I'm listening to Rush talk about the NFL and the concussion issue. Every time the subject comes up -- whether he's talking about it or I'm talking to my brother about it or I'm reading about it -- I feel like I know less about it than I did before. Here is how I understand it (and then all of you are more than welcome to try to set me straight).
First, the only reason the subject of concussions has come up is because of the retired players who are suing the NFL due to many of them losing their memory and incurring other brain ailments. They claim the NFL, back in the '70s, covered up data showing that playing football could contribute to long-term brain problems. Had these lawsuits not popped up, concussions wouldn't be an issue at all.
Second, the NFL now overcompensates in the protection of players because it wants to be seen as having "changed its ways" if any of the lawsuits go to court. Also, even though medicine, diagnosis, and equipment have changed since the '70s, the NFL wants to avoid current players down the road getting the same ailments as retired ones. So, essentially, the NFL is trying to minimize the monetary damage from any lawsuits by changing the rules of the game.
Third, as much as I realize the current players know the risk from going out on the field, I'm not sure ex-players knew. My dad played high school and college football, starting all four years, and says he never knew anything about concussion possibilities. So, I understand the ex-players' desire to find out the truth. And I can also understand the desire for the NFL to protect itself from lawsuits that can put it out of business. Remember: Nobody who is in the administration of the NFL today was around at the time of the 70's. Some of the owners were. But, not many. So, really, they're trying to deal with a problem caused by someone else.
And, I'd also be interested to know what all the Ricocheters think should be done to correct the situation if the ex-players are correct in their assertions. And should the rules of the game be changed even though the NFL has come a long way in its recognition of head injuries?