Wherever you turn these days, discussion of the NFL and concussions seems to pop up.
I listen to sirius NFL radio everyday, and it is constant. One caller suggested the idea of replacing the kickoffs with a punt from the 50. A step short from eliminating the kickoff entirely that the Giants owner has said the league is considering. The idea of the punt still allows for the kicking team to fake, thus preserving the chance to get the ball in an on-side type situation.
I have read numerous articles on the football helmets, and ways to make them safer. The players suing the nfl over concussions are all suing the helmet manufacturer. I think the helmets are going to be the key, along with rule changes, to correcting this problem. There were some players in the 90's who padded the outside of their helmets and were very successful in preventing concussions. I think this is the key next step for the NFL.
I drove my wife's car over the weekend, and she streams music through her phone. That leaves NPR as the only station that gets reception where I live. And guess what NPR was talking about: NFL concussions. They brought up 1905. The year before 18 people had died playing football. This was the era before helmets and players sometimes sewed handles onto their uniforms because being thrown by teammates was a very common play. There was no passing. People where breaking their necks and cracking their skulls. There was a lot of talk of banning the game entirely. Football was at a crisis point. Rules changes were implemented that made the game much safer, and the forward pass was created as a way to spread out the players and reduce injures. The game moved forward in a very different way than it had been in the past, but without the changes the game would likely have disappeared entirely.
I think football is again approaching a crisis point. When the players are killing themselves, can't remember their own kids names, and all time greats are refusing to let their kids play the game, you have a problem. This problem is now part of the national discussion. They are going to have to make major changes to the game that we may not like, but without them, we could lose football entirely.