I said in the previous post that just punishing the Saints won't be enough. We also have to reform the culture around the NFL, because sure, it's just that fucking easy, isn't it Colby?
The fact is, it's really fucking hard, and I'm not sure how to even begin. Roger Gooddell really has tried to rein in the most despicable, violent hits. But at some point, I fear he's trying to beat up the ocean. Not only has he been mocked for his efforts, but really, how do you play football without the hits? And if you have to allow the hits, where do you draw the line so that it's clear what's acceptable and what isn't? How do you craft a punishment that actually deters players, and doesn't just make them do a loss/benefit calculation?
And if you're part of the sports media, and hits are a legitimate part of the game, how do you report on them, how do you note who is good at them, without in some way condoning them? How do you stop the fans from getting excited about them? Jesus, I've spent two blog posts soul-searching about them, and I still get excited about them.
This is why I'm worried that Troy Aikman is right. It's hard to separate football from the violence, and it's hard to keep justifying the violence- especially when it comes time for us to start thinking about letting some of our kids play football. This isn't hockey, where there are major leagues and tournaments that really tone down on the violence. How do you have football without tackling?
This is one of those times where I hope I'm not nearly as smart as I think I am.