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Comments

Waxhaw Joe

Once again Tom, you are dead on. He is a great Commissioner, and will make sure the NFL continues to be the brand it is.

slim shady

I'll miss Vilma this year. He actually played hard like the game should be played.

Slim Shadys Daddy

Panthers will roll the Saints this year! Can't wait...Panthers WIN the NFC South. Just sayin'

b for bounty

cam has shrek ears

Slim Shadys Daddy

Saints 4-12 this year...too funny...0-2 against the Panthers. Just sayin'

slim shady

I hope our new LB Leuchy learns our playbook and bounty system quickly and brings the pain to the competition

Black--Panther

My only regret is that more of the sleezball Saints players weren't suspended. Only the top four ringleaders that were involved took the hit. What a crock!!!!!!!!

pantherlife

panthers first in nfc south this year, any sane man or woman can predict this

m

For Christ sake Tom, it's football. Save words like that for people that make a difference in the lives of others. Suspending a few players here or there does not one brilliant.

Mitch

With players getting bigger and faster every year, head trauma will continue to be an issue and I'm glad to see the NFL start addressing it. These rules will filter down to college & high school where YES they will make a difference in the person that doesn't get a life changing concussion. On another note, can we leave JC out of this?

Sports don

I played in high school and was a clean player, not a rewarded attitude by the way. Now my son is going to play and thanks to the trickle down effect of NFL rule changes I feel better about it. Unlike me he is talented and I would hate to see him targeted for an injury because of his skills. What those guys were doing is equivalent to a boxer intentionally throwing low blows or hits right after the bell. It shows a lack of honor, that deserves harsh treatment.

John

Good, strong piece, Tom. I couldn't agree more.

Ron R

I do not understand why any player not involved in a bounty program would object to penalizing (AND REMOVING PERMANENTLY FROM THE NFL) anyone who was hired specifically to injure them. If I found out that a business rival had hired a hit man to kill me or even just seriously injure me I would certainly report it to the police and want the guilty people put in jail. Isn't that the way any reasonable person would react???

L. Camp

If he is so concerned, why try to add more games to the season? Why have games played on Wednesday and Thursday, less recovery time? Goddel is a business man, and he knows what makes his business thrive is points, and money. Thats what he is about. Not players saftey. I will like to see the shape the league is in, whenever he chooses to step down. Look at the stats of the game over the past few years since he has been the commish. Goddell is more interested in making examples and looking the part. Anyone would be a fool to think the league actually cares about any of its players. They care about none, but take more interest in the ones that generate the most revenue. NFL is a Business, and business is never pure and good natured

Paul

Goodell is smart and focused on the long term interests of NFL. His actions strengthen defense against injury lawsuits and anticipate an audience less accepting of the violence of hard hitting and the loss of 'stars' due to injuries. He knows it is no longer Vince Lombardi's game and is acting accordingly. Smart business.

swiznami

I had a great argument regarding Goddell's hyprocisy but L. Camp beat me to it (and said it better than I would have).

tom

Goodell wants to give more quality football to the fans. he would have taken away 2 of the preseason games, if you remember the proposal. you can have a clean game and still a physical game. look at the detroit pistons of 1989-1991: that kind of thuggery would seem ridiculous today if allowed. I have an old VHS tape called NFL Crunch Course which is from 1986. It is a wonder players of that era even can walk and chew gum today. Goodell is trying to protect the players AND the game. The NFLPA wants their cake and to eat it to: on the one hand they want to protect their players by doing away 2-a-days in training camp. But when their own members have bountys deisgned to actuall HURT specific players, will they support the Goodell?

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JOSEPH MCNULTY

A great commissioner? Exactly what makes him great? He is a lawyer and THINKS like a lawyer (and I am a lawyer saying that!).

His primary concern is AVOIDING legal liability, rather than the appeal of the game to the fans. He is afraid that football may go the way of the tobacco industry. He should be concerned that it will go the way of horse racing or boxing.

He may be great on the negotiation of the television contracts, but otherwise, he seems timid and concerned with minor issues, like rules that may have been broken (the proper attitude is "boys willl be boys").

Your comment about "a culture to change" is bewildering. So the NFL is at the pinnacle of sports, showing its predominance even over baseball, "the national pastime." So what do we want to do? Change the culture -- yeah, that's the ticket!

Is Godell even competent to be an ASSISTANT to Pete Rozelle or Al Davis? Of course, they were BOTH smokers, so there you are.

Already, with efforts to "protect" the quarterbacks and outlaw the "crack-back" block. the game is but a shadow of the "rock'em, sock'em" game of the Sixties. Of course, most fans do not remember the Sixties. Goodell is counting on that. But at some point, the college game will become more exciting than the NFL game (the National Flag-football League).

You say, "the more we learn the more we shudder -- at least those of us who see football players as human beings, not as human projectiles on our TV screen." That's the proper attitude. I want to think of Dick Butkus as a "human being." We want to see a game in which the players are either armored like Ninjas (with Ninja's mobility) or are forbidden from hits that "might" injure someone.

People will line up to sit barechested in a freezing stadium for hours to watch that. What's next: NASCAR bumper-cars?

L. Camp

Well said: JOSEPH MCNULTY

Ray

My opinion was that Goodell dropped the ball with New England and their cheating. When a senator wanted to investigate he was shocked to know Goodell destroyed the evidence. Had Goodelll done more about New England then just maybe another team would not be so quick to step up and devise their own kind of cheating.

To have a football team go out on the field to deliberately injure other players is a criminal act and one that could destroy a man's career or even a rookie looking forward to a career in the NFL. Some of those tapes show plainly Saints players deliberately running and hitting guys hard even after players were out of bounds and plays were over. Payton was a disgrace and should never coach again that you cannot play a good game of football fair and square.

Panther Fanater

Radical changes in equipment (head/shoulder combination equipment for example) will solve the problem.

For those that still want bloodsport - where concussions and paralysis are celebrated and the participants are treated like worthless meat - you'll always have the SEC.

RWT

Football is a billion dollar business. So Godell would be stupid NOT to do everything to protect that $9 bilion pie. If we reduce the legal speed limit to 10mph, we would positively reduce traffic fatalities - but people would be outraged due to personal inconvenience. So we strike a balance by applying speed limits. No one wants to say it out loud but there are acceptable losses at 55 mph. Football is the same, there is a balance between keeping the game we know and love versus increased safety. The only way to figure out that balance is to do "something." It may get bumpy but this will get figured out. I think it'll start in youth games and high school. Once we try to change the culture and re-focus on proper technique versus "blowing people up," these things will settle out.

JL

Every parent should review the Virginia Tech head impact study that showed impacts in pee wee football were as high as those Hokies felt during games and practices. The kid's impacts were highest during practices. At an age your kid's brain is most suceptible to permanent damage. I think many responsible parents would keep the kids out of football if they saw the study.

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