Everyone who plays football, coaches football or watches football knows the brutal punishments each player sustains for every game in the National Football League. Ironically, this occupational hazard, which is rudimentary to the game of football, is understood, especially by the players. Most of them work hard during the season, as well as the off-season, to condition their bodies to absorb vicious hits inflicted by each other. Unfortunately, there is no way to condition a human body to take multiple blows to the head, even with a thick helmet on.
“We’re not automobiles,” said Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. “We’re not machines. We’re humans.”
Yet despite all the grueling punishment players had to endure during the course of a 16-game season, the NFL and its team owners push to expand the regular season to 18 games. The NFL Committee plans to maintain a 20-week season thereby reducing the number of preseason games for developing players from four to two.
“We want to do it right away for everyone, including the players, the fans and the game in general,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “There’s a tremendous amount of momentum for it. We think it’s the right step.”
I disagree. The plan to expand is selfish and unsympathetic to the “real” assets of the game, which are the players who put their bodies on the line week in and week out. Not only will it increase the chance of injuries, but it will also cause future suffering to the players after their football careers.
Injuries such as sprains and broken bones are frequent in the game of football like most other sports. However, unlike other sports, football players often experience more long-term consequences: concussions.
A study survey in 2000 showed that 61 percent of more than 1000 former NFL players had concussions during their playing days. According to the survey, those who had experienced concussions reported more...