Joe Paterno is never shy about giving his opinion. So, when asked for his thoughts on the reason for so many helmet-to-helmet tackles, he said the following to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
"I have been saying (it) for 15 years," Paterno said. "Then, you would get back to shoulder blocking and shoulder tackling and you wouldn't have all those heroes out there. Guys (would) have to worry about broken noses, knocked-out teeth, which we would like to prevent, but you don't get anything for nothing. "We used to have one single bar; now we have a weapon."
If you want to ask about horrific incidents on the field, then Joe has first-hand knowledge. His former assistant Greg Schiano is going through exactly the same at Rutgers. In 2000, Adam Taliaferro went on the field against Ohio State and came off paralyzed from the neck down. All of college football took a breath. Ten years later, Schiano was the one calling Paterno after one of his players, Eric LeGrand, was rushed off the field with paralysis.
Joe Paterno is right. They need to stop the facemask. They need to make uglies. If the players can't deal with competing without a facemask, then tough. An article we wrote for Sky Sports makes some other on-the-field recommendations (nothing this sane, unfortunately), saying the players should be thrown out of games, fined tens of thousands of dollars minimum, face suspensions and get 30 yard penalties (the first in football) for their stupidity. Heck, we'd support sending some of our players, after a dangerous tackle, to jail, but maybe that's going a little to the extreme.
This has got to stop, people. Someone is going to get killed. And football won't have anyone to blame but itself.
Now, sit back and let yourself cry a little....