So we are now almost a week removed from the "flap" of dangerous hits in the NFL on 10/17/10.
Starting off: I like a game with hard hits. If I didn't I wouldn't be watching football. I was even disappointed with football this past weekend
because the games I got to watch were rather dull in that department not to mention the other aspects of the game were seriously lacking. But
whatever, that's the draw I got for my region.
So I check out the highlights and they are talking about big hits. Not just any big hits, but hits knocking people out.
This ultimately has led to the NFL releasing a video to all 32 teams showing what is and is not going to be tolerated. (and if I remember correctly
from listening to The Herd with Colin Cowherd today (10/22/10) the NFL sent one out at the beginning of the season as well)
From this ESPN.com article, NFL Exec. VP of Football Operations Ray Anderson says this
in the video they sent out:
"Illegal hits to the head of an opponent will not be tolerated,A player is accountable for what he hits. Illegal techniques must be removed from
our game.We all accept that football is a physical and tough game, but players must play under control. If a player launching into an opponent misses
his aiming point, he will nevertheless be responsible for what he hits."
For a visual of what I am talking about in this thread, I offer first the Merriweather hit on Todd Heap from this past Sunday.
In this instance, not only does he lead with his head, he purposely waits until Todd Heap to be at the apex of his jump, launches with the sole
purpose of hitting Heap in the head with his own helmet. He makes no effort to tackle.
In Brandon Meriweather's defense though, he offered an apology.
Now to James Harrison, his hits
The first in that video, in my opinion, had no malicious intent. He was going for the guy, some could say he was going for the head, but there is no
way of telling.
The second is where he is in the wrong. Again we see a player who chooses to lead with his head, arms pulled in, instead of tackling the other player.
This lead to him talking about retireing because he can't "play the game the way he was taught"...I'll get to that later on.
Now on to Dunta Robinson:
I had the pleasure? of seeing Dunta play for my team, The Texans, for a few years, and this is par for the course for his hits.Not taking a pot shot
at him, but the guy doesn't tackle, he launches. Not saying other players don't do it, but all you fans know how critical you are of "your"
players. Some say this one could have gone either way. Dunta was reacting to a fast play, he went in to make the hit. Where you can tell he has no
idea how to tackle is HOW he goes in: Head down. Head parallel with his spine.
Alright, now on to the meat and potatoes of my view point...
I don't know about you other former players, but the first time I went head down 7th grade year of football I got my ass chewed out. Plain and
simple. I got chewed out for being dumb and leading with my head and sat down. Mid game. Talk about a lesson being learned.
This brings me back to Harrison's comments about possibly retiring. When he was taught the game of football, up threw his college days, he was not
taught to lead with your head. My team had what was affectionately called "The dick": a sled with only one dummy. This was used primarily by DBs so
they could practice "wrapping up" they would get in crouched stance and put their shoulder in, wrap it up, keep the feet moving for a few seconds
then was whistled off. From time to time, when the coaches noticed our tackling was getting sloppy in practice (ie dangerous to us or other players)
we would have to go over to the dick and spend time practice form. From talking to people I've met since then, this seemed to be common practice
among teams. My college team I have seen spend half a practice on this. I refuse to believe Mr. Harrison was not taught to tackle this way.
We have other current players, including Ray Lewis, pretty much saying the same thing and echoing that "this was how they were taught" and so on and
so on. I disagree with that. They hit like this because a) its the only way they get on the Madden cover and b) it's the only way they make Sports
Speaking of Sports Center, we have had all of ESPN's former players sounding off on this, most with the overwhelming consensus that they can't fine
players for playing the game the way they were "taught" and that the NFL needs to stop making money off these hits with their videos, and some what
quietly saying maybe their company should stop showing them in highlights. Ok..fair enough.
But this brings me to my ultimate point: Players need to "learn" how to tackle again. We have players who are literally using their body as
missiles. I know that's dramatic, but it's the best analogy.
I ask you sports fans this question, What part of tackling involves the top of a helmet? I'll again go back to my own personal experiences. When I
was taught how to tackle it was in a 3 step motion.
1) Crouch down, prepare your body to exert force into the person coming at you as fast as you are coming at them.
2) Prepare your arms. Bring them to your side, bent at the elbows, ready to, for lack of a better term, give the object a big ol' bear hug.
3) Propel your body at the person you are tackling, attempting to have your center of gravity lower then theirs, putting your face in their numbers,
ending with your arms around them.
If you do this correctly and are the stronger individual during this play, you win. You tackle the guy.
When did this become the odd way to tackle for DBs and LBs. We can see it is not a lost art in football, the linemen still tackle this way. Smart DBs
and LBs do it too. So why are the players making a stink of it? Let's not forget that the NFL isn't implementing a new rule, they are simply going
to be enforcing the rule better.
That's right sports fans, I'm putting the blame mostly on the players. Why? They need to learn to tackle. It's called tackle football, not launch
yourself at each other football.
Yes, ESPN should take responsibility and stop showing illegal hits. As for the NFL, maybe they should stop selling the videos, if they are showing
illegal hits that is. This is the one area they have not been proactive in since Ol' Rog took over, but seeing what happened Sunday, they are taking
the correct steps if you ask me.
In closing, let me clarify a few things that could have been lost. I am not saying big hits need to leave. I am saying players need learn how to
tackle. If I was working at a factory and kept using a machine wrong and it kept hurting my employees or myself, I'd have to figure out the correct
way to do it. The same way of thinking applies here. Learn your job the right way. You're taught from a very young age how to correctly tackle.
Learning correct technique is just as much for your own safety as it is for the other player.
So what do you say sports fans? Am I not seeing it the correct way? Are the players right? Is the NFL doing enough? What role does ESPN play?
Oh and one more thing. I am fully aware as to why this is a big issue THIS WEEK. It's because of Favregate. That's a different topic, and even one I
may start up later on, but I think we can all agree this big hit issue needs to be dealt with,no?
Oh man, I watched the Harrison video like 3 times. You could HEAR that second collision. I had to watch it the second time to confirm I heard it and
the 3rd time just to cringe I guess. Those are some nasty hits and I hope all the other players see these clips and do a little practicing so they
don't get like them.
"I want all this to go away"
How about YOU go away and everyone else that wants to headhunt out there on the field?
How about suing this A-____ until he bleeds money from his tail end and kicking his butt out of the game. See you at MickyD drivethrough chump!
NFL, scratch that - all pro sports have gotten disgusting.
These "athletes" get away with soo much crap these days and they are waaaaaaay overpaid for what they do.
I quit watching years ago because of it.
Damn shame too, I used to love football and baseball.
Well made thread bro
edit on 22-10-2010 by Asktheanimals because: added comments
My bad dude, just keeping it real lol. Im a huge football fan too! (Bills unfortunately). Yeah though football is a heavy sport, but no one wants to
kill anybody and that will happen eventually if something is not done about these hits
How about you guys take off your pads and play a REAL sport where you actually feel the hits?
Oh wait some NFL footballers did, but didnt like feeling the pain. Kudos to those Dallas Cowboys that came over a couple of years ago and watched an
Aussie Rules footy match and said its way tougher than their chosen sport
By the way. We have been playing this for over 100 years and not one person has died, depsite the large number of hits
edit on 22/10/2010 by
OzWeatherman because: (no reason given)
edit on 22/10/2010 by OzWeatherman because: (no reason given)
Sorry for the delay on answering guys...big college rivalry game this weekend. We won. Go Jacks!
Oz, I agree 100%. Those Aussie Rules games late night on ESPN seem way more rough then anything else I've seen. I took my shot at rugby in junior
high, but couldn't find a league after that.
I bet the reason no one has died is because they don't rely on helmets to protect them. Former players/commentators have suggested taking the face
mask off the helmet, or going back to the old school leather one so the players don't have that crutch.
Yesterday's games were rather mild as far as hits go. Except for a member of the chain gang during the Browns' stomping of the Saints, poor guy got
run over and has some brain bleeding. Last I heard he was awake,alert and should be ok though.
I remember some American Football team came over and played/trained with I believe it was the London Wasps Ruby union team.... and just couldn't
believe the hits and aggression in the game and all with no pads.
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