Where Can I Watch The Nebraska Football Game Today College Football Mayhem – Flagrant Helmet-to-Helmet Shots Need to Stop Before Someone Gets Killed

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College Football Mayhem – Flagrant Helmet-to-Helmet Shots Need to Stop Before Someone Gets Killed

I watch college football because it’s rough, tough, exciting and fun. Parity in college football today means no team is safe from being upset on any given game day. I don’t watch college football because it is beyond evil.

After watching Washington quarterback Jake Locker go helmet-to-helmet against the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday (10/11/07), my emotions ranged from concern to anger to anger to action.

No penalty was awarded for the flagrant hit. Not only should the penalty have been awarded for unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike conduct, but the offending player was immediately ejected.

Such an illegal hit is not tolerated in professional football because the player is defenseless when hit. I don’t know why that is even tolerated and celebrated in college football.

I don’t care if the hit was considered accidental or intentional. Does not matter. That flagrant hit could have cost Jake Locker his career, paralyzed him for life, or even killed him if he suffered a broken neck.

This kind of barbaric showdown isn’t so much football as it is controlled, deliberate mayhem. Not so long ago, some coaches gave prizes for such hits, especially when the star player of the opposing team was carried off the field on a stretcher.

Oregon State players have developed a reputation for extreme play. In this particular game, won by the Beavers 29-23, the officials seemed to lose control of the game as more taunting, pushing and shoving resulted in 3 more Beavers and 1 Husky being ejected from the game.

I am not comforted by the fact that the Beaver player who made the savage hit apparently apologized and later prayed for Locker. It may have allowed the player in question to shake off any guilt from the hit, but any amount of prayer wouldn’t have helped one iota if Locker had been paralyzed or killed as a result of the hit.

These flagrant helmet-to-helmet hits must stop. Period. Don’t waste your precious time trying to convince me that these hits are unintentional. Nine out of 10 players don’t even try to fight players anymore. They throw bodies at them, hoping to knock them over.

Tackling can be learned in spring training, but is rarely practiced on the field anymore. Why do you think we get scores like 74-62 and 73-68 (these are actual scores from real games). Defenders use their bodies as missiles to knock people down.

Instead of secretly rewarding players for helmet-to-helmet hits, coaches need to bench players who use tactics to bring players down. Even if the rules committee does not allow the tactic, coaches must apply and enforce the rule to see it through. Some coaches seem to only care if their player is on the receiving end of a vicious helmet-to-helmet attack.

There have been enough tragic career-ending injuries in football at all levels when the game is played fairly without the sport escalating into chaos with purposeful, flagrant helmet-to-helmet hits.

Please don’t give me this crap about accidental helmet hits. A player can just as easily aim his head at a runner’s midsection or legs as his head if he wants to tackle someone that way.

When was the last time you saw a running back cross the line of scrimmage in the open at his own 30-yard line and then run head-down 70 yards toward the end zone? When was the last time you saw a receiver catch the ball at his own 30 and run upside down 70 yards for a touchdown?

When you hit helmet to helmet, you have to instantly calculate the coordinates, drop your head into missile position and launch yourself at your target. There are no random helmet-to-helmet hits.

Later that night I saw on the final football program that Hawaii quarterback standout Colt Brennen was on the receiving end of a vicious helmet to helmet. I’m sure the intention was to cripple Brennen so he couldn’t stand up straight. Just like Locker, Brennen could have been instantly paralyzed or even killed.

How stupid does this seem for a college sport to potentially kill its players? The NCAA needs to take its feet off the counter, stop counting how much money its empire generates, and address this issue with authority. The NCAA has no problem being a big nuisance over small things, how about we address the bigger issue of our players’ safety?

If the NCAA ever had to open their books as a non-profit corporation and reveal how much money they make for themselves, their faces would be redder than the sea of ​​red among Nebraska fans at a Cornhusker football game.

It almost goes without saying that I was disappointed that Washington lost on the road to Oregon State, lost a chance at a bowl game and is now facing its 4th straight losing season.

The unnecessary, flagrant helmet-to-helmet shot on Jake Locker only added to Washington’s struggle to turn its program around.

Instead of calling for the head of coach Ty Willingham and the heads of his coaching staff in Washington, how about saving Locker’s head and the head of every other player who suffered needlessly from a negligent, flagrant helmet-to-helmet hit?

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

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