i consider myself one of those people that love football for its pure brutality. the kind of brutality that gets rewarded with an "ohhhhhhhh" from the crowd as some receiver gets punished for crossing the middle as a saftey plants his helmet under the receivers chin and delivers a crushing blow. my normal football self applauds those viscous hits....the harder the better, with always the implied "assuming the guy gets up from that hit, that was awesome". it had always been my opinion that the harder the hit, the better it was....the type of hits college football and professional football are trying to legislate and penalize out of existence.
so, you have me, joe meathead, wanting the field strewn with the dust and blood and bones of brutalized, unwilling sacrifices that are able to make it off the field, and i take the time to watch an espn special on devon walker. here is what i saw...:
as a football fan, i cant help but feel like a complete asshole for my prior beliefs. is football as a whole worth the price for even a single person to lose all functional capability for the rest of their life? A younger, less careless me would have said yes, its the price you pay for athletic competition, but the father in me continues to well up with tears every time i watch this...even now, i have the video playing in the background, and i am typing with tears in my eyes. i dont know devon....never have, probably never will meet him, but even the sickest of you sons a bitches cant watch that and tell me the sport that we all love is where it needs to be...even after all of the heads-up tackling drills, incessant technique coaching, and the like, shit like this continues to happen across the nation.
turns to this:
should sicken us all, as i suspect it does.
i really love the sport, but devon's hit wasnt the type of hit being forced out of college and pro football. it was a split second decision to get half-tackle registered. the whole thing is unbelievably sad and the struggles devon faces for the rest of his life are immeasurable....not just for him, but for his family, apparent wife, and child.
all that to say, i dont know what the answer is. i suspect that removing helmets would greatly reduce the amount and more specifically TYPES of injuries we see, particularly the more devastating injuries. there arent a lot of people in america that would lower their head the way devon did without a helmet to cushion the blow. its as if the helmet is perpetuating some of these injuries to some extent. that degree of effect is certainly debatable, but common sense tells me that spinal cord injuries would largely be a thing of the past if helmets were abolished. certainly, that would mean the increase in other types of injureis, but those would be of less consequential impact from a physical capability perspective. im at the point to say that even if one of these type injuries were avoided, it would be 100% worth it, but that would mean a change to the sport we all love.
anyway, not to be such a downer, but use this short time that you have on this earth doing good and right things. life is entirely too fragile and can be robbed or severely impaired through seemingly meaningless random acts. So, in this time of postseason football, forgive my diatribe, but remember those who are close to you and remember how precious life is. it can certainly be snatched a way in an instant, so over this Christmas break, settle things between you and your maker, celebrate responsibly, and pray that those competing in the sport we love compete in a manner that is safe to all that are involved.
Edited by shamoan, 22 December 2013 - 01:34 AM.