Football American style

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Re: Football American style

Post  Thomas Clarke on Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:24 pm

Don't worry B&W, I was as far out with the Cowboys.

Still though, the Broncos were awful this year. You were right about Tebow making an impact though, as he played very well in the last few weeks of the regular season. Not convinced that he will ever be an elite QB, but he won't come up short due to lack of effort.

Indeed RMD, Big Ben is the the Steelers QB, and a tough boy he is. Also a fine man for getting into scrapes off the field too. Very hard game to call on Sunday, as the teams look so evenly matched. You could make a case for either of them having the better QB, either having the better defence, and while Pittsburgh are stronger running the ball, the Packers have a better receiving corps.

I think that the Packers have to start well. If they do, Pittsburgh will struggle to control the clock as they would like to, but if they don't then it is easy to see the Steelers dominating 40 minutes worth of possession, and winning a close one.
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Re: Football American style

Post  RMDrive on Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:25 pm

Is it on the telly? Just sky I presume?
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Re: Football American style

Post  Thomas Clarke on Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:35 pm

No, BBC 1 is showing it, as they have for the last few years.

Their coverage is normally pretty good - better than SKY's, who seem to get the cheapest guests available.
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Re: Football American style

Post  RMDrive on Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:26 pm

Thomas Clarke wrote:No, BBC 1 is showing it, as they have for the last few years.

Their coverage is normally pretty good - better than SKY's, who seem to get the cheapest guests available.

Good stuff. I'll record it so. C4 were showing games for a good few weeks but then stopped. Was it just cause they didn't have the rights to the playoffs?
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Re: Football American style

Post  black&white on Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:50 pm

RMDrive wrote:
Thomas Clarke wrote:No, BBC 1 is showing it, as they have for the last few years.

Their coverage is normally pretty good - better than SKY's, who seem to get the cheapest guests available.

Good stuff. I'll record it so. C4 were showing games for a good few weeks but then stopped. Was it just cause they didn't have the rights to the playoffs?

Yup. C4 only had the rights to the late game on Sundays for the regular season.

For the regular season, Sky have the rights to the two earlier Sunday games, and ESPN America shows MNF.

AFAIK Sky have the rights to all of the playoff games, with BBC having rights to "co-broadcast" the Superbowl
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Re: Football American style

Post  black&white on Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:59 pm

Thomas Clarke wrote:Don't worry B&W, I was as far out with the Cowboys.

Still though, the Broncos were awful this year. You were right about Tebow making an impact though, as he played very well in the last few weeks of the regular season. Not convinced that he will ever be an elite QB, but he won't come up short due to lack of effort.

Indeed RMD, Big Ben is the the Steelers QB, and a tough boy he is. Also a fine man for getting into scrapes off the field too. Very hard game to call on Sunday, as the teams look so evenly matched. You could make a case for either of them having the better QB, either having the better defence, and while Pittsburgh are stronger running the ball, the Packers have a better receiving corps.

I think that the Packers have to start well. If they do, Pittsburgh will struggle to control the clock as they would like to, but if they don't then it is easy to see the Steelers dominating 40 minutes worth of possession, and winning a close one.

Agreed on Tebow. He needs to learn how to stay in the pocket and deliver a pass. Has all the attributes to be a white Michael Vick, but needs to learn that in the NFL you need to trust your linemen.

I think I slightly favour the cheeseheads for tomorrow. They've built up quite the head of steam towards the end of the season, and I when it comes down to it, I think that Rogers is a bit more accurate than Big Ben.

That said, at this stage of the season defence is usually king. And the Steelers D is still pretty intimidating.

Here's hoping for a great game tomorrow night, which will make being wrecked for work on Monday worth it!
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Re: Football American style

Post  Jonsmith on Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:35 pm

Say what you like about the Yanks but they know how to put on a show! Anyone wanna give a basic run down of the rules for a novice? Shocked

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Re: Football American style

Post  Jayo Cluxton on Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:42 pm

Jonsmith wrote:Say what you like about the Yanks but they know how to put on a show! Anyone wanna give a basic run down of the rules for a novice? Shocked

Sure - 30 seconds play - 20 minute break. 25 seconds play 15 minute break. Teams replaced every time the whistle is blown (every 10 seconds) and a guy like Bernard Brogan wheeled on to take a kick every so often at 1.5 millions dollars per kick. 80 minute game - lasts 4 days. But its great!

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Re: Football American style

Post  Jonsmith on Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:46 pm

Jayo Cluxton wrote:
Jonsmith wrote:Say what you like about the Yanks but they know how to put on a show! Anyone wanna give a basic run down of the rules for a novice? Shocked

Sure - 30 seconds play - 20 minute break. 25 seconds play 15 minute break. Teams replaced every time the whistle is blown (every 10 seconds) and a guy like Bernard Brogan wheeled on to take a kick every so often at 1.5 millions dollars per kick. 80 minute game - lasts 4 days. But its great!

First bit sounds like the start of the Ulster Championship... Enjoying it so far!

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Re: Football American style

Post  hurlingguru on Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:16 am

Has anyone stayed up for it?

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Re: Football American style

Post  black&white on Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:01 am

Some game so far.

At 21-3 it looked like Green Bay were gonna run away with it, but the two big plays from Ward before HT seem to have swung the momentum.

Green Bay don't seem to be able to buy a first down since then, and with Woodson gone their D is struggling to stop the pass.

Looks like this will go down to the wire (just like the last few years)
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Re: Football American style

Post  Thomas Clarke on Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:37 am

The NFL season kicks off today with a mouth-watering match between the reigning superbowl champions, the Green Bay Packers, and the 2010 winners, the New Orleans Saints. Aside perhaps from cricket, American Football seems to polarise opinoins like no other sport on these shores but, for those of you who do enjoy it, here's my take on what lies ahead this season:

AFC

The AFC's 'Big 3', who have won the last 8 AFC championships between them (New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers), could become a 'Big 2' this year, as the Colts appear to be a team on the slide. Peyton Manning has injury concerns, and there is a real chance that this side will miss the play-offs for the first time in a decade.

The Patriots have flopped in the playoffs for the last couple of seasons, being out-muscled by bigger sides. Bill Bellichick has added power on defence to address this, and the Patriots look sure to be in the mix again this year. As do last year's superbowl runners up, the Steelers, who, though old on defence and weak on the offensive line, have stars in key positions throughout the side, and will go close again this year. The lack of good cornerbacks could again be their undoing against the better passing sides. The other main challengers in the AFC should be the New York Jets, AFC runners up for the last 2 years.

Beyond those sides, the Baltimore Ravens will remain competive but don't look good enough on offence to make the superbowl, and also the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers were poor last year, but they have lots of talent on the roster, and an easy division to negotiate. They should make the playoffs.

Sides likely to improve this year would be the Houstan Texans, Oakland Radiers and Cleveland Browns, while last year's suprise package the Kansas City Chiefs may find the going tougher this year.


NFC

If The AFC has been a tri-opoloy for the last decade, the NFC has been the opposite, with 10 different sides making the superbowl for the last 10 years - evidence of the NFL's parity policy at its very best!

Of the 6 sides not to have won an NFC championship in that time, the Atlanta Falcons look most likely to make a breakthrough. The had a 13-3 record last year, although they did fail badly against the Packers int he playoffs. The Falcons gambled the house on drafting wide receiver Julio Jones in the college draft last April, believing that he will be the final piece in the puzzle. They are good, but weaknesses on defence mean that I'd put them behind the top 2 in the NFC - the Saints and the Packers.

The Packers won the superbowl the hard way last year, winning late season games to make the playoffs, and then winning 4 playoff matches as a wild card team. Although it is notoriously tough for sides to win back-to-back titles, the Packers have a very strong squad and look sure to go close again. As do the 2010 champs the Saints. They have an offence that can out-score anyone, and it will be a very good side that beats them. Also to be considered are the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles were very good last year, and have strengthened massively in free agency. They have brought in so many big names they are being billed as the 'Dream Team'. They should win their division, though I suspect that they will fall short in the play-offs.

Teams who may slide this year include the NFC runners up from the past 2 seasons, the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings, while the New York Giants already have injury concerns.

One team to make a big improvement would be the Detroit Lions, the most 'losing-est' franchise in all of american sports. They have some very good young players, and don't rule them out of sneaking into the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may find this season tougher than last year, as may the St Louis Rams, who have a brilliant young quarterback, but a very tough schedule for the first half of the season.

Superbowl
The AFC representatives should be either the Patriots or the Steelers, while the NFC should be the Packers or Saints. I'll go for a Patriots v Saints superbowl, with the Saints repeating their 2010 triumph.
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Re: Football American style

Post  Loyal2TheRoyal on Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:39 pm

Good post TC. I followed the whole season through once and enjoyed it but the timing of games on a Sunday evening/night make it hard for European fans to follow properly. I usually just take an interest in the Superbowl and that's about the height of it but maybe I'll make more of an effort this time round.

From my limited knowledge, I find the game's incredibly hard to predict even on a week-to-week basis. The formbook certainly follows no obvious pattern. You also get many, many different sides making it through to the AFC and NFC finals as well as the Superbowl. I guess this is down to the draft policy of weakest sides getting first pick and all that? But I'm not sure I fully understand that whole process? I mean what incentive is there for the best college player to go and play for the worst side? Surely the 32nd player drafted is at the biggest advantage?
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Re: Football American style

Post  Thomas Clarke on Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:30 am

Looks like it was a great season opener last night, with the Packers beating the Saints in a high-scoring thriller. Hopefully the sign of things to come. High scores are becoming more and more common in the NFL, as it is moving from a running league to a passing league. This has been influenced by rule changes in favour of the attacking side - perhaps it is something that we in the GAA could learn from.

It can indeed be tough to predict Loyal - as I mentioned previously, the last 10 NFC championships have been won by 10 (out of 16) different teams. This is mainly down to the NFL's parity policy, which comprises 3 key elements.

Firstly, there is the draft - 7 rounds, each of which sees the teams pick college players in reverse order of where they finished in the league the previous year. The higher you are picked, the more money you get. A No.1 pick will always get paid more than a No.2 pick and so on. The other advantage that those going to weaker teams will have is that they will generally become key players more quickly. Several leading picks have transformed their franchises in the past, with Peyton & Eli Manning both being examples of No.1 picks who went on to lead their teams to Superbowl wins.

Secondly, there is the salary cap. Unlike in soccer, the richest teams can't buy all the top players, as all teams are working within the same wage confinements. If you have a few well-paid stars, you'll have to cut costs elsewhere. On the subject of contracts, you also have Free Agency (like the Bosman ruling), which means that, if a side wants to extend the contract of a star, they will either have to pay them a lot (impacting their salary cap), or be forced to let them go at the end of a contract.

Finally, you have the schedules. Sides with poor records the previous year will be given easier schedules than, for example, the reigning superbowl champions. This will enable weaker sides to win matches against other weaker sides, gradually improving.

It's an excellent system, and possible because the NFL run the league. The most obvious example of a polar opposite here is the English Premiership, where the top clubs run the league, and you have a situation where only 3 sides have won the title in 20 years.
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Re: Football American style

Post  black&white on Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:15 am

Loyal2TheRoyal wrote:I mean what incentive is there for the best college player to go and play for the worst side? Surely the 32nd player drafted is at the biggest advantage?

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ That's the incentive. Being a number 1 pick is worth an extra million or so onto each year of your rookie contract.

Player's don't really get a choice either as to who they go to. Once picked, they have the choice of either playing for the team (assuming they aren't traded) or sitting out a full season (with no pay) to become a free agent.
For high round picks, teams will usually be in contact with a player before the draft, and if a player is adamant on not wanting to join a team they will usually arrange for a trade (either trading draft picks, or drafting the player and then trading him away).
It's extremely rare that a team will use a 1st/2nd/3rd round draft pick on a player who doesn't want to play for them, but if they do, they will usually try to trade them afterwards to avoid wasting a pick. John Elway was one of the most high-profile of this instances.


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Re: Football American style

Post  Thomas Clarke on Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:11 pm

Thursday night sees the start of the 2012 NFL season. It's hard to believe that 7 months have passed since the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in Superbowl XLVI, and much has happened since then. The legendary Peyton Manning was released by the Indianapolis Colts, and replaced by the next big thing, Andrew Luck. Manning replaced mega-Christian Tim Tebow in Denver, while in New Orleans, Bounty-gate saw the suspension of numerous players and coaches. So, having considered all this and more, here is my take on what to expect over the next 5 months.

AFC
Compared to the ever-changing NFC, the AFC is a model of consistency, and should remain so in 2012. The Patriots and Texans both look quite some way better than anything else in their divisions, while the other 2 divisions should be tighter for different reasons. In the North, I think the Ravens will finish ahead of the Steelers and Bengals, with one of the latter 2 making the play-offs as a wild card side. In the West, I think the Chiefs may have the best all round side, but I have doubts about Matt Cassell at QB. Manning should improve the Broncos, but I fear that tough seasons lie ahead for the Raiders and Chargers.

So, division winners for me will be the Patriots, Texans, Ravens and Chiefs, with the wild card slots being between the Steelers, Bengals, Broncos and Bills. I think that the Andrew Luck effect will improve the Colts to at least a 7-9 record, but I see tough seasons ahead for the likes of the Dolphins, Jets and Jaguars.

NFC
There really are so many good sides in this conference, it is very difficult to pick a winner. In the East, the reigning champions the Giants will face stiff competition from the Eagles, while the Cowboys still have a lot of talent and will push them both. The North will see a titanic 3 way battle between the explosive Lions, Packers and Bears offences, while the South will, once again be a tussle between the Saints and Falcons, with possibly Cam Newton's Panthers spoiling the party. The West was a cakewalk last year for San Francisco 49ers, but I think that they will also have the the improving Seattle Seahawks to contend with in 2012.

The Vikings and Rams still have a long way to go, as do the Cardinals, who have 2 on-a-par QBs, but neither of them are any good. RG3 will improve Washington, a side with some decent talent, but not enough to make the playoffs. Talking of the playoffs, I'll take the Giants, Packers, 49ers and Saints to win their divisions, with the wildcards going to any 2 from the Falcons, Lions, Eagles and maybe the surprise package Seahawks.

Superbowl
In the AFC, I can't see beyond the Patriots, Texans or Ravens, and homefield advantage may decide this conference. With that in mind, I'll side with the outsider of the 3, Houston, as I can see them racking up the best regular season record and securing home advantage for the playoffs.

In the NFC, I'll take Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Giants will probably be better than last year, but it is very difficult to win back-to-back titles. I also like the 49ers a lot. They are tough, aggressive, and have the best defence in the NFL, but I'm not convinced about their WR additions, and I just don't rate Alex Smith at QB. So, the Green Bay Packers for me in the NFC, and I'll take them to win the Superbowl as well.[b][u]
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Re: Football American style

Post  SamiPremier08 on Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:31 pm

Yay American football
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Re: Football American style

Post  Mrs Spud on Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:51 pm

Who do you follow TC? I'm a Seattle Seagal myself.
I'm hopeful that we could at least make it to the play-offs this season after an undefeated pre season.
I think the Charly Martin, Russell Wilson and Leon Washington are all players to watch.
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Re: Football American style

Post  Thomas Clarke on Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:01 am

Mrs Spud wrote:I think the Charly Martin, Russell Wilson and Leon Washington are all players to watch.

Well, Leon Washington is a roster-filling journeyman, and Charly Martin wouldn't have caught 10 passes in his entire career, so I can't see either of those contributing much. Russell Wilson, though, is an interesting story. As a 3rd round draft pick last spring, he was expected to watch Matt Flynn and Tavaris Jackson fight it out for the QB position, but instead jumped ahead of them both with some eye-catching performances in pre-season.

The Seahawks are in a division with 2 very poor teams (Rams & Cardinals), and they are always very tough to beat at home. They are solid on defence, and have a decent running game. If Wilson can add a bit of spark, then they have a chance of sneaking into the playoffs as a wildcard team.
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Re: Football American style

Post  bald eagle on Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:48 pm

Excellent round up TC, even though i haven't the foggiest what the most of it means! NFL means 1 thing.......Americas Game on telly again! Greatest sports doc ever! Fact!

On a side issue, have just finished reading Tedy Bruschi's autobiography Never Give Up, if you haven't read it, make sure you do soon! Absolutely brilliant read! Had a stroke 3days after the final game of the year and still played the following season! Unreal story!

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Re: Football American style

Post  Mrs Spud on Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:22 pm

I know that time is catching up with Washington but I still wouldn't be without his kickoffs. With Martin in his third year I think its time to sh1t or get off the pot and he did do better in preseason than the whole of the regular season last year.
We’re not going to do anything different for this game since we’re not treating this game any different than another game. Every game is a championship game for us, so we’ll treat this one, the last one and the next one exactly the same. And that goes for our practices leading up to it as well Pete Carroll.
On the subject of American Football books, I'm in the middle of Pete Carroll's "Win Forever - Live, Work & Play Like a Champion" and its a damn good read
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Re: Football American style

Post  emmetryan on Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:17 pm

49ers at Packers looks game of the week to me. I think San Fran will be very hard to beat this year with their upgrades at running back. That said, I could see them losing in Seattle. I'm a Steelers fan and frankly would be happy with the last wildcard slot as damn that team is getting old.

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Re: Football American style

Post  Thomas Clarke on Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:52 pm

emmetryan wrote:49ers at Packers looks game of the week to me. I think San Fran will be very hard to beat this year with their upgrades at running back. That said, I could see them losing in Seattle. I'm a Steelers fan and frankly would be happy with the last wildcard slot as damn that team is getting old.

I agree on the Steelers Emmet, and I think that this year will see them slip back a bit. They are in a tough division, and I'm agree that their defence can't keep going forever. I also think that Todd Haley will fight with Big Ben before the year is over.

I like the 49ers a lot, but I just don't rate Alex Smith. I know he improved a bit last year, but I still think he is a below average QB who, Vernon Davis aside, doesn't have much to throw to.

Great start last night for the Cowboys, winning in New York, and with Tony Romo playing superbly. I've always liked Romo, and think he gets a lot of unfair stick.
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Re: Football American style

Post  bocerty on Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:21 pm

would rather watch cricket than this excuse for a sport, cant see were the skill is in to be honest. A game involving two teams of eleven were most of them never even touch the ball for the duration of the game!!!!!

Cant see the attraction myself lads, nevertheless i came across this article on the BBC website and thought it was worth the read

Some American football fans are worried that the National Football League is too brutal to be enjoyed. Can the sport change course?

Charlie Camosy is a big fan of American football.

"It's a great combination of raw caveman strength and gladiatorial combat and the most complicated chess match you can ever imagine," he says, noting that this time of year - when football returns - is one of his favourites.

But Camosy is also a professor of Christian ethics at Fordham University in New York. And this year, he's feeling more and more conflicted about watching the sport he loves when he knows it can be so dangerous.
"Even though I'm excited for the start of the year, we need to be honest about the fact that football is a violent sport, and many things that people like about it, including me, is the violence. It's not just violence in the abstract, it's people's lives who are tremendously impacted by this." says Camosy.

Football has always been a brutal sport: in the early days of the game, President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to shut the college programme down unless the young men from Harvard, Princeton and Yale stopped dying on the field.

One of the National Football League' s most memorable games was the 1985 match between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants, when Giants defensive player Lawrence Taylor tackled quarterback Joe Theisman with such force that Theisman's leg snapped in two, bone and blood visible on the field.
"Football and violence is nothing new whatsoever," says Frank Deford, sports commentator for National Public Radio and author of Over Time: My Life As a Sports Writer. In the past, that violence has ebbed and flowed as rule changes sought to limit the damage. "It's gone back to a peak again, and the question is whether you can correct the game," he says.

The current state of professional football means that the violence is more impressive to watch - and has more long-lasting consequences. "We have a better idea of how the story ends now," says Will Leitch, a contributing editor at New York Magazine. The life-long football fan wrote an article earlier this month called "Is Football Wrong?"

His article echoes recent blog posts made by writers like Ta Nehesi Coates and Andrew Sullivan. In each case, the arguments are similar: the hits are getting bigger and harder, and the evidence we have about the long-term effect on player's brains are getting harder to ignore.

"We're creating, essentially, missiles of people's bodies banging into each other in the most dramatic ways. We haven't seen the people with 300lb (136kg) bodies who can run the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds," says Camosy. "That kind of force has never existed in the human body before."

Mounting evidence shows that the damage caused by repeated concussions can have lasting health consequences for American football players. These men are more likely to die from diseases caused by damaged brain cells, like Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study in the journal Neurology.

Medical experts suspect repeated head trauma can lead to mental illness and suicide, and there have been a rash of former NFL player suicides in the past. Shortly before committing suicide last year, Dave Duerson, a former player for the Chicago Bears, sent a text message to his family requesting that his brain be donated to a facility that researches football injuries. "He was one of my favourite players," says Leitch. "The idea that he was mush at the end, the way he committed suicide to make sure his brain could be preserved...It's hard to then be like 'Yeah, jack em up! Huge hits!'" But the huge hits are still drawing lots of fans. The first Sunday Night Football game of the 2012-2013 season brought in record ratings this week, with almost 25 million Americans tuning in to watch the Denver Broncos defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to TVLine.com, that number represents a 7% increase over last year and the best rating for a regular season football game in 14 years. For its part, the National Football League is doing what it can to stem the damage done by the sport. Recently, the league donated $30m (£18.7m) to the National Institutes of Health to study brain injuries."Our commitment is to keep pushing the envelope and be one of the leaders in health and safety research," says Clare Graff, the senior manager of corporate communications at the NFL. She points out that head injuries are an issue of concern for other sports, not just football.

At the same time, the NFL is constantly revising rules to try to limit the long-term damage done to players, and does so knowing that its rules and safety regulations are often adopted by youth and college programs.
"We want to set the standard and we take that responsibility seriously," she says.
Whether or not they can make the game safe for kids, not just for professionals, may be what eventually determines American football's fate.

"What you are hearing for the first time is 'I don't want to see my child playing football'," says NPR's Frank Deford. "I don't think we've come to the point where I've heard anyone say I'm not going to a professional game."
That's something both Leitch and Camosy understand all too well. Both men will be tuning into the football season this year despite their reservations.

"I'm going to watch football but it's almost with a sense of sadness this year - a growing sense of sadness," Camosy asks.

"How long can I watch football and still keep my soul?"

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Re: Football American style

Post  Thomas Clarke on Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:37 pm

An interesting article Boc although, conversely, a lot of people think that the game is becoming too soft of late! Defenders complain that they can no longer hit helmet to helmet, and the protection of quarterbacks has never been so evident. The new rules have led to teams passing the ball more, as receivers don't have to worry quite as much about being destroyed if they go to catch a ball thrown over the middle.

You should give the sport a chance (and cricket too!) - it's a great game when you get into it!
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