Mike Preston: Concussion settlement won't impact how football's played

The Baltimore Sun

It was good to see the NFL allotted hundreds of millions of dollars for former players who have suffered head injuries, but it won't have significant impact on the way the game is played.

Football is a violent, contact sport and Americans love it. That's why thousands pack NFL stadiums each week in the fall and winter. We love to see our gladiators pummel each other. Until that changes, the NFL will continue to have that problem unless they borrow a chapter out of the old Jetsons cartoon, where players were replaced by robots.

The NFL has done well with the head trauma issue as far as public relations. They've created rules about blows to the head and illegal hits to a defenseless players, but now more players are just hitting low, creating more knee and ankle issues. Unless the nature of the game is changed, injuries can't be avoided, especially with players getting bigger, faster and stronger.

You feel some sympathy for the players, but there isn't overwhelming compassion. They choose to play this game. I've heard critics say there is a drop off in the number of young players now involved in football, but that doesn't mean much.

As long as owners pony up millions in player contracts, there will always be a huge pool from which to to draw players. And as long as we continue to crave violence on Sundays, the head injuries will continue.

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