Thursday, January 31, 2013

Do football fans really examine their consciences about violence in the NFL?

While weighing in on player safety in football, President Barack Obama told the New Republic that gradually reducing violence in the sport will be better for the players and "those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much."

I question how much fans examine their consciences about violence in football, especially the NFL.

They might pause when an especially dangerous hit causes a stoppage in the game while the player is tended to. After that? It's "Next Man Up!" as people in the game like to say.

Fans might be concerned about the injured player the next day, but I believe that's proportional to how important the player is to the success of the fan's favorite team, or a fantasy team.

For example, let's replace the Saints with the Browns in the bounty scandal. Knowing what the penalties are, would the suspensions and fines still be worth it to you if it meant Cleveland winning the Super Bowl?

I think an overwhelming majority of Browns fans would say yes because Cleveland wants a Vince Lombardi Trophy that badly.

But if dangerous hits in the NFL are so important that fans are examining their conscience about what they're watching, wouldn't the answer be no?

A popular angle in this debate is parents like Obama saying they don't know if they'd want their sons to play. But are they going to stop paying for tickets, merchandise or watching games on TV? Of course not, under the reasoning that players knew what they signed up for.

Ravens safety Bernard Pollard's prediction that the NFL won't exist in 30 years won't come true. The NFL will be doing just fine in 2043.

As long as there are more than 10,000 Division I scholarships available, and as long there are 32 NFL teams with $120 million each in player payroll, there will be a talent pool, risks and all.

Maybe one day the money behind those scholarships and salaries won't be there. But it won't be because fans started examining their consciences and stopped watching football or spending money on it as a result of that soul-searching.

- Howard Primer


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home