TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
As a football player for Corbin High School, I’m no stranger to injuries. I have had many injuries throughout my football career, and I’m just in high school. Imagine how many times professional players are injured. However, as football players, we know that eventually we are going to sustain an injury because it’s just part of the game. So stop punishing players for high and hard hits.
We need to realize that the speed at which these athletes play is intense. With big bodies in motion, it’s hard to control every hit. It’s a dangerous sport, but it’s one we love.
With all the new rules placed to “protect” players, like the “leading with the head” rule and the “helmet-to-helmet” rule, it hurts others, especially the defensive players who have to adjust how they play. These players are supposed to be the most aggressive people on the team because a good defense requires aggression to stop the offense. Instead they have to be cautious, which makes them miss tackles. And if they hit high or head-to-head, they get penalized or punished for it, like James Harrison, an NFL linebacker for the Bengals who was fined $20,000 last year for some of his hits. He is not the only player to be fined or punished. Players will only keep getting into trouble because of unintentional hits that violate the rules. These hits aren’t intentional — they are just what it took to get the tackle.
Along with these new rules come new problems. Players have to aim lower with their tackles to avoid being penalized for the hits. As a result, players are trying to protect themselves and make the play, so they lower their bodies to get the advantage on their opponents. Randall Cobb, an NFL wide receiver for the Packers, suffered a broken leg from a low hit during a game. The defender didn’t intentionally try to break Cobb’s leg — he didn’t want to be fined for a head-on-head collision. He apologized for the
injury during a post-game interview.
These players know what they do is dangerous but they do it because they love it, so let them play the game with out worrying about the penalty.
It’s time to get rid of these new rules and start letting players play to their potential and play the game like it used to be — fast, hard, and tough. It’s a dangerous sport, but it’s one we love.