Cleveland (WOIO) - Football fans are in a frenzy, and for good reason, as the Commish, Roger Goodell, and the owners continue to change the game. Is it the "sissification" of one of the most violent sports in the world? Are they on their way to someday simply playing flag football? Will defensive linemen eventually be told to stop rushing, until they rattle off 5 "mississippi's"? These are all concerns of the fans, who reacted swiftly to Wednesday's rule change that outlaws running backs using the crown of their helmets to lower the boom on defenders. Here in Cleveland, we know how that immediately changes Trent Richardson's game. He literally knocked the helmet off one of the Philadelphia Eagles in last season's opener. But throughout history, the toughest runners, Earl Campbell, Bo Jackson, Christian Okoye...what can they be thinking?
Actually, Campbell is one of the former players that everyone points to, when lobbying to lessen the blows, in hopes of preventing long-term physical and emotional damage down the road. And let's be clear: this rule change is all about concussions, and that multi-million lawsuit the NFL is facing from former players. But what's the limit? The game already severely favors quarterbacks and the passing attack. Is that the ultimate goal, to just make it an Arena League?
Sometimes the owners get it right, as they did on this same day, reversing the ridiculous "tuck rule" that allowed the Patriots and not the Raiders to go to the Super Bowl in 2001. And sometimes, because of money, political pressure and knee-jerk reactions, they get it wrong. And they got it wrong with the helmet rule.
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