It’s a shame that recent NFL politics will determine hits like the one Ahmad Brooks laid on Drew Brees this past Sunday to be illegal. Brooks clearly laid his forearm across Brees’ collarbone and the resulting whiplash caused refs to throw yellow penalty flags, thus costing San Francisco the game.
Word around town is that various players and coaches for the New Orleans Saints face “lengthy and unprecedented suspensions” after NFL security uncovered a team bounty system that rewarded players for delivering game-ending hits. The fact that the NFL is willing to make an example out of one of their model franchises by forgoing the garden variety 4 game suspension in favor of stiff punishment lets us know that they’re aiming to set an example. During a press release on the issue at hand, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell explained his gripe with the situation:
“It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated. We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent. We have more work to do and we will do it.”
The NFL would love for everyone to believe they’re about to drop the hammer on Sean Payton, Gregg Williams, Mickey Loomis and a bunch of New Orleans Saints players because their actions were a detriment to the health of opposing NFL players. As we all know, the NFL has taken an increased interest in player safety over the last few seasons with rule changes to protect quarterbacks, receivers, and kick returners. The problem is, ending violence and injuries in the NFL is like trying to end piracy on the internet…… it’s a pipe dream. You cannot end serious bodily harm in football without irrevocably breaking the game, and you cannot end piracy on the internet without irrevocably destroying the world wide web.
So what do you do?
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We’re sure you were a very good appendage who performed every duty asked of you during your quarter-century on Earth. That was until Ronda Rousey bent, twisted, and yanked you into unnatural positions on March 3rd, 2012. If we never see you in working order again, we just want to say ……… it’s been real.