Con: Against New Fine for Football

NFL’s new flagrant hit rule takes away too much from the game

           Ever since the NFL was established in 1920, football has never ceased to be one of America’s favorite and most frequently watched sports. Football has become so popular because many hallmarks of the game—impressive touchdown throws, rushes, and one-handed catches—are not present in any other sport. One aspect of football that ranks above all others is its physicality. Football is a contact sport, and the hits are what make the games the most exciting and rewarding. Recently, however, the NFL has come up with a new hit rule, which would fine players with flagrant hits and eventually suspend them.

            In football, big hits are inevitable. In fact, if players have to be careful in their every move, they could be sacrificing a valuable opportunity for their team. During an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said, “I won’t think twice about hitting someone. If you think twice, you miss tackles. You can’t second-guess.”

            Having to suddenly change playing style would pose numerous difficulties to many who are already used to their current style of play. The new rule has already affected several players, including Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison. Harrison, who violated the rules regarding helmet-to-helmet hits on receivers, was fined $75,000 when he hit Browns’ receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. Harrison even said that he was considering retirement because he believed he wouldn’t be able to perform to his highest potential. “I’m going to sit down and have a serious conversation with my coach and see if I can actually play by NFL rules and still be effective,” said Harrison. “If not, I may have to give up playing football.”

            To be honest, the league has been operating well without this rule for decades. To suddenly implement the new policy may result in the NFL losing its players and fans. Fans who watch football for the physicality may stop attending games. If players have to anticipate their opponents’ actions so they will avoid injuring them, how will they play naturally? Before we know it, the NFL will become the NFFL—the National Flag Football League.