Booger McFarland: Is the NFL’s New Running Back Rule All About Safety?
So the NFL passed a new rule that says that if a ball carrier is outside of the tackle box that they can’t use the crown of their helmet to initiate contact. This is supposed to be a rule that is about safety. This is supposed to be a rule that shows that the NFL cares about their players. This is supposed to be a rule that shows everyone that the sport we love can be played in a proper manner. But does it?
The NFL as we know it is built on violence and tough men doing athletic feats that most only imagine. When you think of why we tune in, is safe soft tags or touches one of those reasons? Don’t get me wrong no one wants to see anyone get hurt; however, we understand that in a violent game injuries are going to occur. It’s the bi-product of the game, not the nature of the players.
And for those who say ‘It’s all about the kids because we don’t want our kids playing the same as these vicious NFL guys do and getting concussions.’ I got news for you, it’s part of the risk that we all take when we sign up to play. We can all relate to when we tell our kids the best method of safe sex is abstinence. The best method to keep little Mikey or Susie from getting a concussion is to have them abstain from the sport, period.
All in all sports have taught me a lot about life and this new rule in the NFL teaches me one more thing. At the end of the day it’s starting to not become about the game and safety anymore. It’s now about perception, lawsuits and, oh yeah, protecting the shield, not for the players but for perception among its fans. So I ask, is it all about safety? I’ll let you be the judge of that.