NFL using its head

Those wimpy owners of NFL football teams are at it again, turning their once-manly sport into a game for sissies. Or so you might believe if you read some of the reaction to last week’s change in the helmet rule.

In reality, NFL owners, players representatives and many others recognize their sport won’t survive much longer if players continue racking up concussions and life-altering head injuries. Then there’s the legal liability, which is being determined now by a lawsuit involving hundreds of former players.

Little wonder that NFL owners decided to change the rules on the use of helmets as weapons. No longer will defensive players or offensive running backs be allowed to lead with the crown of their helmets as they charge into opposing players when outside the tackle box.

That will undoubtedly change the style employed by a number of current players, and NFL referees say it will take time for officiating crews to recognize and flag the violations in the speed of actual games. But it is the right direction in the long run. Pro football will remain a physical, bone-jarring sport even if players are forced to use their heads and not use their heads as weapons.


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