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"The reality is that if they truly gave two fvcks about the players they'd simply carve out .05% of their collective annual earnings to provide them with long term health care after they're out of the league."
Option B would be for the players who are willingly playing a game that they know could have harsh long term consequences to carve out a portion of their substantial earnings to pay for their long term needs.
Not sure i see how the NFL eschewing any attempts to make the game safer and instead offering long term health care to players is somehow compassionate. "Here. Keep banging your head and using your torso for a missile. Makes it fun for the fans. In 20 years we will pay for a nurse to change your diapers after you shit and drool all over yourself." That's compassion?
Is the league going too far? Maybe.
tobacco has survived because of the preventive/self preservation measures they have made over the years. if they did nothing then it would have been no more. I agree that most were forced upon them. Football is trying to do the same because if they sat back and let the game stay the same as it was 15 years ago then they would have no leg to stand on when more and more lawsuits came in.
Compassion is a relative term I guess. Compassion, or caring, to me is saying, "Hey, we understand this is a violent game. We do not think you are pieces of meat and we care about your well being beyond the limited time you will be able to play. We understand that not everyone will make Joe Fluke-o dollars and if you have medical issues going forward they can become a financial burden."
I can't speak to every legal strategy, or the contradictions therein. Bottom line is that they do not care about player safety. They care about preserving their financial interests. But I can see the difficult position they're in... I mean, all of a sudden football is being positioned like it's rollerball.
What makes it fun for the fans is the game of football. Not a neuron-exploding kill-shot on every play. They are changing the game by installing rules that are completely subjective. Was that a great hit or an egregiously violent penalty? Lets go to the booth for twenty minutes... Was that PI or two guys going for the ball? Jesus, who the hell knows. Flag it now, don't later, wait, the crowd groaned better call it, etc. etc. Christ, PAC 12 games are averaging 6 hours and 128 penalties now. It's absurd.
No more? Not a chance in hell. Even if big tobacco sat back and said, "Eff off. We're adding more tar and wrapping our smokes in Power Ranger paper. Sue us bitches" they'd still roll. Tobacco cos have survived because their product is made for pennies, sold for dollars, and... this is key... it's addictive. They have spent billions upon billions in defending themselves and paying settlements and they keep rolling. If every man, woman, child and dog in the US smoked cigarettes it would only equal a third of the number that smoke Marboro Reds (alone) in China.
Conversely, if tobacco cos started marketing legitimately safe cigarettes they would fail. Because "safe cigarettes" are not cigarettes.
The NFL is addictive, but it's potency is becoming weaker and weaker. What I'm saying is that there will come a tipping point where all these surface, lame-ass rules changes that do nothing to address player safety will irreparably harm the game. There is no such thing as safe football. Safe football is called ultimate frisbee. And it's for stupid hippies. 15-20 years ago the game was better. And as for the moronic "modern player size and speed" arguments... I'll take any 49er or C'Boy team from the early 90's and wipe the goddamn floor with any SB team from the last 15 years.
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