Monday, September 8, 2014

Tackle This

The media is all abuzz with the story of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.  New video released today shows just how brutal his violent assault on his then girlfriend, now wife actually was.  That the NFL failed to act in a serious and timely fashion is part of the story.  Today he was summarily cut by the team because there is definite proof that he knocked his beloved unconscious with one punch to the jaw.  All this took place behind the closed doors... of an elevator.
Sure he should be severely disciplined...even lose his job, undergo counseling, and serve as an example to other young NFL players who think they are untouchable.

But something is missing from all the outrage.  The NFL is and has been getting increasingly violent.  Small wonder that it's players often react violently in every phase of their lives.
Until this story surfaced, and then resurfaced with the new video most of the current NFL concern centered around the impact of violence on brain injuries.  Al Jazeera submits the following data:

  •  American High School football players were struck in the head 30 to 50 times in every game and regularly endured blows similar to those experienced in car crashes, according to a Virginia Tech study
  • 47 per cent of high school football players say they sustain at least one concussion each season
  • 35 per cent of them say they had more than one in the same season - according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
  • 85 per cent of sports-related concussions are not diagnosed - according to the American College of Sports Medicine
  • Three million sports concussions occur every year in the US
  • 57 per cent of fans believe something should be done about head injuries
  • But nine in ten football fans say reports of head injuries will not affect their viewing plans
  • A record number - 111.3 million - watched American football's big game, the Superbowl, this year
  • The National Football League made some $9 bn in revenue in 2010 from merchandising, advertising and stadium revenues
Al Jazeera
I'm curious just how long it will take mainstream media to make the connection.  Just last weekend, while watching some of the opening week highlights, I noticed something I've never seen before.  While returning a kickoff, a running back attempted to hurdle his pursuer.  Oh, I've seen them do that before, but when it seemed that he hadn't quite cleared the would-be tackler, he extended his foot and kicked the defender in the face.  Penalty flag. Yes.  Fine and league action...probably.  What's next?
Remember the days when they called it tackle football because it was about tackling the other guy not "hitting" him.  Football, and NFL football is evolving right before our eyes, in my view.  


Daniel Burke said...
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Daniel Burke said...

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Thanks :)