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(Some Guy)   2007: NFL announces they will eject anyone guilty of helmet-to-helmet hits. Three years later, after zero ejections ... 2010: NFL announces they will suspend anyone guilty of helmet-to-helmet hits   (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com) divider line 88
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537 clicks; posted to Sports » on 19 Oct 2010 at 8:36 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-10-19 02:38:31 AM
2013: Death by Firing Squad for anyone guilty of Helmet to Helmet hits.
 
2010-10-19 08:41:08 AM
2016: NFL decides to remove the source of the problem, strips all players of helmets
 
2010-10-19 08:41:30 AM
With the same added caveat as the 2007 rule: "So long as, you know, it's a really sweet looking hit that'll make a highlight film, and it doesn't hurt anybody famous."
 
2010-10-19 08:42:27 AM
I wonder if its going to take a defender breaking his own neck before players stop leading with their helmets. Even then we'd probably see that play featured on all the highlight reels while the studio jackasses shout about the guy getting JACKED UP!
 
2010-10-19 08:42:27 AM
NFL Must Enforce Rules, Prevent Spearing Injuries
December 01, 1992|BOB OATES

The accident that left another pro athlete partially paralyzed in a football game Sunday was a tragic reminder that in recent years, the NFL has been on a collision course with disaster.

Dennis Byrd might not have been injured had the league legislated more aggressively against players who use their helmets to spear opposing players.

The head-on tackle has somehow come to mean the head tackle, which can be as dangerous to the hitter as it is to the man being hit.

All over the league, nonetheless, that is what's going on.


Good to know nothing's changed in 18 years.
 
2010-10-19 08:42:43 AM
EyeballKid: With the same added caveat as the 2007 rule: "So long as, you know, it's a really sweet looking hit that'll make a highlight film, and it doesn't hurt anybody famous."

My bad, that should read "Unless, you know..."

/need my 5th cup of coffee
 
2010-10-19 08:47:28 AM
tommyl66: I wonder if its going to take a defender breaking his own neck before players stop leading with their helmets. Even then we'd probably see that play featured on all the highlight reels while the studio jackasses shout about the guy getting JACKED UP!

Happened long ago. Buonticonti (sp?)

I actually thought that douche from the Pats was going to get tossed, then I remembered he plays for the Pats.
 
2010-10-19 08:50:18 AM
This just in, football is a violent and dangerous game.

/They signed up for it.
 
2010-10-19 08:52:15 AM
basemetal: This just in, football is a violent and dangerous game.

/They signed up for it.


While I agree with this, cheap/dirty shots will ought to be punished.
 
2010-10-19 08:55:55 AM
tommyl66: I wonder if its going to take a defender breaking his own neck before players stop leading with their helmets.

I want to know when coaches stopped preaching to keep your head up on the tackle, to look at what you're hitting. If you don't you're going to eventually injure yourself, never mind who you're hitting. I very clearly remember hearing that over and over again when I played in high school. What happened to that?
 
2010-10-19 08:56:47 AM
"Devastating hits"? What does this mean? Any time a kickoff returner gets tagged in the solar plexus by a coverage guy's shoulder, the hit resonates through the entire stadium and the crowd goes "OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH!" I hope this isn't what they are referring to.
 
2010-10-19 08:59:34 AM
duncangonuts: tommyl66: I wonder if its going to take a defender breaking his own neck before players stop leading with their helmets.

I want to know when coaches stopped preaching to keep your head up on the tackle, to look at what you're hitting. If you don't you're going to eventually injure yourself, never mind who you're hitting. I very clearly remember hearing that over and over again when I played in high school. What happened to that?


Dude, coach only said that once. You really needed to get that helmet checked.
 
2010-10-19 08:59:53 AM
nopokerface: I actually thought that douche from the Pats was going to get tossed, then I remembered he plays for the Pats.

He sort of was thrown out of the game, but it was Belichick who tossed him. I don't remember seeing him on the field after that dumbass penalty (maybe he was, I was kinda far away and had my vision obstructed by numerous beers). Either way he should expect a hefty fine for that play.
 
2010-10-19 09:01:36 AM
nopokerface: basemetal: This just in, football is a violent and dangerous game.

/They signed up for it.

While I agree with this, cheap/dirty shots will ought to be punished.


Yes, intentional dirty shots should be punished, but it's easy to pick apart a hit with slow motion, at full speed, those are hits with adjustments made in milliseconds, which make it hard to make judgments. It's a very fast and vicious game.
 
2010-10-19 09:03:28 AM
duncangonuts: I want to know when coaches stopped preaching to keep your head up on the tackle, to look at what you're hitting

Ronnie Lott was one of the hardest-hitting players ever. He never led with his helmet, always with his chest.
 
2010-10-19 09:04:36 AM
duncangonuts: I want to know when coaches stopped preaching to keep your head up on the tackle, to look at what you're hitting. If you don't you're going to eventually injure yourself, never mind who you're hitting. I very clearly remember hearing that over and over again when I played in high school. What happened to that?

It probably takes a back seat to "get under him." The player who's closer to the ground in a collision usually has more control over the situation.
 
2010-10-19 09:05:14 AM
One of the offenders was on the record as saying:

THE BIG BANG CLOCK
 
2010-10-19 09:14:02 AM
Jack31081: 2016: NFL decides to remove the source of the problem, strips all players of helmets

The idea has been floated before. Without helmets, players would be less likely to lunge head-first. You wouldn't get as many Sportscenter highlights without hard hits, however.
 
2010-10-19 09:18:44 AM
tommyl66: nopokerface: I actually thought that douche from the Pats was going to get tossed, then I remembered he plays for the Pats.

He sort of was thrown out of the game, but it was Belichick who tossed him. I don't remember seeing him on the field after that dumbass penalty (maybe he was, I was kinda far away and had my vision obstructed by numerous beers). Either way he should expect a hefty fine for that play.


He was still in the game. In fact, he had some more borderline hits after the really blatant one.
 
2010-10-19 09:24:03 AM
EyeballKid: Dude, coach only said that once. You really needed to get that helmet checked.

Whatever man, I'm Batman (new window) and you don't tell Batman what to do.

/Would you like that?
//Would you like to ride with Batman?
 
2010-10-19 09:26:50 AM
tommyl66: nopokerface: I actually thought that douche from the Pats was going to get tossed, then I remembered he plays for the Pats.

He sort of was thrown out of the game, but it was Belichick who tossed him. I don't remember seeing him on the field after that dumbass penalty (maybe he was, I was kinda far away and had my vision obstructed by numerous beers). Either way he should expect a hefty fine for that play.


Merriweather came back in out of necessity when Jarrod Page got hurt. I'm a Pats fan and was appalled by that hit, especially when Patrick Chung delivered a clean, textbook hit on Derrick Mason later in the game. THAT'S how it's done, Brandon. Take note.
 
2010-10-19 09:28:47 AM
What happened to Eric Legrand on Saturday and then Zack Follett on Sunday (although Follett is OK) is what helped spur this on.

Of course, then you have a situation like the NYJ-DEN game, when Jim Leonhard was called for a BRUTAL personal foul penalty when on replay, there was no such thing, just a clean, hard, shoulder-leading hit.
 
2010-10-19 09:30:33 AM
basemetal: nopokerface: basemetal: This just in, football is a violent and dangerous game.

/They signed up for it.

While I agree with this, cheap/dirty shots will ought to be punished.

Yes, intentional dirty shots should be punished, but it's easy to pick apart a hit with slow motion, at full speed, those are hits with adjustments made in milliseconds, which make it hard to make judgments. It's a very fast and vicious game.


While I do agree with this, the blatant stuff needs to go. There's no doubt that Brandon Merriweather lead with the crown of his helmet and tried to headbutt Todd Heap. There's also no doubt that Dunta Robinson launched himself helmet first into DeSean Jackson. Both should get a game (minimal). In Robinson's case, he should be out for as long as Jackson is out.

I haven't seen James Harrison's alleged cheap shots, so I can't comment on those.
 
2010-10-19 09:30:40 AM
tommyl66: nopokerface: I actually thought that douche from the Pats was going to get tossed, then I remembered he plays for the Pats.

He sort of was thrown out of the game, but it was Belichick who tossed him. I don't remember seeing him on the field after that dumbass penalty (maybe he was, I was kinda far away and had my vision obstructed by numerous beers). Either way he should expect a hefty fine for that play.


You expect the Patriots to be penalized by the NFL for not playing the game right?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
www.whitesuburbanpunk.com
Cheaters never win
 
2010-10-19 09:34:15 AM
duncangonuts: Whatever man, I'm Batman (new window) and you don't tell Batman what to do.

I've always loved that commercial.
 
2010-10-19 09:36:25 AM
Why haven't they added padding to the outside of the helmet to help cushion the impact when these hits occur? I'm sure they could put something on them that wouldn't be too goofy looking.
 
2010-10-19 09:44:05 AM
They new the risks when they signed up. These gladiators chose to sacrifice their lives in order to pull their families out of the ghetto. Give them their martyrdom, give us our entertainment.
 
2010-10-19 09:45:31 AM
 
2010-10-19 09:47:02 AM
Dog Welder: I haven't seen James Harrison's alleged cheap shots, so I can't comment on those.

Harrison does what he often does, which is lead with his helmet. It's the sort of thing that may not look all that illegal, but you know if he was wearing a leather helmet he wouldn't hit the way he does. He uses his helmet as a weapon, and opponents pay for it.

/whoops
//I lead with my "post without previewing first" box
 
2010-10-19 09:47:53 AM
Brubold: Why haven't they added padding to the outside of the helmet to help cushion the impact when these hits occur? I'm sure they could put something on them that wouldn't be too goofy looking.

Because more padding on the outside is actually more dangerous. The hard plastic that they have now allows the force of a hit to slide off, while a softer surface would have a tendency to "grip" and cause the neck to twist dangerously. I read about that in a book called "Football Physics" by Timothy Gay, a damn good book for football nerds who are also math nerds.

/I think those sort of people reside here
 
2010-10-19 09:50:19 AM
Brubold: Why haven't they added padding to the outside of the helmet to help cushion the impact when these hits occur? I'm sure they could put something on them that wouldn't be too goofy looking.

A more practical solution, actually, would be to change the padding on the inside to hard plastic. It's used in cars in areas where airbags aren't installed to prevent the head from getting speared by the frame. Hard plastic is hollow. It hurts, but it gives. Not that pain would stop these guys, but on a "devastating" hit the plastic can be designed to shatter, ruining the helmet and effectively taking the player out of the game. Not that it'd ever happen.

duncangonuts: I want to know when coaches stopped preaching to keep your head up on the tackle, to look at what you're hitting.

I think it was started by dumbass never-was high school coaches that take out their pent-up aggression on their own teams. You wind up with a bunch of kids who are taught to tackle like attack dogs, and college coaches can only do so much to fix bad habits when they need to keep playing their best to keep their jobs.

It's stupid, though. The head is both light & fragile; it's the worst part of the body to try to stop someone with.
 
2010-10-19 09:53:15 AM
Yet another example of pussification of America.
 
2010-10-19 09:55:44 AM
Troy McClure: Dog Welder: I haven't seen James Harrison's alleged cheap shots, so I can't comment on those.

Harrison does what he often does, which is lead with his helmet. It's the sort of thing that may not look all that illegal, but you know if he was wearing a leather helmet he wouldn't hit the way he does. He uses his helmet as a weapon, and opponents pay for it.


Worst thing about that situation was the Browns' reaction. I recall reading about a play in the early '50s when a 49ers player hit Otto Graham out of bounds and knocked him out. The Browns made a concerted effort to run plays right at the guy and he was beat to shiat by the time the game ended.

After those hits by Harrison, they should have been aiming blocks at that thug's knees.
 
2010-10-19 09:57:56 AM
tommyl66: Brubold: Why haven't they added padding to the outside of the helmet to help cushion the impact when these hits occur? I'm sure they could put something on them that wouldn't be too goofy looking.

Because more padding on the outside is actually more dangerous. The hard plastic that they have now allows the force of a hit to slide off, while a softer surface would have a tendency to "grip" and cause the neck to twist dangerously. I read about that in a book called "Football Physics" by Timothy Gay, a damn good book for football nerds who are also math nerds.

/I think those sort of people reside here


Is that a "Physics of Baseball" awesome type of book? Cause if so I'm down.
 
2010-10-19 09:58:56 AM
make the guilty play the nest two quarters without a helmet.
 
2010-10-19 10:01:47 AM
WTF Indeed: Yet another example of pussification of America.

Yet another example of America's failed educational system. Or an example of what happens after a brother-sister marriage, maybe.
 
2010-10-19 10:03:29 AM
I hate this knee-jerk crap. You get a Sunday where there's more than one bad looking hit and suddenly we're talking flag football again.

The NFL needs to be careful here. They're looking at a lockout next year. If they decide to start taking the defense out of the games, they may return from their lockout to a lot fewer fans.

Nobody wants to see anyone seriously injured, but just about everyone who is a football fan, loves to see hard hits. You take that out of the game, you'll just end up with a score-happy league, 56-48 style games and people will get bored of it.
 
2010-10-19 10:09:02 AM
WhackingDay: I hate this knee-jerk crap. You get a Sunday where there's more than one bad looking hit and suddenly we're talking flag football again.

The NFL needs to be careful here. They're looking at a lockout next year. If they decide to start taking the defense out of the games, they may return from their lockout to a lot fewer fans.

Nobody wants to see anyone seriously injured, but just about everyone who is a football fan, loves to see hard hits. You take that out of the game, you'll just end up with a score-happy league, 56-48 style games and people will get bored of it.


while i agree with you in principle, this has been brewing for a long time. last sunday was a perfect storm of hits that brought it to a head, quickly. and something ought to be done...i've played/ref'd football for a long time, and the system can be tweaked, and should be, to avoid catastrophic injuries. as has been reiterated many times on fark, it starts with the coaches. sadly, the coaching is reflective of our times.
 
2010-10-19 10:12:21 AM
nopokerface: basemetal: This just in, football is a violent and dangerous game.

/They signed up for it.

While I agree with this, cheap/dirty shots will ought to be punished.


Of course dirty/cheap shots should be punished and they currently are by a 15 yard penalty and an NFL fine. The problem is the NFL is attempting to extend punishable plays to cover things that have been considered normal football hits for the entirety of its existence.

The even BIGGER problem is then defining what is a "devastating hit" or "leading" with the helmet. Just in this thread people have said Robinson and Harrison led with their heads. Neither of those were leading with their heads like Link (new window) or this Link (new window) It's very clear Ward and Peterson led with their heads on those two plays and it's very easy to see.

The Harrison and Robinson hits this weekend are nowhere near that clear. In fact one of Harrison'shiats was determined to be completely legal this week by the NFL. Next week who knows? You'll have non-football people reviewing tape from 100 different angles in super slow motion to determine whether a play made in a fraction of second was "devastating" and therefore worthy of a suspension.

On MNF last night Ol' Glass Eye (Stuart Scott) quoted an NFL coach who said something to the effect of no one forces anyone to play professional football. It's a privilege and an honor that comes with risk that they are all aware of, and the players accept those risks every time they step on the field. Of course the NFL should try to make the game as safe as possible, and dangerous or dirty plays should be punished. But trying to legislate physicality out of football is not going to work.
 
2010-10-19 10:13:11 AM
WTF Indeed: Yet another example of pussification of America.


You're right, those pussies should sack up and take those broken spines like real men! Everyone knows you aren't a real man unless you're being wheeled around in a wheelchair and fed lunch through a tube!
 
2010-10-19 10:20:48 AM
I don't think James Harrison even knows how to use his arms to tackle. He leads with his head on every play. If they go back to having to use tackling skills, he may be out of a job.
 
2010-10-19 10:21:43 AM
HowAboutNo: WTF Indeed: Yet another example of pussification of America.


You're right, those pussies should sack up and take those broken spines like real men! Everyone knows you aren't a real man unless you're being wheeled around in a wheelchair and fed lunch through a tube!


That's actually the big problem for the NFL. The tide is shifting towards playing football being responsible for the early onset of dementia, bad backs, bad knees, bad necks, etc. in it's retired players. Not responsible in the "No shiat Sherlock" sense we all know but legally and financially responsible. That will cause significant financial loss by the owners and they're going to do everything they can to slow that down.

If the next CBA includes any sort of real long term health care, especially for repetitive head trauma injuries or joint problems that can be pretty easily attributed to football you can kiss the big hits goodbye. Once the owners have to be responsible for the employees they maim, the maiming will be significantly scaled back.
 
2010-10-19 10:23:55 AM
I'm surprised that there aren't more ejections, period. There have been some pretty flagrant fouls this season, from John Harbaugh banging the referee's chest to a literal fistfight where Brandon Jacobs threw several punches. Refs seem reluctant to pull the trigger on an ejection now for some reason.
 
2010-10-19 10:24:10 AM
tommyl66: I wonder if its going to take a defender breaking his own neck before players stop leading with their helmets. Even then we'd probably see that play featured on all the highlight reels while the studio jackasses shout about the guy getting JACKED UP!

I loved how Tom Jackson got religion last night and said the hits this weekend were unacceptable. Like you said, they used to have a segment showing the exact same hits with him and Keyshawn squealing "He got JACKED UP!" like little school girls. Steve Young had it right when he said there were more hits like this today than twenty years ago because the quarterbacking in the NFL sucks and these guys can't throw to protect their receivers. I also like where Chris Carter called out Jackson by saying the middle of the field has always been a dangerous area and that is why some receivers are afraid to play in the slot. Like Ditka said - take away their helmets.
 
2010-10-19 10:24:19 AM
Dog Welder: . There's also no doubt that Dunta Robinson launched himself helmet first into DeSean Jackson. Both should get a game (minimal).

I doubt it. Did you watch the replay? He didn't even hit him in the head. His shoulder landed squarely in Jackson's chest-shoulder area.

This is my biggest problem with all these rules, generally they're only enforced based on the severity of the outcome injury-wise, and rarely on the actual hit itself.

I saw no problem with that hit, I don't even think it should have been a penalty, let alone a "launching, helmet first."

We have created a class of quasi-superhumans, gave them armor, and told them to smash into each other at high speeds. What did people expect was going to happen?
 
2010-10-19 10:24:30 AM
Can the NFL just go ahead and join with the AFL. This is just another rule that is going to tilt the advantage in favor of offenses. If you try to tackle a running back and he decides to dive for a couple extra yards and helmets collide, you get suspended. If you try to tackle a guy coming across the middle and the ball is thrown low so he has to bend over to catch it and helmets collide, you get suspended. I don't think Goodell will be happy until every game is like 70-63.
 
2010-10-19 10:27:38 AM
WhackingDay: I hate this knee-jerk crap. You get a Sunday where there's more than one bad looking hit and suddenly we're talking flag football again.

The NFL needs to be careful here. They're looking at a lockout next year. If they decide to start taking the defense out of the games, they may return from their lockout to a lot fewer fans.

Nobody wants to see anyone seriously injured, but just about everyone who is a football fan, loves to see hard hits. You take that out of the game, you'll just end up with a score-happy league, 56-48 style games and people will get bored of it.


I don't think this has anything to do with these particular plays. I think this has to do with the recent medical studies regarding brain damage, concussions, etc.

That's why every announcer has been bending over backward this year to mention how great of a job the NFL is doing to prevent and treat concussions.

They are afraid of lawsuits. Period. They've known for decades that their players have been getting knocked retarded. However, now that the studies are proving a connection between football and "brown brain," they're concerned.

I think once they make a deal with the player's union in which they pony up money in exchange for reduced liability, we'll see business as usual.
 
2010-10-19 10:28:23 AM
js34603: Of course dirty/cheap shots should be punished and they currently are by a 15 yard penalty and an NFL fine. The problem is the NFL is attempting to extend punishable plays to cover things that have been considered normal football hits for the entirety of its existence.

The even BIGGER problem is then defining what is a "devastating hit" or "leading" with the helmet. Just in this thread people have said Robinson and Harrison led with their heads. Neither of those were leading with their heads like Link (new window) or this Link (new window) It's very clear Ward and Peterson led with their heads on those two plays and it's very easy to see.

The Harrison and Robinson hits this weekend are nowhere near that clear. In fact one of Harrison'shiats was determined to be completely legal this week by the NFL. Next week who knows? You'll have non-football people reviewing tape from 100 different angles in super slow motion to determine whether a play made in a fraction of second was "devastating" and therefore worthy of a suspension.

On MNF last night Ol' Glass Eye (Stuart Scott) quoted an NFL coach who said something to the effect of no one forces anyone to play professional football. It's a privilege and an honor that comes with risk that they are all aware of, and the players accept those risks every time they step on the field. Of course the NFL should try to make the game as safe as possible, and dangerous or dirty plays should be punished. But trying to legislate physicality out of football is not going to work.


I mostly agree with you. I think people are getting lost in trying to determine the difference between a dirty hit and a legal hit, when in actuality a play can fall into both categories at times.

Harrison'shiat was legal by the rule book, but whether or not it was necessary is where people disagree. If he had aimed the hit a foot lower wouldn't it have accomplished the same thing with less of a danger to the receiver? Of course, now you get into the discussion about whether or not he had time to react, but in that case it appeared he had plenty of time to line that hit up in the receiver's chest instead of his head, so to me that makes it a dirty play regardless of whether or not he leads with his helmet, shoulder or forearm. The intent makes it dirty, not the execution.
 
2010-10-19 10:28:41 AM
WhackingDay:
Nobody wants to see anyone seriously injured, but just about everyone who is a football fan, loves to see hard hits.


And, yet, what happened when Dunta Robinson and DeSean Jackson were lain out on the field and twitching? People were horrified, not thrilled. Hard hits are great. Dangerous hits like that are not.
 
2010-10-19 10:29:56 AM
basemetal: This just in, football is a violent and dangerous game.

/They signed up for it.


It's like when hookers get murdered. Hey, they knew the risks.
 
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