football on a brink

I have not looked for any such commentary, but I know I can find it quickly streaming along in the ether. As it were, I have one snap on the night comment via an “influencer” on Twitter (I had to look her name up, and saw that this was how she was described), some in watched footage from The View, and a back link blog commentary to the effect that the NFL season ought be cancelled, the game needs to end in the form it is in, and it is too barbaric and violent for civilization.

The basic problem, and here I wander into that land of Tone Deaf I often find myself with emotional heated political fights (my thoughts on points made after mass shootings — the instigating argument for gun control measures for gun violence which mass shootings are statistically speaking rounding errors on — counts as tone deaf), is that whatever the merits and the problems with this position, it has nothing to do with the near death injury that instigated this clarion call. It would appear that the violent nature of the game of football has no direct connection with this specific injury, and that this specific condition is more likely — with more cases there though not at the highest professional level — in less violent games of basketball and baseball. It is the peculiar nature of this injury against the specific parameters of how contact meets out in the various sports. And nobody is arguing for the end of basketball. Even though if you need to use Monday as the example, that is more logical than the end of football. Barack Obama made the comment that if he had a son, he’d discourage him from playing.

I can marshal quite a few things for your anti-football argument. The sentence I saw that “Frankly, the season should have ended after Tua” is a beginning, even as I drop the instigating incident and did not see the argument when the NFL’s concussion protocol for him was blithely slipped aside or laid bare as inadequate. Move on from there and note Andrew Luck’s very abrupt retirement, clearly a statement of “this isn’t worth it”.

As it were, the game is always being altered. Its history is one where it had a crisis toward the turn of the last century, and blue ribbon commissions huddled in and came up with the idea of the forward pass so that every play was no longer one slogfest of mass athletes with no space for running. In a sense, the history of football play is just one of the rules getting altered to encourage pass plays and discourage running plays. The quarterback gets protected increasingly more. Nary a week goes by in the season where I don’t hear the cry for a roughing the passer play, “that’s not a foul! It wouldn’t have been ten years’ ago!”. Maybe in the future the run will be outlawed. Also maybe in the future we will be watching touch-football. Make of it what you will. Hard to tell if I care.

Go Seahawks!

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