The NFL’s Tackling Devistating Hits and Head On Collisions

Posted: October 22, 2010 in NFL

…the NFL announced last week that as of Week 7 (Sun, Oct, 24, 10) that even first time offenders, could face suspensions for what the league is calling “devastating hits” and “head shots” Now I was getting all kinds comments from football guys saying…”oh my god, they are killing the league!”….pfft, settle down people, settle down.

The NFL is being what MLB never was or never is…PROACTIVE! Okay so in Week 6 when Philadelphia played Atlanta and Deshawn Jackson and Dante Robinson collided or in the New England/Baltimore game when Brandon Meriweather and Todd Heap collided, it doesn’t take that smart of a fan to know those hits were beyond violent. Players are faster and stronger; we all know that, more violent collisions.

You get one death in the NFL, you’ll have the domino effect. Advertisers could bail, the media is going to kill you, and government agencies will step in. Let me as you this: Why did baseball players and the commissioner (embarrassing really) end up in front of Congress?  “Well Andrew, because they took steroids!”  Umm no, that’s not why. Why did baseball players and the commissioner, star players I might add, have to go in front of Congress?  Answer…because they never took steroids seriously as a major crisis. And congress felt that they weren’t getting a straight answer. Like baseball players have been taking drugs forever, but with the steroid crisis, they never took it seriously.

With the NFL taking this seriously, if there was a death this weekend, the NFL could say “whoa whoa, we were proactive, we changed the rules immediately!” Lawsuits disappear, advertisers feel better, media can’t clobber you. Folks, there is a reason why my current work placement blocks all their computers, you can’t get porn here, no matter how hard you try. If someone filed a harassment suit, my employers could say “hey, we did everything within our power to create a safe working environment. We held classes on harassment, we blocked porn on the internet” That’s why big companies, and big companies are targets anyways, need to be proactive.

Baseball never took steroids seriously, that’s why they got called in. With the NFL saying “We have to right now, change something in our league” your avoiding lawsuits, your avoiding negative publicity, your avoiding Budweiser bailing next week if, god forbid, someone were to die. You don’t have to be a scientist to see that the game is getting violent because, as we all know, the players are getting faster and stronger.

So when you’re a big target like Disney, when you’re a big target like Fox or ESPN or Nike. Your job as CEO of the business you run is to avoid catastrophes and when you have a potential crisis, you have to be proactive, not reactive. It’s my #1 criticism of Bud Selig; he’s done some great things. It takes MLB years; baseball is a battleship, no turning radius. The NFL to its credit has really good turning radius, despite its size, it’s a behemoth!  But it turns quickly and acts quickly. That’s why the NFL is king! “oh we’ve got some new technology, let’s implement it…now!” or they’ll say “there’s a rule we changed and people don’t like it, let’s have a meeting… now! So if there is a death, the NFL is covered, the NFL is covered.

You might say “Well Andrew, what is the line between violent and too violent?”  Well, its like I always say, the Supreme Court looked at pornography and said “we can’t define it, but we’ll know when we see it” It is very hard to explain, but let me just put it this way. Our society, the history of the US/Canada, has been built exclusively the way I am going to describe it. “The smartest people make laws” okay? That’s how our society works, the upper crust, the smarter people create the laws, not the mouth breathers. So whenever you have a situation where its “well, what’s too violent?”

Well in Hollywood, they have committees to decide between an R rating and an NC17. You find highly proven educated people, you put them on a committee and they decide and they figure out if there is a difference between “Faces of Death” and “Reservoir Dogs”, smart people can tell the difference. Now the difference isn’t huge, its not a Grand Cayon, but you certainly don’t let mouth breathers decide it.

There is a reason why Roger Goodell is highly educated and experienced and he got the commissioner’s job. It is the job of the smartest people in this country to create the laws and tell us the difference between too violent and not violent, really violent and too violent, smart people can tell. So meatball heckler who always sits in 3rd deck and emails radio show saying “what do they want to wear dress now too?” that’s why you don’t work in the Supreme Court or in the NFL, that’s why you’re not on a committee to decide.

We have committees all over this country, in law, in litigation, in politics, in healthcare, in sports…who deserves this and who doesn’t. What is violent and what is not. So reasonable people in the NFL, and we all love the NFL…I love some violent aspects of the NFL. If you’re watching Deshawn Jackson and that kid collide in Week 6 of the NFL, it doesn’t take Dante Robinson and Deshawn Jackson, I cringe watching it and I love collisions. And I think I’ve got pretty good instincts, maybe not great enough to be on a committee, but I watched that hit and I said “okay, I didn’t need to see his neck do that”.

Chris Mortensen, NFL columnist at ESPN, talked about this saying on the Mike & Mike Show on ESPN radio saying “ The NFL announced that effective this weekend [Week 7] even first time offenders who deliver these devastating headshots will face possible suspension, you have to dispel the notion that you get one free pass for these egregious and flagrant shots that the league won’t tolerate, you can’t tolerate it, and the NFL said that what they saw Sunday [Week 6] was disturbing  and this came out, after a long day of meetings with Roger Goodell and talking with various members of the competition committee and I think more changes are coming effective this coming weekend.” This is a mid-week policy change that shows the urgency and that it’s the right thing to do!

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