Baranowski getting a headache from concussion talk

I am sick and tired of all the concern about hits to the head in sports. Athletes are equipped with helmets, and some basic rules provide for the avoidance of injury. But in football and hockey, and I’m sure in other sports, there has been a slew of hits to the head with which everybody is overly concerned.

Concussions are the new big problem. If players have the slightest headache, they aren’t allowed back on the field. Retired players often make comments that amount to something like, “When we played, it was called a headache, not concussion symptoms.”

Why are we suddenly so concerned? Have concussions suddenly gotten more dangerous?

All right, look, I probably should qualify a few of my thoughts here. I know that players are stronger and faster now than they used to be, but then again, players played a lot differently. We’ll come back to that thought in a bit. For college and high school players, you know, athletes who aren’t making a living off of playing a game, concussions can be serious. You don’t want anybody ending a career, or dying, because of a college game. Those are not the players I am talking about, not in the least.

Professional athletes, on the other hand, are a completely different story.

Professional athletes get paid millions and millions of dollars because they have a dangerous profession. Their career could end at any time. One wrong move on one play, their whole life could change. That’s why they are paid the big bucks. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have any justification for making the kind of money that they do.

Lately, the amount of money seems to be rising exponentially. These hits to the head seem to be a bigger and bigger problem. Protecting these athletes seems to be the new biggest problem in the world. It seems to be put above anything and everything else.

Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, stated that it would not be out of the question to ban the three-point stance. To anyone who isn’t familiar with this concept, the three-point stance is where the linemen, the big guys in the middle on offense and defense, are down with one hand on the ground waiting to charge into their opponent. This is the fundamental stance in football. At least 10 players on the field are in this stance on every play. Well, almost. It has become more and more common, in the NFL, to start plays while in a crouch instead of the three-point stance.

To completely alter the game of football just to protect players from hits to the head is absurd. These are men we’re talking about here, grown men who can make their own decisions. If they are so concerned about getting knocked around, they can decide to not play the game, and not make the millions of dollars. It’s that simple.

In the NHL, this is a growing problem, where players are skating around with their heads down, unaware of the players around them, and are taking massive legal hits to the head. In times past, these players would be told to buck up and get back out there. Today, new rules are being deliberated to attempt to fix this current “crisis.”

The only crisis is a crisis of concern. If everybody would step back and think for a second that these are adults who are making a whole lot of money to make decisions, and will do their best to keep their careers going, this whole thing wouldn’t be a problem any longer.

Read Sports editor Nick Glasier’s response to John Baranowski’s article