Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

"There is no making football safer."

Football will remain dangerous: "Here's the reality check to Peter King and all who want their violence safely commodified for Sunday: there is no making football safer. There is no amount of suspensions, fines, or ejections that will change the fundamental nature of a sport built on violent collisions. It doesn't matter if players have better mouth guards, better helmets, or better pads. Anytime you have a sport that turns the poor into millionaires and dangles violence as an incentive, well, you reap what you sow."

21 Comments / Post A Comment

Also, those that are good at violence on the field are sometimes good at violence off the field.

Mark (#51)

Actually, that's not true. There's an argument to be made that the helmets, pads, etc., make the sport more dangerous, because people do things because they are protected (or think they are protected) that they wouldn't do if they didn't have that equipment. Nobody is going to use their head as a weapon if it isn't protected by a helmet.

Zinedine Zidane would like to have a word with you.

j/k really, your point is generally true.

Sweetie (#519)

You're all de Jong about this!

Abe Sauer (#148)

Is his point that football is violent. Um… ok. But: "there is no making football safer." Bullshit. Look at the changes with rules protecting the quarterback. That has undeniably made being QB somewhat safer. What he means is "there is no making football safe."

And for a guy who gets all down on King for his platitudes, it's pretty rich to say, "But in the interests of full disclosure: I might be a Desean Jackson-Dunta Robinson moment away from ditching the game for good." Because Mr. Zirin, you are a handsomely paid sportswriter, a frequent sports opinion-haver on ESPN, and there is no amount of moral outrage that will change the fundamental nature of sports reporting, built on vapid sentimentality. Anytime you have a sport that turns the poor into millionaires you have sports reporters willing to exploit endlessly, for money, the welfare, quality, ability, majestic legacy, girlfriends, sex lives, family backgrounds, health, mental state, or legal quandaries of those athletes.

At this point, I'd settle for someone making sports writing safer.

@CR: I think the LAPD is taking care of that.

There also is (or was) FJM.

@Setec: Yeah, *was*. (sigh)

Tulletilsynet (#333)

How can anybody have a problem with gladiatorial combat at the adult level? But (actually that was a HUGE LIE THERE, mayhem is mayhem and there are laws against it and should be laws against pro football, if there are laws against anything, but never mind for just now) the big problem is that school officials are enabling parents to allow their minor children to beat other parents' kids' brains out; this is wrong and those who support it should replace drug felons in the jails of this great land. Second problem, also pretty big, is that this gang war in pursuit of ball is entrusted to educational educations. Fuck it forever, please.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Educational institutions. Institutional educations. Something like that.

Abe Sauer (#148)

ALSO: that Deadspin list he references may be impressive simply because players have been encouraged, and seen more inclined, to report concussions. So, while to some sports writers it may denote a reason for escalated alarmism, it may in fact be a sign of improvement. Of course, reasonable approaches don't happen in sports columns any more than they do on field.

dado (#102)

I wish Chuck Lidell would punch him in the kisser.

olmucky (#542)

Have I been watching a different sport as everyone else? I thought big hits were a big part of the reason most people liked football.

And why all the concern about football players now? I'm not sure I can accept serious and repeated head trauma delivered over many years has a detrimental effect on overall and long-term health, as a startling medical and scientific discovery. It's probably something like, for a long time, Peter King and every other football fan only saw what they wanted to see.

Football doesn't need change, people just oughta own up and acknowledge they like seeing people get hurt. Saying you don't like big hits in football is like saying you watched Mike Tyson for glancing jabs to the midsection.

Jared (#1,227)

Isn't this pretty much what people were saying about hockey ten years ago? Of course, no one watches hockey anymore, but shhhh no one tell that to the football owners.

rj77 (#210)

I think the real news here is that The Nation has a sports editor.

1. Bullshit. Canadian football has a wider field, less smashing up the middle.
2. If it can't be made safer, why is it allowed to continue? Over 400 players a year have to stop playing due to injuries, many of which impact their non-playing life. Is it really worth that to have an excuse to drink beer?

hockeymom (#143)

Can they make football safer for female sideline reporters?

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