Flag Football?

January 4, 2011
By , Hartland, WI
“Are NFL players destroying themselves for the viewer’s pleasure?” Stefan Fatsis said in his article titled, “Why I’d Let my Son Play Football.” It argues the case of football becoming too protective of the players. It gives arguments on both sides of the story, and player opinions as well.

There is only one way to stop football players from getting injured: no more football. Players in the NFL have played football their entire lives and understand the risks they are taking the second they step onto that field. If players don’t want to get hit hard, they have the opportunity to sit on the sidelines or go down when they see a defender coming at them. These rules have caused game changing calls, arguments between teams and referees, and an unbelievable amount of fines that have left players in shock.

James Harrison, a linebacker for the Pittsburg Steelers, has been fined 125,000 dollars so far this year for hard hits. Some debatable.

“I may have to give up football,” Harrison says.

Players all around the league are enraged by these new rules that are completely changing the game. Defenders are backing off of wide receivers and letting them catch the ball instead of hitting them hard and trying to knock the ball loose.

“It's freaking football. There are going to be big hits. I don't understand how they can do this after one weekend of hitting. And I can't understand how they can suspend us for it. I think it's a bunch of bull.” Brian Urlacher, a linebacker for the Chicago Bears. "You know what we should do? We should just put flags on everybody. Let's make it the NFFL - the National Flag Football League. It's unbelievable."

An argument was thrown out that only defensive players hate the rule because they are the only ones hitting and getting fined for; however, offensive players agree it is changing the game as well.

Steve Breaston, a wide receiver on the Arizona Cardinals, says, “It’s changing the game more than you can notice. Players are still making the tackles, but it’s after the receiver catches the ball and is guaranteed to hold onto it. They’re still making tackles, but not nearly as hard.”

How can a game be played the same for over one hundred years and now the commissioner decides it’s too dangerous? These players have been lifting weights, working out, and have devoted most of their life to playing the game. And now the game is being changed on them because a couple key players are getting injured. Not to mention, the referees don’t even fully understand when it is a legal hit and when it is not. The hits are being unevenly and inconsistently enforced. It seems as though the referees are looking for certain players to make a hard hit and calling them for that, rather than watching how each hit is placed on a player.

Keep football the same way it’s been played ever since the beginning. Players are going to get injured, and just because a better, more acknowledged player is hurt doesn’t mean the person who put the hit on him did anything wrong.
As Antrel Rolle, a safety for the Arizona Cardinals, has said, "This is the game of football. This is a game of speed. This is a game of power. This is a game of physical guys going to battle. Let it be played the way it’s supposed to be.”





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