By Danny Cox
There is a big game this Sunday in Super Bowl XLVII which will pit the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco 49ers. What people may fail to realize though, is that a bigger story is developing a little more each and everyday. The world of football won’t be going anywhere any time soon, but it really does seem as if certain organizations and legislations could make it cease to exist in the future.
A lot of time and concern has gone to the world of football in order to try and make the sport as safe as humanly possible. New helmets and shoulder-pads have been implemented into the game. There have been a number of formations and plays that had to be altered in order to make the threat of injury less.
Hell, some plays had to be eliminated from the game entirely.
While I’m not someone that is against safety and making sure people are kept out of harm’s way, they have to realize that this is indeed what they signed up for. Baltimore Ravens’ safety Ed Reed recently came out and said the exact same thing, and he’s right. This is the sport of football and it is one of the most violent past times in the entire world.
But…everyone already knows that.
Only so much can be done to make sure that the safety of players is at its highest level, but Ravens‘ strong safety Bernard Pollard believes that people won’t stop there. He believes that the sport of football won’t even be around in the years to come.
“Thirty years from now, I don’t think it will be in existence,” Pollard said to CBS Sports. “I could be wrong. It’s just my opinion, but I think with the direction things are going — where (NFL rules makers) want to lighten up, and they’re throwing flags and everything else — there’s going to come a point where fans are going to get fed up with it.”
In all reality, I don’t necessarily agree with him. My personal opinion is that football may be gone in as little as 20 years or even 15.
President Barack Obama is a self-announced huge football fan, and he says that if he had a son, he would “have to think long and hard” before letting him play. He says that due to the physical toll the game takes on the body of the players and the serious injuries that could possibly occur.
While the decision of younger kids playing football has always been up to the parents, this kind of announcement, from such a prominent figure, could force more to choose against the sport.
Making the longevity of the sport of football seem a bit more dire is that the Sports Legacy Group is launching a national campaign to encourage youth and high school programs to drastically curb or totally eliminate contact practices during the offseason.
Believe me, this is not a bad idea. It helps makes the long season toll on the bodies of these kids, a little easier to handle. Anything that can help these kids not suffer too much wear and tear on their bodies, before even possibly getting near the pro level, is a great thing.
Now, if campaigns start going out to limit hits during the games? Then, there is going to be more of a problem. This is where things could really start going downhill for the sport of football, and it could eventually lead to nothing more than a game of touch.
Safety is the utmost and top concern of everyone associated with football. It truly is, so please don’t get me wrong by thinking that my heart isn’t with all of those that have suffered long-term effects from it.
The only thing is that people need to know of the dangers and the future ramifications before ever strapping on a helmet. By knowing those things, then risks will be taken, but that is what life is all about. It’s about taking risks.
It would be quite the shame if football was a risk that our children can’t even chance in 20 years because it’s been eliminated from the world of sports.
For more Super Bowl content and the latest NFL news, see CBS Sports Las Vegas.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.