugh now, but if kickoffs are eliminated, will you be laughing then?
The NFL is determined to "appear" to be addressing concussions in light of their ever growing legal issues. What will be next to go? Only time will tell, but football as we knew it just a few short years ago, will never exist again and soon it may be something completely unrecognizable.
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