The NFL's decision to more stringently enforce player safety rules that are already in the book has lured the "football is football is football is football" response that most of us probably saw coming. I'll stop for a moment to admit that this crowd does have a point: everyone in the NFL is well aware of the dangers that are inseparable from the game, and service is voluntary. This isn't the Army. It's not like there's a draft. Wait. Okay, this one might need some work.
These folks acknowledge that the NFL is a league in which lives are sometimes ruined. Join the party, y'all! Here's the thing to remember, though: cynical though we are, we really would like to see fewer lives ruined, and making the game 0.5% different (if that) is a price we would gladly pay to that end.
Now that you've read the first opinion on NFL safety ever published on the Internet, let's dig into the best part of this: predictable cliche!
It's already everywhere. To grab two examples that popped up this morning, here's the Redskins' Phillip Daniels...
Have we become a cupcake league? We already have better helmets and gear. Wonder how the old school players feel about this.
...and the Bears' Brian Urlacher:
Urlacher to ChiTrib: "Let's make it the NFFL the National Flag Football League. It's unbelievable.''
Football people, feel free to use any of the following. With credit, of course.
- I just impaired another man's cognitive ability, and boy are my arms tired!
- Who do you have to talk to to get a concussion-inducing hit around here?
- I went to a particular locale in which people don't hit each other devastatingly hard... and then a football game broke out!
- Life's three givens: death, taxes, and a culture in which long-term health is cast to the wayside in favor of three seconds of visceral satisfaction!
- The NFL? More like the NLL, or No Fun League! Actually, that would still be "NFL," I guess. More like the NFL, which it currently is!
- Braille on drive-thru ATM machines? What's up with that? Also it's a bummer that players' long-term health is jeopardized to a slightly lesser degree.
- The sound helmets make when they crash together trumps your life expectancy, and, for that matter, mine. The Aristocrats!