The NFL is trying to protect people who don’t want to be protected with its sudden crackdown on violent hits. “We choose to do this,” Bears safety Chris Harris said. “You know the risk you put yourself in every time you step out there on the field. If you don’t want to put yourself in that risk, you should not be in this league or play this sport.”
The NFL is trying to protect people who don’t want to be protected with its sudden crackdown on violent hits.
“We choose to do this,” Bears safety Chris Harris said. “You know the risk you put yourself in every time you step out there on the field. If you don’t want to put yourself in that risk, you should not be in this league or play this sport.”
The players offer lame reasons for head hunting.
“What’s going to stop a receiver from going across the middle if he knows they can’t really hit me?” Bears cornerback Charles Tillman said.
Nothing. But neither does whacking him.
“It’s intimidating to see guys knock guys out, but most guys aren’t going to allow that to keep them from catching the ball,” Bears receiver Rashied Davis said. “Getting hit is part of the game, but you are still going to catch it. That’s your job.”
Most legal tackles in the NFL are, in a way, unnecessary roughness. The point isn’t to bring the runner, passer or receiver to the ground in the most efficient way. It’s to do so in the most violent way, under the strategic guise of “intimidation.” Maybe that works in Pop Warner football, but most NFL players are big enough not to be cowed by the most vicious hits. Injured, yes. Intimidated, no.
Why only a football concern?
If concussions are so horrible, why aren’t other sports making changes? Baseball could make it illegal to run over the catcher or outlaw takeout slides at second base.
Baseball has one-third as many concussions as football. Justin Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP, is the highest-profile current athlete sidelined by a concussion. Scientists now think repeated concussions helped Lou Gehrig contract Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Soccer, hockey and basketball also have concussion issues. If it’s worth fighting in football, it’s worth fighting in all sports.
Boise St. deserves to be No. 1
Texas lost at home to Iowa State, which had lost its previous two games 120-27, and to UCLA, which lost its past two by a 95-20 margin. If beating Texas is Oklahoma’s biggest claim, the Sooners, who have lost their past five BCS bowls, should not be ranked ahead of Boise State. Neither should Oregon. The Ducks look like the best team in the country, but Boise State is also undefeated and returned 20 starters from a team that beat Oregon the past two years.
Why can’t Irish play defense?
Navy ran 60 times and threw twice in a 35-17 rout of Notre Dame. Navy has now beaten Notre Dame three of the past four years after losing 43 years in a row before that. Brian Kelly suddenly looks even worse than Charlie Weis, who looked worse than Tyrone Willingham, who looked worse than Bob Davie. Kelly, like Weis, was supposed to be an offensive genius. The real question is why can’t Notre Dame (4-4) get someone who can coach defense?
Quade good, but Girardi better
The Rangers bouncing the Yankees makes me think the Cubs should have waited before hiring Mike Quade as manager. I’ve said for two months Quade would be a good hire, but Joe Girardi would have been a great hire. Maybe losing to Texas would have made him available.
Assistant sports editor Matt Trowbridge’s Quick Shots on Sports appear Sundays. He can be reached at 815-987-1383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.