Thursday, February 27, 2014

Football Nation

All the game's bumping and banging is over for this year, oh sure, "the want to be's" are working out for the owner's who wish to hire some college players. During this thing called NFL Scouting Combine where, I theorize, players are treated something like slaves were back around Civil War time. Inspected and measured : they sprint against the clock, they lift weights in counted repetitions, they jump up as high as they can, and maybe they're not pinched and fondled as of old, but they are ogled at non the less.
Seems the owner's are extremely active in their interests of accumulating flesh in this marketplace. 

Owners have maneuvered present ball players along with retired players to accept a lump sum payment to offset potential costs which could arise from maladies stemming from football based concussions. Owners act when their pocketbooks are affected. How, you ask, could the owner's effect the game of football in a positive way while keeping the game moving in a  safer direction. Thinking of pocketbook issues, owner's seem to stay in the black because of television royalties but, I would think, everyone of them wants to win and winning the Superbowl is the ultimate prize. 

To force owners to make the game safer, I suggest, the contests need some changes. In an effort to level the playing field and leave the outcome of the game to the players on the field, a system of penalties was devised to punish offenders. Never fully appreciated, it seems to me, that penalty should fit the crime. Does the loss of yardage or loss of down really fit as a penalty for the weight of the infraction incurred ? Is it time to rethink the roll of the penalty in controlling the way the game is played ?

In my mind, emphatically the answer, is yes ! 

The issues that surround what we call thuggery must be curtailed to save the integrity of the game : punching, fighting, cursing ; grandstanding ; unsportsmanlike conduct ; all those elements, not of the athletics of the game, we know as football. 

It is time for implementation of a penalty box where offending players must sit out minutes in addition to their team losing yardage and/or a down when a penalty is assessed. I suggest owners and the player's representative begin talks about the possibility of a penalty box for football. Ice hockey does it and so does soccer ; in fact, they play on but with a player short. I would assess penalty box fouls first for those penalties that I itemize in the previous paragraph since they should not be part of the game of football. 

Owners would put added pressure on their coaching staff when their players disregard the rules of the contest. Thuggery, if allowed to continue to exist, will eventually bring down the game for spectators as we know it. Bullying is a negative in modern day life experiences and should not be part of the game of football.

Ronald C. Downie

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