While the Dallas Cowboys enjoy running the table in November and Jon Gruden gets flogged for his Monday night comments about hits to the head, we all might want to take a look at this excellent recent article in the Arizona Republic about Danny White. The former Cowboys and Arizona State quarterback/punter suffered at least 20 concussions in his career by his count, and as he prepares to turn 60, he has some memory problems. Still, he worries more about the guys playing now.
I’m not made of stone. I see old tapes of Jack Tatum or John Lynch laying guys out and think, “Ooooh!” That doesn’t make it right, though. Gruden and a contingent of fans and players think the NFL is being sissified, but we need to rethink what makes good defensive play in ways that exclude decapitating the guy with the ball. If we don’t, the NFL will lose its popularity the same way boxing lost its primacy as one of America’s most-watched sports.