Helmet to Helmet: Head Banging in the NFL

With the rash of helmet-to-helmet injuries in the NFL [National Football League], the Powers-That-Be are re-evaluating the rules of the game. Some say professional football is a Spartan sport, that men are men and therefore let the players play sans protective limitations. Others say it’s becoming too dangerous and restrictions need to be in place regarding helmet-to-helmet clashing in order to keep players safe within the game.

Discussion is good. However, beyond the rules of the game some questions can certainly be asked:

Question #1: How is “game” defined?

Question #2: What determines true manhood?

Professional football is a rough and tough game, no doubt. But at the end of day, football is only a game, not a war. Should civilized societies allow the rules of games to permanently injure or attempt to injure others? Games and their participants are competitive, but should they promote violence to such a degree that the player’s lives and their family’s futures are negatively impacted? When games allow such excessive and injurious violence to occur, games cease to be games and become wars. Are wars the fabric of a civilized society or an uncivilized one?

Another issue of professional football is ‘manhood’. What constitutes manhood? One definition includes being rough, tough, strong and courageous. No doubt these are admirable characteristics, but to what degree should they be applied?

If a man is truly strong and courageous, shouldn’t his strength and courage be exercised in restraint of his ability to hurt or permanently injure others, potentially destroying the injured players’ careers in the process? If a man is truly a man and spends his life playing a game… a game… shouldn’t he be tough enough and professional enough to keep his passions under control?

In brief recap, when games allow destruction of physical capabilities which negatively impact its players’ personal health and financial stability, inclusive of their families’ well-being, are they still “games” or something else? And when a man purposefully sets out to injure another man under the “Guise of Game” with total disregard and disrespect not only for another player and his well-being but for the game itself, does he not cease to be a man and become more of an animal? Games are games, are they not? Should they become relegated to so-called “games’ like those of the ancient Coliseum in Rome, or more sane and civilized spectator contests for the entertainment and enjoyment of all without the distasteful and depreciating bane and pain of personal and professional destruction of life and well-being?

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