Does the NFL do enough to protect its own?

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Posted Thu, Feb 20, 2014

ORANGE CRUSH: In the first quarter of the NFL game between the Denver Broncos and the Philadelphia Eagles,December 27, 2009, in Philadelphia,PA. [Photo by Denver Bronocs]

ORANGE CRUSH: In the first quarter of the NFL game between the Denver Broncos and the Philadelphia Eagles, Dec. 27, 2009, in Philadelphia,PA. [Photo provided by the Denver Bronocs]

The evolution of American football can be traced back to 19th and early 20th century English rugby.  Furthermore, the English brought their rugby influences to the USA through colonization. As a result, rugby brought a set of rules which later were changed by  Walter Camp — the Father of American Football. Camp earned that distinguished title because of the changes he implemented on rugby which later became American football. Today football continues to evolve every single day.

Today, there are a lot of different levels of football i.e., youth, college and professional. More importantly, football continues to remain in the spotlight because of safety concerns. In a recent study from the Center for Injury Biomechanics researchers found limiting hits in practice helps cuts down player’s chances of brain trauma.

Vincent Papale, former Philadelphia Eagles and youth football coach, likes the way game is trying to becoming safer on the professional side of the sport, but states that the youth side needs to change. Papale says he still teaches the game to other coaches because “new techniques can protect those fragile bodies.”

On the other hand, college football continues to evolve everyday with new safety aspects. The college game made changes this season which are good, but also can be debated. They implemented targeting rules, and if your helmet comes off, you need come off for one play. The targeting rule is when a player intentions to hurt a another player. This rule is currently causing a stir in college football because some people believe it’s hurting the game. Andy Staples, a journalist for Sports Illustrated, says the people in charge of the rules in any level of football are wise to make the game safer — even if the rules are not agreeable. Furthermore, he says that the injury information we get back from the retired players from there playing days is a sign that game needs to continue to become safer even though it might cost a team a game.

However, as for the NFL side of things they have definitely changed the way game has play. The NFL continues to fight major battles when it comes to safety. During the past three years, the NFL has been sued by ex-players who sustained permanent injuries during their careers. Early this year the NFL finally settle those suits with a $765 million check. The game is getting more attention now than it had years ago in regards to brain trauma.

According to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the progression of the safety the league this year is going great. With regards to how the game is changing Goodell says, “I do believe that this is a very positive shift in the culture. You’re always going to have things that don’t necessarily fit into that culture in a period of time, but people are recognizing when these hits don’t fit into the context of the game.”

Dylan Palm-Trujillo

About Dylan Palm-Trujillo

Dylan Palm-Trujillo is a Freelance Writer/Photographer for the Metropolitan and Metro Post -Telegraph. He has had work published by Westword Denver and Johnstown Breeze while being a student at Metro. Moreover, he has done a PR internship as well as a reporting Internship. Further, he is a Metro State Student currently studying Convergent Journalism and expects to graduate in the fall of 2015.

View all posts by Dylan Palm-Trujillo

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