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With Head-Injury Issue Looming, NFL Considering Eradication of Kickoffs

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I love football. I assume that, if you are reading this, you love football, too.

But let's be honest here: Football has a problem. And that problem is head injuries.

The question, of course, is whether anything can actually be done about those head injuries. The game of football is the game of football--one that is, at its core, somewhat violent. Blocking and tackling are inherent to this sport, and as a result, so too are collisions. And with collisions come the possibility of head injuries.

It's a big issue, this one. And it's not going away anytime soon. But give NFL commissioner Roger Goodell credit for this much: He seems willing to explore all options in his efforts to both salvage the game and reduce head trauma.

Speaking to Time magazine in a new issue out this week, Goodell revealed that discussions have been had regarding the possible elimination of kickoffs from the NFL game. The idea would be to reduce the instance of high-speed collisions--which, of course, are precisely the kind of collisions that occur on kickoffs.

Instead of kickoffs, teams that have just scored would be given the ball at their own 30 yard line, in a sort of imaginary 4th-and-15 situation. They could then either go for it, or they could punt. It's a revolutionary idea that, I am guessing, would be a tough sell for the NFL. I mean, football has been played a certain way for pretty much forever. A change of this magnitude would be difficult for fans to digest.

But as Goodell made clear in the Time piece, he can't worry about what the public wants. He must first worry about the viability of the game itself.

Said Goodell: "I don't do things for public relations. I do things because they're the right thing to do, because I love the game." - Tim Hyland

Photo: Getty Images


December 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm
(1) PAUL says:

I think we should abolish the commissioners job.I think the NFL is getting to”PANSEYLIKE” with all of the changes being made.”Pretty soon it will be tag football!!!!! Cut out the ”crap” and let’s play football,the way it should be played.

December 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm
(2) Susan says:

This is ridiculous! If the commissioner changes the rules to the game and takes away kickoff’s I will no longer watch the NFL. These individuals get paid millions of dollars to play this sport, let them play! What next, no fighitng in the NHL? The whole point to the kick off is to try to get the ball further down the field and pass the 20 yard line. Special teams are some of the best parts of the game. LEAVE IT ALONE! Changing the way the game is played is changing the game! If people are so worried about injuries then let them play tennis!

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