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How to make professional football safer

Fantasy Football, Gambling, Green Bay Packers, Las Vegas, NFL

It's very simple.  Take the modern helmet from the players and give them a leather helmet to protect from hair pulling and cuts.

What are some of the recent head injuries in pro football?  How about the Miami Dolphins QB Trent Green's recent concussion... Do you think that there was any way on God's Green Earth that Green would have attempted that block if he was wearing a leather helmet?  What about Buffalo Bills lineman Kevin Everett's spinal injury?  Would he have attemted to tackle the ball carrier by leading with his helmet if his head weren't protected?

Simply put, the NFL allows players to wear missles on their heads, and then appears to be surprised when the long range effect of concussions and head injuries were attributed to the deaths of former NFL players.  Leather helmets = safer players.

Of course, if you follow the money, there is no way the NFL can let that happen.  The sport thrives because of the speed and violent nature.  Take away the helmets, and players move a lot slower, they don't hit as hard, and the overall gameplay would suffer.  Gameplay suffers, and you don't have a 30-year waiting list for Packers season tickets, or men forking over $229 for the NFL Sunday Ticket packages on DirecTV, and so on, and so on.

Follow the money some more, and one of the biggest reasons that pro football is so popluar is because it is so condusive to gambling.  Sure, you have the obvious ways to bet (either legally in a Nevada casino, or illegally with an offshore account or with a bookie) by using point spreads, over/under totals and money lines.  Also, just about everybody is in an office pool... also illegal.  Fantasy leagues?  That $100 entry fee you pay, which results in prizes determined by the skill of professional athletes (and is not taxed) isn't legal either.  But betting, pools and fantasy leagues sure are fun.

Despite Norman Chad's point of view on Fantasy Football - and also now espoused by (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Father - if you are a fantasy footbal team owner (Side note, I am 4-2, and I've had over 100 points in three of my four wins), or if you do bet on games (I was locked in on Kansas City beating Cincinnati all week, and getting 3-1/2 points was a bonus), or if you have a square in the office pool (6 for the Packers and 8 for Washington won me squat), or even if you are in a 33 pot (I had a BYE this week?  How can my team score 33 points of I didn't have a team?) - don't tell me that watching an otherwise meaningless Titans at Bucaneers game trumps watching the Packers barely hold onto their lead.  Using that particular game as an example, why would anybody outside of Tampa and Nashville watch that game unless there was a little coin action going?  How many fans in, say, Death Valley watched the Rams at Ravens game on their Sunday Ticket package?  Answer... those with some sort of illegal bet on the game.

The NFL and their owners may say that they don't want concussions or spinal cord injuries, but eliminating them would be akin to killing the golden goose.  So those injuries are just a necessary byproduct of making more money than they did last year.  And with every nickel we spend to watch football, we are complicit in this.

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