Sunday, November 17, 2013

NFL Injury Bug Self-Inflicted Wound

Anyone who has paid any attention to NFL football this season has to have noticed the vast amount of injuries that have occurred to players this year.

Especially some key players.

One has to wonder why so many injuries are happening.

In comparison to other seasons, generally speaking, it seems that more players are succumbing to injury than in years past.

What could the reason be?

One thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is the rule changes that have been instituted in the last fe years.

Defenders have all but been handcuffed from hitting offensive players which has put them in position to become injured themselves.

With the addition of the defenseless receiver rule defenders have been asked to restrict the area in which they can hit or tackle an offensive player which actually puts them at risk.

Asking a player who is running at full speed to pull up (slow down) or change direction at the last moment just before contact with another player is asking a lot of the human body.

Making such an abrupt adjustment puts an unusual strain on the human frame which seems to be resulting injuries not seen before.

Defenders are being asked to be pinpoint tacklers and that is asking a lot.

In recent years NFL coaches and teams have also reduced the amount of hitting in practice which additionally has contributed to the spike in injuries.

Anyone who has played football will tell you that the only way your body builds up a tolerance for being hit is by being hit. Reducing hitting in practice has in essence "softened" the players making them susceptible to injury.

What the NFL rules committee has done is expose players to many more injuries by changing the game in an effort to reduce injuries.

Football players need to be able to hit each other. That is the nature of the game.

Although some of the head hunting needed to be curtailed it didn't need to be done at the expense of ruining the game.

I have to admit form tackling is a lost art in football. Players need to return to wrapping and tackling instead of trying to deliver the big blow that makes everybody go "OOOoooooo!!"

But by the same token they still need to feel free to hit an opposing player without fear of being penalized on every play.

The league and the players both need to make adjustments.

Let's hope they do in a manner that is reasonable and fair.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Definitely Not Incognito

The recent incident involving Richie Incognito and Jonathon Martin of the Miami Dolphins not only has the sports world abuzz but the rest of the world as well.

The story probably would not be all that significant if it did not involve the use of a racial slur used by Incognito.

Incognito used the “n” word which only added unneeded fuel to a fire set ablaze by what appears to be sanctioned intimidation and bullying by the Miami Dolphins organization’s coaching staff.

Although many details are still missing bone thing is for certain, this incident will serve as a warning to other sports organizations in other sports to watch and carefully control their environment surrounding their particular sport.

In an apparent attempt to “motivate” Martin Incognito used some harsh language which ultimately led to him using the racially charged “n” word that has caused a bad situation to get worse very quickly.

In a recent interview with Fox Sports Incognito was quoted as saying the language he used that has been plastered across the media was normal for conversations between he and Martin.

In that interview he went on to say martin just a week before this incident made the news, sent him (Incognito) a text message stating that he (Martin) would murder Incognito’s family.

If what Incognito says is true it points to an even more disturbing aspect of this story and maybe our society as a whole.

If this is how the younger generation speaks to and addresses each other we have a serious problem on our hands that needs our devoted attention.

We all know sports is a microcosm of the world in general and that the sports world to a great degree mirrors the world scene.

If what Richie Incognito said in his Fox Sports interview is true we need to not only take a look at the environment of professional football, we need to take a good, long, hard look at the country and world in which we live.