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Old 09-14-2012, 01:37 PM  
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Whitlock:Thursday Football bigger threat to player safety than bounties

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http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/R...ootball-091312





If and when Jonathan Vilma meets with Roger Goodell, the Saints linebacker should ask the commissioner a simple question:


What is more dangerous — a symbolic, thousand-dollar bounty system or the Baltimore Ravens opening the season playing four NFL games in 17 days?

The elimination of bounties will not stop one NFL defensive player from curb-stomping an opposing player if given the opportunity. Goodell’s New Orleans witch hunt won’t make the game safer. Would the elimination of Thursday night football enhance safety? I suspect one day a smart lawyer will argue that it would.

But that day isn’t here just yet, so Thursday night the Bears and the Packers kicked off the NFL’s season-long money grab. Year 7 of Thursday night football will stretch across the entire NFL season rather than just the second half.

The Ravens opened the 2012 season on “Monday Night Football” and will play their fourth game on Thursday, Sept. 27, completing as grueling a stretch of tackle football as we’ve ever seen.

“The four games in 17 days is strictly for the money,” Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard told me Thursday night. “We as players understand that so we do everything possible to take care of our bodies. It’s on the coaches to understand what we go through and to give us a break, because that’s a lot of pounding in a short amount of time.”

It’s difficult for the uninitiated to understand the physical toll a 60-minute football game takes on the body. I was a mediocre mid-major college football player. The physicality difference between high-school football and mid-major college football is enormous. After a college football game, you spent the next 24 to 36 hours feeling like you’d been in a bad car accident.

Inflammation overwhelms your body. I can only speculate about the gap between college football and the NFL, but I tend to believe the postgame pain and inflammation difference is just as pronounced as the leap from high school to college. I know that college and professional football players rely on anti-inflammatory drugs to get through the week. Four days is not enough recovery time.


“Your body is sleepwalking until the second and maybe the third quarter,” a recently retired NFL player told me Thursday. “Short week after a Monday night on the road is a nightmare. Watch Oakland this week. Travel to Miami after playing on ‘MNF,’ the Raiders gonna get killed.”

Some player is going to get severely hurt on a Thursday night.

Those of us in the media don’t like to talk about the stupidity and the exploitive nature of the NFL. The league butters all of our bread. We’re addicted to its popularity, relevancy and traction. Sports fans don’t care much either. We just want a good game to bet on.

There’s also a segment of the sports-fan population that doesn’t recognize the humanity of the combatants. Or we’re jealous. We think it’s fine for the oversized animals to brutalize each other for our entertainment. We think it’s a fair exchange for the money, fame and the adoration of young women.

And there’s another group of highly cynical fans who blame the players and their union for being dumb and cowardly enough to allow Goodell to pimp them out on Thursday nights. If the NFLPA isn’t wise enough and strong enough to object to Goodell making Ray Lewis and Ed Reed walk the track four nights in 17 days, why should Joe Sports Fan care?

It’s going to take death, a serious injury or a lawsuit to stop the NFL’s desire to televise live games seven days a week, six months a year. If a team can play four games in 17 days, why can’t teams play an 18-game regular season?

But Gregg Williams is evil because he instructed his defensive players to attack the head. Really? What’s more dangerous, deeds or tough talk, a brutal schedule or a bounty system that rewards you for what you were going to do anyway?

The vilification of the Saints and Goodell’s hypocrisy infuriate me. Thursday night football endangers the health of far more NFL players than some flimsy bounty system Vilma participated in.

Goodell earns more money than Vilma. Goodell could serve as commissioner for another 10 to 15 years. Vilma is staring at the end of his career. But Vilma is the guy who is fighting to avoid having a year’s salary stripped from him so Goodell can continue the charade that he cares about the health and safety of NFL players.

I wish Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, etc., had the guts to stand up for Vilma and demand that Goodell end his witch hunt. If the offensive stars supported Vilma, it would do more to create solidarity among all NFL players, end bounties and promote safety than all of Goodell’s helmet-to-helmet flags and whatnot.

The players need to protect themselves. Goodell and the owners aren’t going to do it.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:39 PM   #2
Reerun_KC Reerun_KC is offline
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:44 PM   #3
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4 games in 17 days is wreckless nuts.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_Zare View Post
4 games in 17 days is wreckless nuts.
He does bring up some good points....stuff nobody likes to talk about.

Americas insatiable appetite for Football is bad for overall player health.
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning:

Matt once made a very nice play in Seattle where he spun away from a pass rusher and hit Bowe off his back foot for a first down.

One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:48 PM   #5
Micjones Micjones is offline
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I bet they don't mind 4 game checks in 17 days though.
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Last edited by Micjones; 09-14-2012 at 01:54 PM..
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:49 PM   #6
Fritz88 Fritz88 is offline
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Hate him or love him, JWhit is an interesting writer.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
Ace Gunner Ace Gunner is offline
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Oh, and Whitlock, the players already "stood up against him" during the lock out and they got clobbered. So have the refs. The guy is a ruthless crook with all the power players behind him.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:50 PM   #8
Micjones Micjones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_Zare View Post
4 games in 17 days is wreckless nuts.
A normal 4 game stretch takes 21 days, no?
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:52 PM   #9
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Whitlock still writes?
I know for a fact, he still eats.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deberg_1990 View Post
He does bring up some good points....stuff nobody likes to talk about.

Americas insatiable appetite for Football is bad for overall player health.
I admire him for his effort to bring substance. I don't like what the NFL is doing with scheduling either. I don't like the Japan games, don't want to watch the Chiefs in London either.

Intercontinental football is a ****ing horrible idea.

Goodell is a ****ing crook that needs to be taken down.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:59 PM   #11
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I like the article and actually agree. They should do away with Thursday night football. I don't even have a lick of experience in football beyond high school but it just seems simple. 185-350 lbs guys colliding up to probably 23 MPH or so can't be good for you.

Plus I don't have NFL Network so I don't get to watch Thursday night football. Cease and desist.
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Micjones View Post
A normal 4 game stretch takes 21 days, no?
22 and those missing days are cricial to health imo. I did not play NFL but I played college and every week was like recovering from a bad accident.
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:01 PM   #13
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micjones View Post
I bet they don't mind 4 game checks in 17 days though.
I see you fall into this category:


There’s also a segment of the sports-fan population that doesn’t recognize the humanity of the combatants. Or we’re jealous. We think it’s fine for the oversized animals to brutalize each other for our entertainment. We think it’s a fair exchange for the money, fame and the adoration of young women.
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Matt once made a very nice play in Seattle where he spun away from a pass rusher and hit Bowe off his back foot for a first down.

One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:02 PM   #14
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I'd rather they just went to Saturday night after college football ends.
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:04 PM   #15
Micjones Micjones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_Zare View Post
22 and those missing days are cricial to health imo. I did not play NFL but I played college and every week was like recovering from a bad accident.
11/4-11/25, 4 game stretch for the same Ravens team.
21 days.
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