Is the NFL a Wimpy Sport?
Everyone has their opinion and is free to state it, whether it's whom should you vote for this year in the 2008 presidential election, or maybe it's the toughness of sports these days.
Some say it for attention, others to get their ideas out. There is no doubt that the NFL wants to protect its players and keep the game fun, but to what extent? This past week, Pittsburgh Steelers' strong safety Troy Polamalu explained his concern that the NFL was "becoming more and more flag football, two hand touch" and also that the fines were getting ridiculous!
Polamalu has some truth to this statement, as the number of fines have increased in the past few years. The likes of Eric Smith of the New York Jets, after his hit on WR Anquan Boldin of the Arizona Cardinals, and the Arizona Cardinals' Adrian Wilson, after his hit on Trent Edwards of the Buffalo Bills caused him a concussion.
These are just a few of the fines from this year so far. To contain the players, the NFL sent out a letter on Sept. 17 to the players, stating: The NFL would monitor "illegal and dangerous hits." Polamalu, however, felt the restrictive rule enforcement might be making defensive players hesitant because they are worried a routine tackle will result in a major fine.
"We've really lost the essence of what real American Football is about. There not really concerned about safety, because people have been doing this for...quite a few decades." Also unhappy with the increase of fines, Polamalu says the fines are "nefarious infractions" and all this wimpy protection is "taking away what makes this sport so popular."
Polamalu also suggested what the old time players would play like in today's game, like Dick Butcus, Jack Tatum, and "Mean" Joe Green. "Now they couldn't survive in this type of game. They wouldn't have enough money. They'd be paying fines all the time and be suspended for the year after they do it two games in a row. It's ridiculous."
To keep everything in order, however, and to explain the NFL's concern, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the players were top priority to this league and understood Polamalu's frustration with the league rules, but that they were there to protect them.
However this still does not help the fact that the league has become very strict on its "hitting policy," and the toll on the toughness-lessened league. Take notice that there really haven't been any big hits lately, without some one getting fined or suspended.
The fact of the matter is that there is a line when it comes to protecting your players and being down right wimpy. However, in this day and age, the league has become more money hungry, due to the effects from the economy, than really caring about its players. The NFL we used to know and love is in the past; it now has become a "two-hand touch" affair that's lacking the interest of many football fans.
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