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One-on-One: Should the NFL fine or suspend players for big hits?

Originally published October 22, 2010

Yes

Life expectancy for a U.S. citizen is 77.6 years.

What about the life expectancy for a NFL player? 55.

Sad thing is that number probably won’t shock many.

NFL players are our generation’s gladiators. We expect them to go out there week after week no matter the pain.

After watching DeSean Jackson’s head go backwards so violently, in slow motion repeatedly over the weekend, it is hard to argue against why the NFL is implementing these suspensions.

While the athletes have gotten better, the safety of players has not. With this rule, safety is increased and players will take notice.

The athletes today are just immensely bigger, faster and stronger than when the NFL started in the ’60s.

Even the greatest team ever, the 1985 Bears,  would have a hard time getting past 6-foot-9, 360-pound offensive linemen and catching up to running backs like Chris Johnson.

If football didn’t add these suspensions, the sport could fall by the wayside like boxing. Once the most popular sport in America, it slowly died.

The NFL has acted, and now football on the collegiate, high school and Pop Warner levels have to act accordingly.

That means increased safety for all ages and new generations of football players will learn to play without hitting helmet-to-helmet.
                             
-Zach Berg


No

When did the NFL become the ballet?

After years of implementing rules to “protect players,” the NFL has finally crossed the line.

The NFL announced Tuesday that it will step up fines and suspensions for players who make hard hits.

The announcement is an overreaction to a few big hits that led to concussions over the weekend.

I thought football was supposed to be a contact sport. I find it unbelievable the league will resort to suspending and fining players for hitting another player too hard.

This is football at its highest level. If you don’t want to be hit then maybe soccer is the sport for you.

From a young age football players are taught to make big hits.

You aren’t there to delicately take an opposing player to the ground so no one gets hurt. Your job is to hit him so hard he wants to watch the rest of the game from the sidelines.

And now the NFL is telling players they can’t do what they’ve been taught their entire lives.

Football isn’t meant for the weak. It is a gladiator sport where big hits should be the norm.

The NFL inches closer and closer to becoming the ballet every time they implement one of these rules. Soon Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher will be wearing tutus.

-Alex Ross

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