Forgive me for wallowing in the self pity of my awareness that I have no idea what every single sports broadcast personality seems to lack in their ability of comprehension. I speak of the NFL's very recent attempt to do something about the potentially life-, and quality of life-, threatening hits by the biggest, strongest, fastest athletes ever.
The sum total of these sports personalities' illogical argument is that they think people want to see these "big hits." I don't. I want to see people survive them, but I would be much happier if the game was played without them in the first place.
I spent the better part of a half hour in a private conversation with Exec. VP of Football Operations for the NFL Ray Anderson last weekend in Houston.
What you come away with very quickly is exactly why Roger Goodell chose this person as his right-hand man to represent the moves Roger makes as he continues to move the NFL and sport “light years” beyond what other leagues are offering. And, that Roger does not really care what people’s reaction or perception of his moves are if he thinks it’s best for the league.
I’m hearing Ray Anderson loud and clear: Far from the NFL wanting to accomplish “Legislation of Viciousness”, or as what some would claim is a knee-jerk reaction vis-à-vis enacting new rules, it’s really just the NFL out to enforce Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8... Which calls for attention to flagrant and egregious helmet, shoulder pad, or fore-arm contact to the head or neck of a defenseless player.
And the NFL is going to successfully put an end to it with, effective immediately, perhaps even multiple game suspensions representing de-facto fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars and real impact against the offending player’s team.
Ray says the NFL sees itself as the standard bearer for a platform of all techniques, at all levels, of the game of football:
-) and maintaining integrity of the sport
…which includes, of course, the health of its players.
Unlike Charles Barkley, the NFL IS a Role Model!