News Post

It's an age old debate of safety vs. sanctity. With rumors swirling that the NFL might go as far as eliminating kickoffs, and with knee/thigh pads being required to be worn by players (among many other cases) starting in 2013 the question is simple: is Roger Goodell ruining a once great game by overreaching/dumbing down the game or is he doing the right thing protecting the players?

Sound off!

Member Comments
# 1 idlehands @ 05/23/12 12:23 PM
I honestly think he may be going too far. I'm all for player safety and all that jazz but to fundamentally change the game by removing kickoffs is lunacy. I mean some players make a name for themselves as return men (Ted Ginn Jr., Devin Hester) and some of those guys wouldn't even make the team if it wasn't for the things they can do to change a game with returns.
# 2 woodjer @ 05/23/12 12:39 PM
First things first...player safety is the priority period. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't believe that Goodell has the power to implement rules changes single-handedly...isn't that what the competition committee is for? In that case, the answer is a pretty clearcut "No, Goodell is not going to far" since he's not doing this stuff all by himself.

That said, from a fan's perspective, I'd be disappointed to see kickoffs disappear. Most of them are fairly dull but when you get a good one, it can be one of the most exciting plays in the game and can be a real momentum changer. On top of that, I'd be worried that they would remove punt returns eventually, too. As the linked NBC piece mentions, this would likely have a significant impact on the idea of an onside kick. I would assume that something would need to replace it but, if not, a lot of fans will be turning off their sets at the 2 minute warning if there is more than a touchdown spread, especially if the losing team has less than their full compliment of timeouts.

As for the pads, I'm fine with that. It doesn't really matter much to me.
# 3 cjonesfan921 @ 05/23/12 12:40 PM
At the end of the day, it is for the betterment of the league.

Whether it is to protect players from injury, or to protect the league from legal action.

I'm all for it. We watch the game for entertainment, however, it is sad hearing that former players we adored can barely function in a regular day.

Something needs to be done, and whether the pads make a huge difference is irrelevant, it will make A difference.
# 4 seriousluboy83 @ 05/23/12 12:44 PM
Removing Kickoffs is asinine, but mandating pads and if possible mouthpieces I have no problem with that.
# 5 wwharton @ 05/23/12 12:45 PM
Originally Posted by cjonesfan921
At the end of the day, it is for the betterment of the league.

Whether it is to protect players from injury, or to protect the league from legal action.

I'm all for it. We watch the game for entertainment, however, it is sad hearing that former players we adored can barely function in a regular day.

Something needs to be done, and whether the pads make a huge difference is irrelevant, it will make A difference.
I agree. And I think universally the issue has been more with the "how" rather than the "what" in terms of Goodell's rule changes. So, in that sense, there is an argument for how Goodell isn't handling these things properly but I don't think he's going too far.
# 6 ABR173rd @ 05/23/12 12:53 PM
I'm of the mind set that the majority of Goodells decisions are for his own personal ego and his attempt at leaving his mark on the league. Wearing knee pads and thigh pads will have little to no impact on the severe injury's caused to players. I find anything Goodell does to tin regards to player safety suspect, as this was the same guy trying to expand the regular season to 18 games. I also listened to some guy try to explain the other day how wearing mouth guards will significantly decrease concussions which I find to be a little far fetched.
# 7 blood9585 @ 05/23/12 12:54 PM
Let's wait for the bubble wrap before judge...lol.
# 8 DustinT @ 05/23/12 12:55 PM
Goodell means good, but he needs to take a step back. I love how much emphasis he is putting on player safety, but in the end this is still football. Players know what they're signing up for.
# 9 Chrisksaint @ 05/23/12 12:57 PM
It's a hard question to really answer.

I personally believe he's a big hypocrite with these changes, with the want for an 18 game season(Preseason sucks we know that, but it still serves a purpose and would have more injuries if we took 2 games no one played in out and added in 2 more real games)

Somethings make sense, but the possibility of eliminating kickoffs, the over protection of offensive players in some cases, etc. it where he may go too far.
# 10 rpelas1 @ 05/23/12 01:02 PM
Saints fan here...Goodell is so desperately trying to make it seem like he or the owners care about player safety. This is all just a big PR ploy so that people will stop calling the NFL a bloodsport and painting them in a negative light for the injuries caused during the game. They're afraid that the media coverage on concussions and the massive brain damage caused by 2-5 years of basically smashing your face against a wall for a few hours a week is going to effect the one thing that really matters. Money.

The guy is reaching for any straw he can find to make it seem like player safety is "priority one". Don't be so naive, player safety is of no real concern. The monetary impact of negative media and public opinion about a lack of player safety is what the real concern is. I assure you none of these owners loose any sleep over that guy on their team who was knocked out cold in the last game from a helmet to helmet.

So here we are, watching this man bastardize the game we have loved for many generations. We even got to watch him scapegoat a small market team to further their pr ploy. Demonize the saints, make it look like you care, then try to brush it aside when people grow suspicious because you haven't shown us one of those "thousands of pages" of evidence against the team.

Rant over.
# 11 debauchlord @ 05/23/12 01:09 PM
Most players don't even wear cups anymore. There is nothing wrong with telling players they need to wear pads. Pads and those concussion reducing mouth guards should be mandatory. The funny thing is that the NFLPA should be the ones requesting these player safety adjustments, not the NFL, since it is their job to protect the players. The NFLPA should be pressing for better equipment and better helmets, not sitting back and complaining when the NFL does nothing.

The funniest thing about the elimination of kickoffs is that for every kickoff that has an injury result, 50 kickoffs have no injuries. Why do people in this country constantly feel a need to over-regulate things that are statistically insignificant?
# 12 geezmeister @ 05/23/12 01:10 PM
It's too far. You get paid millions to hit people and be competitive. If you wanna open up a damn pastry shop then retire and bake cakes. I wanna watch football on Sundays.
# 13 jagsrock95 @ 05/23/12 01:15 PM
I feel like the Knee and Thigh pads thing is not a huge deal and with the advances in tech won't really hinder the players and still add a layer of security for the players(It is important that they are properly protected, as much as we love smash mouth football, I know many of us would hate to see our favorite player go down with a knee injury just cause he wasn't wearing pads). But The whole Kick-off elimination is the worst Idea ive ever heard. The kick-off is one of the most electric and exciting plays in the game of football and possibly even sports. There are very few things prettier than seeing a guy run it back from his own endzone. Kick-offs can be a major game changer and eliminating them would indeed be dumbing down the game.
# 14 ven0m43 @ 05/23/12 01:41 PM
If the current and former nfl player stop suing the nfl and requesting money/health benefits for injures that they got by playing football, then the nfl wont need so many rules and requirements. If the player dont want to wear them then they should have to sign a legal document that prevents them from suing the nfl in the future for a injury that the pad could have help prevent.
# 15 PioneerRaptor @ 05/23/12 01:56 PM
For the most part, I agree with a lot of the changes. While the game is a contact sport and it should be played with a ferocity and a desire to always win and hit hard, the ultimate goal of the game is to win. The goal for some players seems to be injure as many players as I can (James Harrison).

So I do agree with the bounty rulings, I agree with the no launch tackles, I agree with the no defenseless hitting. I don't agree with the thousands of rules protecting quarterbacks, I don't agree with changing the kickoff.

Oh, I do also agree with the pads and I also agree with eliminating the pro bowl game as it is the most horrendous thing to watch in sports. Bring back the skills competitions or something.
# 16 scottyo60 @ 05/23/12 02:03 PM
Pads are needed due to the changes in hitting. If I can't aim high full speed in going to go low. If there is a guy like Calvin Johnson coming on a post and I have to worry about killing his head I'm going right for the legs. Won't help everything, but pads are needed for the new game. Plus like DCCowboys22 said, the Nike pads are light anyWay.
# 17 AiDub @ 05/23/12 02:26 PM
I'm down for improvements in equipment that protect the players themselves but to change or remove major aspects of how the game is played is absolutely ridiculous. What happened when NASCAR faced the criticism of safety for their drivers? They made a better car to protect them, not dumb down the tracks the cars race on. Goodell needs to cool it with changing the game we already love!
# 18 xboxman41 @ 05/23/12 02:33 PM
I think ole ROG'!!!!!! better look more into it, cause if they take kick off away, I will be ONE less TV rating they will have, He should just going ahead and make it FLAG Football and get it over with, He can even let them play like they did at the Pro-Bowl and won't have to worry bout safety.........I for sure would stop watching, They are grown men let them pick to play or Not..............Whats wrong with the world today, People like Roger have TO MUCH CONTROL'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
# 19 mestevo @ 05/23/12 02:53 PM
Pretty happy with Goodell, and I'm looking forward to an 18 game season.
# 20 RGiles36 @ 05/23/12 02:59 PM
My roommate and I had this conversation 2-3 weeks ago about the direction the league is going i.e. protecting defenseless players, stepping up concussion analysis/procedures, protecting QBs, etc.

Honestly, I'm all for it. I know "purists" (using that term loosely) think the game is changing too radically, and I get that. But as much as I love football, I don't want people getting signficantly hurt or being vegetables during their post-career.

I like that their is decreased opportunity for QBs to get hurt. Do they essentially play flag football with QBs? No, but that's a popular exaggeration. Ask Matt Schaub and Michael Vick is it flag football.

I could go on a long diatribe about this topic. But in short, I like how the league has transended itself and adjusted to make the game a bit safer. I only hope that the rule changes don't go much further than what they have.

The only stupid thing Goodell continues to push is the 18 game season. FOH with that...

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