What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
A few days ago, this little gem arrived in my Inbox, presumably from the Kommissar Goodell himself. If there was ever a piece of drivel needing a patented Dubsism breakdown, this is it. So, without further ado, here it is…
Dear NFL Fan,
The NFL season is off to another exciting and competitive start. I want to thank you and all NFL fans for your passionate support. We recognize and remind ourselves every day that we have to earn your loyalty. We take that responsibility very seriously.
One thing we always love to do to show how much we care about the fans is by butt-fucking them dry on full price for exhibition games. Nothing says “we care” like charging $85 to watch a bunch of guys who will be loading trucks at UPS next week. Oh, and don’t forget that every five years or so we have a labor issue where we threaten our fans with the possibility of a cancelled season.
It includes a commitment to deliver the game that the fans love and the safety that players deserve. As a league, we have an unwavering commitment to player health and making our game safer at all levels. This is, and will remain, our top priority. We hope that our commitment to safety will set an example for all sports.
Within the NFL, safety-related rules will always be clearly defined and strictly enforced, and we will continue to work with our players, coaches, and others to identify new and safer ways to play the game. We will build on our ongoing efforts to fund independent scientific research, develop better equipment, educate parents, players, and coaches on safe and fair play, advocate for safety in all sports, and enhance programs that support the health and well-being of NFL players and athletes at all levels.
That bit about “clearly defined” rules almost made me piss my pants. that’s why every Sunday we see several examples of hits that don’t get called, but then have fines issued, hits that get called with no fines, and guys like Bernard Pollard who might as well just write a check for walking on to the field. But let’s talk about why this is all happening. This is all about lawsuits, at least one of which the NFL is preparing to lose. All this shit about research, equipment, and education smacks of the kind of stuff that comes from a negotiated settlement. Goodell is going to tip his hand on this in a few paragraphs.
Increased safety for players has been an essential part of the evolution of football dating back to its early days more than 100 years ago. We are proud that the game is safer and more exciting today than ever, but we are never satisfied. In keeping with our history, we are committed to pursuing a path that ensures the rewards of playing football continue to far outweigh the risks. Led by our Competition Committee and medical advisors, every year we will look for new ways to make the game better and safer.
Nobody, and I mean nobody gave shit about safety until President Theodore Roosevelt had to save the game from a movement to ban it because they were killing people left and right. threatened to ban the game after they killed of bunch of people. That’s important because anybody with a functioning cerebral cortex knows football is a brutal game, and playing it means running the risk of having your brain scrambled and your bones pulverized. It also means there has always been a segment of people in this country who want to get rid of football. The only time anybody gives a shit what the anti-football people think is when they organize and/or get lawyers.
There have been numerous safety-related rules changes going back decades: from the 1970s when we eliminated the head slap, to the 80s when we eliminated clubbing, to the 90s when we increased protection for defenseless players, to the 2000s when the horse collar tackle was made illegal. When we identify dangerous techniques, we adopt rules to eliminate them.
That’s right, Roger. The NFL did all those things. But stop giving me this shit about safety. Every rule change you just mentioned had nothing to do with safety; they had everything to do with making the NFL an offense-happy league that makes touchdown highlights for ESPN like migrant farm workers pump out little fruit-pickers.
We will continue to find ways to protect players so they can enjoy longer careers on the field and healthier lives off the field.
In recent years we have focused on protecting defenseless players from hits to the head and neck area. A new rule for 2013 prohibits any player – on offense, defense, or special teams – from hitting an opponent with the crown of the helmet outside of the tackle box. The helmet is for protection. It is not a weapon. The goal is to take the head out of the game.
Fuck you, Roger. I’m so tired of your lying bullshit. The goal is not to take the head out of the game; running backs can still put their heads down and crown anybody they want. The goal here is to make the NFL look even more like the 100-point a night arena league AND to protect the star players in the NFL. Face it, the vast majority of star players in the NFL are on the offensive side of the ball, and the dirty little secret is that NFL owner are tired of seeing their $100 million dollar quarterbacks get turned into potted plants.
Recently, Hall of Fame coach John Madden, who co-chairs our Player Safety Advisory Committee, told me that players and coaches have truly adjusted to the new, safer rules. Coach Madden said the players are back to the fundamentals of blocking and tackling, using the shoulder rather than the head. As a result, the game is safer.
So, let me get this straight. John Fucking Madden is your “go to” guy for rationalizing your bullshit? I don’t think I even need to comment on that.
One of the most important aspects of safety is providing players with the best possible medical care. We work closely with the NFL Players Association to ensure our players have access to the finest doctors and most cutting edge technology. In fact, a large part of our current Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players is devoted to health and safety protections.
Here are a few recent changes we’ve made:
- We added non-affiliated neurotrauma consultants to the sidelines to assist our team medical staffs.
- Each team also has a separate independent physician to assist players and team doctors on return–to–practice decisions after being removed from a game because of a concussion.
- Team medical staffs are using the latest technology – sideline video, smart phones, and tablets – in their care of players.
Let’s break this down even further by those bullet points.
Now, let’s get to the part where Goodell gives away what this is really all about.
Our commitment goes beyond the NFL. We know that our actions influence college, high school, and youth football. It is part of a shared responsibility to protect the future of our game. We are especially proud of our partnership with USA Football this year to successfully launch “Heads Up Football,” a program designed to ensure that coaches are trained and certified in proper tackling techniques as well as concussion and hydration education.
More than 2,800 youth leagues that include 90,000 coaches and more than 600,000 kids have registered for “Heads Up Football” training in its first year. We have made a multi-year commitment to teach a better, safer way to play youth football and look forward to all youth leagues joining the movement. Go to usafootball.com to learn more and see if your league is signed up. If not, urge your coach to sign up for 2014.
We’ve also made measurable progress in protecting young athletes from head injuries in all sports. We have supported youth concussion laws that have now been adopted in 49 states. Four years ago, these laws did not exist. Now, almost every child that plays contact sports is protected by a set of procedures governing when they can return to play following an injury. We also have partnered with the national PTA to promote sports safety in schools across the nation.
Another important element of our commitment to health and safety is the funding of groundbreaking research. We have pledged more than $100 million to medical research over the next decade, including $30 million to the National Institutes of Health for independent research to advance the understanding of concussions.
We have also embarked on a $60 million partnership with GE and Under Armour to accelerate the development of advanced diagnostic tools and protective materials for head injuries. The NFL–GE-Under Armour “Head Health Initiative,” which has already attracted more than 400 proposals from 25 different countries, will reward the best new ideas from around the world in protecting against head injuries. This project and our broader research funding will yield benefits to all sports and beyond.
Football will remain the hard-hitting, physical sport that you love. And we will continue to be vigilant in seeking ways to make the game even better and safer. The future of football is brighter, bigger, better, and more exciting than ever. For more information on our health and safety work, go to www.nflevolution.com. If you would like to receive regular updates on the NFL’s health and safety work, please click here.
Enjoy the football season. We are grateful for your support.
It is important to note everything he mentions in those last paragraphs is all about kids and people who need medical help. What he’s really trying to tell you is that if the NFL loses any of these impending lawsuits, you can forget about all those educational and safety programs for kids, and they might just have to repossess the batteries in your grandmother’s pacemaker.
So, once again, Goodell is selling me “safety,” but we all know this is about money. Wait…maybe he was really talking about the safety of the NFL’s money…Shit, now I’ve got to re-think this whole thing.
Who am I kidding? Roger Goodell isn’t that clever. He’s just a lying scumbag like he’s always been.