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Saints players: UPDATE - Tagliabue decision

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Re: Saints players suspended

Postby murphysxm » Fri May 04, 2012 8:45 am

What I will be interested to see is if the whole playing an 18 game regular season comes back up. I would think it would be fairly hypocritical of the league to come down so squarely on the side of player safety here, but to also push for two extra games which clearly is for $ and not player safety.
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Re: Saints players suspended

Postby stomperrob » Sat May 05, 2012 7:05 pm

Michael Irwin, in one of the few wise statements he has ever made, said that any thought he had of the suspensions being too extreme went out the window with the death of Junior Seau.

The long term affects of concussions must not be discounted, no doubt there are way more ex-players afflicted then we are aware of.

That said, there is a world of difference between good, clean hard-hitting football and deliberately trying to knock someone out of a game by injuring him - and that goes doubly for those who paid players to do it, those who condoned it, and those who turned a blind eye to it.
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Re: Saints players suspended

Postby moochman » Sat May 05, 2012 8:35 pm

Disagree, Stomp. I have serious doubts that any aggresive NFL player thinks twice about leveling the dude with the ball. The bountys were as dangerous as the pregame huddles and chants. They make too much money to go against their nature for baubles.
The reality of Seau was that he would knock you into tomorrow just so he could play football for a living. Just because nobody openly said "lets hurt the QB" didn't mean it wasn't meant with every tackle. Hit em, hurt em, slow em down, take em out, win the game. While nobody is saying "Sweep the leg, Johnny!" "show no mercy" still applies.
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Re: Saints players suspended

Postby stomperrob » Sat May 05, 2012 9:58 pm

Sure the money was minimal compared to their salaries, but I know people with lots of money who like making small wagers. It's not the cash for the players, it's taking the bet, the dare, showing you can do it - one of the players has already admitted to it. We would be naive indeed to think that things like this could never happen in the NFL, that players would never do such a thing - a lot of these players are just overgrown kids. I don't doubt for a minute that Greg Williams was very serious about the bounties and that some players took him seriously. Sorry, but I've too many ex-Steelers die way too young and/or suffer some serious mental health issues - these guys aren't dying because they lack life skills after leaving football. It's all well and good for us to sit back and pontificate about violence in football, it's not us with a life expectancy of 55 years. I'm not arguing for turning it into a game of touch football, but deliberate attempts to injure or to dare/bet others into doing it is wrong and can and should be targeted, no place for it - this isn't the days of Conrad Dobler or those early Raider teams anymore - we understand some of the long term health effects now and ignore them at our peril. Just because they get paid a lot of money to entertain us doesn't mean their life expectancy should be 2 or 3 decades less than ours.

It's not just football, wrestling and hockey are facing the same issues with concussions. When wrestler Chris Benoit killed his family and took his own life at age 40 his autopsy showed "Benoit's brain was so severely damaged it resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient". Times have changed, our medical knowledge has grown by leaps & bounds, the past is no more. The fact that players are paid so well does not mean they aren't entitled to a modicum of workplace safety.
Last edited by stomperrob on Sun May 06, 2012 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Saints players suspended

Postby stomperrob » Sat May 05, 2012 10:03 pm

...and an excellent article on the subject:

The takeaway from a timely Fiesta Bowl Summit panel Thursday, "Sports-Related Concussions: Facts, Fallacies and New Frontiers," was twofold: 1. The NCAA and NFL, after the media forced them to pay attention, have been working hard to get their arms around the issue; 2. It's not unreasonable to believe they can.

Of course, there always will be head injuries in contact sports, and repeated head trauma can lead to long-term health problems. This knowledge isn't new. Doctors were aware of boxers becoming punch drunk -- dementia pugilistica -- in the 1920s.

Understanding concussions and how best to prevent and then treat them, however, isn't easy. As Dr. Margot Putukian, one of four panelists at the Arizona Biltmore, said, concussions are "a moving target." Each one is different, and each person is different. They are not anything like a torn ACL.

Yet there has been recent research progress that is particularly meaningful for football. Said Dr. Michael McCrea, "The news is promising."

McCrea's research found that 28 percent of athletes suffering a concussion no longer show symptoms from their injury after 24 hours. Sixty percent are asymptomatic after a week to 10 days. So nearly 90 percent of athletes passed tests that showed their symptoms were gone inside of 10 days. But that's not the good news. Passing tests that show symptoms are gone doesn't mean the brain has fully healed -- achieved full clinical recovery.

full article at: http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/ ... alk-timely
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Re: Saints players suspended

Postby stomperrob » Sun May 06, 2012 1:13 pm

I think if we focus too much on Goodell, that only serves to obfuscate the problem. With the medical advances and technological leaps that have been made, Goodell would be criminally negligent if he didn't do everything in his power to minimize the risk of concussions - and I'm not just referring to the bounty scandal - this also includes such things as new helmet designs, and requiring strict monitoring and medical tests for those current players who suffer concussions during games.

Some years ago NFL rules were modified regarding blocking and tackling to curtail the rise of catastrophic knee injuries that were not only season-ending, but in many cases career ending. The rule changes had the desired effects health-wise without negatively affecting the product on the field. Surely protecting players' brains is as important as protecting their knees!

If the evidence against the players in the bounty scandal is found to be wanting, then the suspensions should be modified or dropped for some players, but there is no doubt strong evidence against some of those involved. The players union is really caught in a Catch22 - while it is their job to defend the players as regards the suspensions in this case, they should also be at the forefront of efforts to minimize injuries that can adversely affect players for the rest of their lives.
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Re: Saints players suspended

Postby Cowboys 4 life » Sun May 06, 2012 2:52 pm

I'm in Stompers camp. I'm not at all against hard hits but when you are setting a bounty to knock a player out of a game you are over the line. When your coach is saying hit the head when concussions are rampant you are over the line. If you watch the game again against Minnesota it's kind of obvious now they were targeting Favre and trying to injure him.

The penalty against the team is in line and not over the top. I feel the Player suspensions are a little harsh but at the same time it will make sure it does not happen again.

Imagine if we worked together at a restaurant as waiters and I said to another employee I would pay them to beat the hell out of you so I got more tass and tips. Is that ok? Not really any different in my book.
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Re: Saints players suspended

Postby moochman » Sun May 06, 2012 7:59 pm

I guess my concern is more that the obfusication is more in trying to blame the deaths and concussions on bountys. I'm not saying there aren't players who are dumb enough to try and hurt someone just to prove a point, nor would I say that nobody has ever gotten a concussion from a hit by someone trying to collect on a bounty. What I am saying is that there is and always will be an unspoken bounty on the man with the ball. Wearing out your opponant is a vital part of a winning strategy. I liken it to boxing. Take out the body and the head will follow. hit them in the torso enough and they start to slow down. Same with QBs, hit them hard enough and they slow down, some will ever start hearing footsteps.
The real problem is more likely that the league has refused to take proactive measuer to reduce the risk of concussions. I despise Goodell, though most don't know that :-b , but I can't really fault him. I hate to think of the changes that should be made to protect the welfare of the players. We must stop the bone jarring collisions that we love so much. We have to go take a step back so we can move forward. The equipment is too good. Taking helmets and shoulder pads. make them softer so it hurts to propell yourself like a missile into a ball carrier. It would mean players would go back to wrapping arms to tackle instead of sticking their head or shoulder in hoping to knock a player down. Make leading with the head and head shot penalties more severe. Not talking yardage, but have the guilty player sit out the series, and maybe the next.
There have to be some game altering changes made to protect the players from themselves. Punishing some for the crimes of most is just paying lip service as far as I'm concerned. In order to change the outcome, you've got to change the game.
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Re: Saints players suspended

Postby stomperrob » Wed May 09, 2012 3:19 pm

moochman wrote: Wearing out your opponent is a vital part of a winning strategy. I liken it to boxing. Take out the body and the head will follow. hit them in the torso enough and they start to slow down. Same with QBs, hit them hard enough and they slow down, some will ever start hearing footsteps.


And that's where we're both on the same page - that's how football should be played, hit hard but don't aim for the head and don't use your own head/helmet as a weapon.
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Re: Saints players suspended

Postby moochman » Wed May 09, 2012 6:27 pm

stomperrob wrote:
moochman wrote: Wearing out your opponent is a vital part of a winning strategy. I liken it to boxing. Take out the body and the head will follow. hit them in the torso enough and they start to slow down. Same with QBs, hit them hard enough and they slow down, some will ever start hearing footsteps.


And that's where we're both on the same page - that's how football should be played, hit hard but don't aim for the head and don't use your own head/helmet as a weapon.


The funny thing is, I can remember watching and loving football before players became missiles. I just wonder how many would enjoy if that style of tackling was no more.
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