Today's College Football & Athletes

Rodney Kent

Ramblin' Wreck
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558
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McDonough, GA
I was watching the Tulane and Louisiana-Lafayette game last night and began to ponder again the bad injuries sustained by some of the athletes. One of the previoius players was on the sidelines in a wheel chair with paralysis from the neck down. Of course, showing this situation may be to gain sympathy for an ulterior motive for placing restrictions on football, but still I have mixed emotions regarding the vast amount of injures sustained in todays College and High School football environment. I have little sympathy for the pros because they are getting paid plenty for their risks. That does not mean I am glad they are injured, it just means they know better, but are taking the risk/reward factor on their shoulders.

I hate to see the game change in some ways, as I have enjoyed sports, and understand all sports have some risks. When young, I did not even consider the risks, I was just having fun and thoroughly enjoyed it. Also, during my time, we were not as big, muscular, and as fast as the athletes of today. I see the constant collisions on the field and wonder how each player can get up again, much less continue in the games.

I see a lot of the competition being taken out of the games because of the safety of the athletes, however, I see why and understand it. I am perplexed at the game of football played today by the extremely good athletes and the odds against their completion of football without major enjuries. To me, our time of football was not as dangereous becasue we were not great physical athletes. It is sort of like a drunk in an accident; he seems to get hurt less than others in the accidents. It appears the reason is because he is so loose and pliable that he does not receive the brunt of an accident. The same might be said of our era when we were not as fast and muscular as the athletes of today.

Football in High School today is probably equivalent to the College teams in our day. Each year, the athletes are faster, stronger, and more muscular. If forebodes for more and more crippling injuries in football. I understand that this is being looked at by some and new rules instituted to cut down on injuries.

Now comes the questions; what are your thoughts on this issue and what would be your suggestions regarding this issue.
 

JazzyD95

Ramblin' Wreck
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727
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The ATL
Football is a violent sport. Injuries are going to happen, and there is NO way to prevent them. The new rule changes are hurting the game in many different ways, and I fear a bubble wrap rule is in the works.
As someone who recently finished his ball playing career, nothing pissed me off more than rule changes and the way the media portrays football these days. They need to Just let the players play the game. This new targeting rule that results in the ejection of players needs to be repealed asap, as it is just an utter disgrace to the game. I can't tell you how annoying it is to make a play and then you get flagged for roughness because the hit was too hard, or too high, or because A player didn't hold the other players hand afterwards and whistle Dixie.
The rules arnt effective either. For example take Rob gronkowski this year. He wouldn't have blown his knee out if the safty had hit him higher, but due to certain rules implemented the DB chopped his legs out from under him instead. So essentially, concussions may go down, but leg and hip injuries are going to go up.
Apologies if I ranted.
 

Rodney Kent

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
558
Location
McDonough, GA
JazzyD95: I believe they will have to do something about the new rule after this season. It is beyond reason that the refs can review the play, find it was a legal hit, leave the player in the game, but continue the assessment of a penalty even though it was a legal hit. Another thing that has always been part of football is for the runner to stay low on certain plays, thus keeping his helmet down. There is no way the defensive player can tackle him without without their helmets becoming involved. No you did not rant, you just gave your opinion. I am curious to find out a lot of opinions about the topic of this post. Maybe someone can come up with effective ideas, or maybe there are no correct answers.
 

OldJacketFan

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I am not a fan of the "targeting" rule but I understand why it came into being. There's a huge difference between putting shoulder into the chest of a receiver and helmet to helmet. Proper tackling technique has almost completely disappeared in the game today. Part of that is the lack of proper coaching along with the lack of emphasis in practice. Each year it seems as if teams do less and less live tackling in practice in an effort to avoid injury. To me that cuts both ways in that players start head hunting and receivers/ball carriers don't get the contact to condition their bodies as well as learning how avoid the brunt of the blow. Hard hits are part of the game and the when you take away the physical contact you turn the game into flag football. There isn't a player, current or former, that doesn't know what a cheap shot is. It's up to the officials to call the fouls properly and eject players that go beyond what the rules of the game permit.
 

MWBATL

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4,451
I would really like to see what the game would be like without the PED's which are so obviously being used in college (and probably in HS these days).

If Pollock was that size as a DE in the SEC, it significantly reduces the likelihood of devastating injuries.
 

OldJacketFan

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Nashville, TN
I would really like to see what the game would be like without the PED's which are so obviously being used in college (and probably in HS these days).

If Pollock was that size as a DE in the SEC, it significantly reduces the likelihood of devastating injuries.

I really don't know how much PED use there is at the HS level. My youngest graduated in '12 and he played at 6'5" 275-280lb, kids are just bigger these days.
 

Rodney Kent

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
558
Location
McDonough, GA
OldJacketFan: That is true, the ref sees enough of the cheap shots that he can tell pretty quick if it is a valid or cheap shot. Since we do quick responses of the replay, it is probably a good thing to determine if the ref might have missed a call. Some calls are game changing, especially in close games, and a quick replay appears to be good.
 

JazzyD95

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
727
Location
The ATL
I would really like to see what the game would be like without the PED's which are so obviously being used in college (and probably in HS these days).

If Pollock was that size as a DE in the SEC, it significantly reduces the likelihood of devastating injuries.
PEDs are present in high school, but not to a very deep extent. I wouldn't say it's a pressing issue at that level
 

forensicbuzz

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North Shore, Chicago
Here's how I would differentiate "targeting" from "a good, clean hit:" When you lead with your face mask and smack the player, wrapping him up and wiping him out, even when he's vulnerable, that's fair. When you pull your arms into your body and explode into a vulnerable ball carrier, that's targeting. We're talking about the difference between tackling and trying to seriously damage the other player. When I played football, we were taught to "tackle" the ball carrier. Today, there's so much emphasis on the "big hit" that the defensive person isn't tackling any more; they're trying to knock the runner over/out/whatever. This isn't even an effective way to bring the ball carrier down. If you tackle someone and there's helmet-to-helmet, that's going to be incidental or initiating somewhere else first. Stop trying to make the highlight reel and there'll be less head injuries and more defensive stops. Just my observation of both the Pro's and the college game for the last 15-20 years. It's gotten progressively worse.
 

gtdrew

Banned
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740
Location
Decatur
I think there's a few tweaks they could make moving forward to both stem the tide of injuries and aid officials in determining "leading w helmet;"

First, you play games only on natural grass. That could have a slowing effect on overall game speed, and guys' heads would have slightly more padding when bouncing from impact than on turf.

Secondly, I think that helmets should all have a neutral color on the top designating the crown. The ability to more easily discern in the immediacy of a play happening around you what is the crown of a helmet and what isn't would help officials get that call right more often...
 

DTGT

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
530
Injuries are going to happen, and there is NO way to prevent them.
I believe this was the official industry defense against putting seat belts in cars...

Your argument is
1. You can't prevent ALL injuries
2. Therefore no point in trying to reduce injury frequency or severity.

I can agree with you that some rules or poorly interpreted rules may cause more injuries or more of a certain type of injury. However, that does not imply that the "do nothing" option is the best option. I think that if the game can be made safer, it should be made safer.
 

JazzyD95

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
727
Location
The ATL
I believe this was the official industry defense against putting seat belts in cars...

Your argument is
1. You can't prevent ALL injuries
2. Therefore no point in trying to reduce injury frequency or severity.

I can agree with you that some rules or poorly interpreted rules may cause more injuries or more of a certain type of injury. However, that does not imply that the "do nothing" option is the best option. I think that if the game can be made safer, it should be made safer.
I understand your point, but unlike automobile safty football can't be made safer by something as simple as a seatbelt. Pads and a helmet are football's "seatbelt". There is no way to put a speed limit on players or other automotive measures to ensure playersafety
Football is a violent game and rules and regulations arnt going to change that. Players acknowledge their own personal risk of injury when they suit up to play. yes injuries are bad but there's nothing that can prevent them, they are just part of the game. If people arnt willing to risk getting injured, then they shouldn't play the game.
 

Mack

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,361
I was watching the Tulane and Louisiana-Lafayette game last night and began to ponder again the bad injuries sustained by some of the athletes. One of the previoius players was on the sidelines in a wheel chair with paralysis from the neck down. Of course, showing this situation may be to gain sympathy for an ulterior motive for placing restrictions on football, but still I have mixed emotions regarding the vast amount of injures sustained in todays College and High School football environment. I have little sympathy for the pros because they are getting paid plenty for their risks. That does not mean I am glad they are injured, it just means they know better, but are taking the risk/reward factor on their shoulders.

I hate to see the game change in some ways, as I have enjoyed sports, and understand all sports have some risks. When young, I did not even consider the risks, I was just having fun and thoroughly enjoyed it. Also, during my time, we were not as big, muscular, and as fast as the athletes of today. I see the constant collisions on the field and wonder how each player can get up again, much less continue in the games.

I see a lot of the competition being taken out of the games because of the safety of the athletes, however, I see why and understand it. I am perplexed at the game of football played today by the extremely good athletes and the odds against their completion of football without major enjuries. To me, our time of football was not as dangereous becasue we were not great physical athletes. It is sort of like a drunk in an accident; he seems to get hurt less than others in the accidents. It appears the reason is because he is so loose and pliable that he does not receive the brunt of an accident. The same might be said of our era when we were not as fast and muscular as the athletes of today.

Football in High School today is probably equivalent to the College teams in our day. Each year, the athletes are faster, stronger, and more muscular. If forebodes for more and more crippling injuries in football. I understand that this is being looked at by some and new rules instituted to cut down on injuries.

Now comes the questions; what are your thoughts on this issue and what would be your suggestions regarding this issue.
In the early sixties I played with a Riddell helmet that was classified as a suspension helmet..........I have seen them split after a hit.....we were in a era in which 155 lbs made you a decent fullback or a guard..if you weighted over 170 you could play anywhere....kids ran 100 dash in late 10s and nobody really knew what weight training was since docs thought it would hurt the development of the child.We say many concussions but if we could talk to the coach we went back in and it seemed we didnt have as many knee injuries as today.Like yu I look back and it seemed that at least seventy five percent of my class had some type of injury...sprained ankle or separated shoulder or bad knee but we didnt worry about it...Today I see guys out there that are huge and fast and mean and strong and yes .........I would have second thoughts of letting my son play today unless he was athletic and physically able to take punishment.We loved the crackback block and the double team that today they call the chop block.We led with our heads and spearing was fairly legal unless it was after a play was over.

Now what could we do....not really sure..so many times I have seen a lineman hit a qb late and nothing done about it and then a guy grabs a shoulder pad or horse collar and get a penalty.I really dont know but one thing i would do now that I didnt do as a player or a coach was .........WATER. we could drink it in a game and couldn't have a drop during weekdays.........wonder we didnt kill somebody with this mess.I would not be surprised to see something done for pass recovers over the middle but sort of hit a dead spot on what we could do..........guess I survived in the old single and double bar days.
 

Rodney Kent

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
558
Location
McDonough, GA
Mack, I also remember we could not drink any water while practicing. I never questioned the coaches at that time, but now it seems ridiculous that we could not have water.
 

OldJacketFan

Helluva Engineer
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Nashville, TN
And who remembers salt tablets in lieu of water or other fluids? My sophomore year (high schools was 10-12) we went 3/day beginning at 6:30 a.m., when we finished the 1st session I've never seen a group of guys inhale as much water as we did.

By my junior years things got civilized, gatorade break at the hour and half mark and at the end of practice. During the 2nd day of practice I went from 185 lbs in the a.m., to 172 lbs at 7:00 p.m. that evening, every bit of which was fluid loss. Cramp city was constant!
 

LibertyTurns

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Messages
5,209
You must be a youngster if you had Gatorade. I'm not up there with Mack but if you were a superstar you got the 2 bar face mask. You never came out unless you didn't know what day it was or went off in the ambulance. A late hit was after the down marker had been moved. And yes, no water. I was a speed demon at a 10 flat 100 on the dirt track. The good old days.
 

Animal02

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6,054
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Southeastern Michigan
And who remembers salt tablets in lieu of water or other fluids? My sophomore year (high schools was 10-12) we went 3/day beginning at 6:30 a.m., when we finished the 1st session I've never seen a group of guys inhale as much water as we did.

By my junior years things got civilized, gatorade break at the hour and half mark and at the end of practice. During the 2nd day of practice I went from 185 lbs in the a.m., to 172 lbs at 7:00 p.m. that evening, every bit of which was fluid loss. Cramp city was constant!

Yeah...we used to take 15-20 salt tablets a day.....that was the conventional wisdom back then. As a senior I got a "foam pad" helmet in lieu of the rope suspension ones running backs got the inflatable ones........what a difference that made not getting your bell rung.
 

CrackerJacket

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
350
Location
Corpus Christi, TX
Wow, you guys brought back some unpleasant memories, namely those damn suspension helmets and coaches who thought cold water and a hot Florida September day didn't mix. Walking away from football (as a player) was one of the few smart things I did as a teenager.
 

Mack

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1,361
Mack, I also remember we could not drink any water while practicing. I never questioned the coaches at that time, but now it seems ridiculous that we could not have wate ......We. like you'd had saalt tablets butfidnt use them much but we went full pads three straight days shorts on Thursday and played on Friday.,now most schools are in shorts and pads two days a week pads once and Volkswagen they are ready.wonder nobody died in two a days.
 

Mack

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1,361
And who remembers salt tablets in lieu of water or other fluids? My sophomore year (high schools was 10-12) we went 3/day beginning at 6:30 a.m., when we finished the 1st session I've never seen a group of g. uys inhale as much water as we did.

By my junior years things got civilized, gatorade break at the hour and half mark and at the end of practice. During the 2nd day of practice I went from 185 lbs in the a.m., to 172 lbs at 7:00 p.m. that evening, every bit of which was fluid loss. Cramp city was constant!
Mack, I also remember we could not drink any water while practicing. I never questioned the coaches at that time, but now it seems ridiculous that we could not have water.
My coach had the saying "water water everywhere but not a drop to spare ' and he meant it.Funny though drink all you wanted to at half and be bloated and then nothing during the week.
 
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