Chicago Sun-Times

Richard Dent on big hits: "That's what people come pay to see"

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Former Bears defensive end Richard Dent says fans enjoy professional football for the big hits and that players understand the risks when they take the field.

"That's what people pay to see," Dent said on the "Mully & Hanley Show" on The Score. "They didn't come to see you play rugby or kickball."

Dent's solution?

"Just go ahead and give the guys insurance the rest of their lives and quit worrying about it," he said. "Everybody that goes out and plays understands what you have to gain and what you have to lose.

"No one is forcing anybody to play football. [You're] making millions of bucks for that reason."

Head injuries are a hot-button topic as numerous players have suffered concussions this season already, including two Bears. Quarterback Jay Cutler missed the game against the Carolina Panthers because of a concussion in the first half against the New York Giants.

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12 Comments

Thank you Richard! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Newsflash! Football is a violent, physical sport.

If Goodell and his legion of brain stems walking around in suits were really so concerned about nasty injuries such as concussions or broken bones then they would put an end to the NFL. Because I would love to have someone convince me how 200-300 lb athletic freaks running full speed at one another or collectively jumping into a massive pile of humanity for a loose ball will ever be "safe."

Just this weekend we had the following:

-The Dunta Robinson/DeSean Jackson collision.
The hit was ding, ding, ding! LEGAL! But Jackson was diagnosed with a severe concussion anyhow.

-James Harrison's crushing hits on Cribbs and Massaquoi.
No flags thrown. Cribbs seemed to have lowered his head as he was bracing for impact that led to Harrison's helmet hitting his.

-Garrard and Young going down on Monday Night
Garrard was concussed on a legal hit. Young got caught in a pile and had his leg twisted. Again, nothing dirty there.

Seeing Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison (of all people) rationalize that the NFL now needs to suspend players for illegal hits is mind blowing. Rodney Harrison the player would walk up to Rodney Harrison the analyst and punch his face in.

This call for suspensions seems to be a knee jerk reaction by some people. Again, this is football. A dangerous sport just like boxing and hockey. I'm all for penalties against facemasks and helmet-to-helmet hits but sometimes they just happen in the game because football is fast-paced and physical. I already think the fines are ridiculous, suspensions...I think I might actually be turned off from watching the NFL.

"No one is forcing anybody to play football. [You're] making millions of bucks for that reason."

Yeah, that's right. If current NFL players are so worried about getting an injury that could affect their current and/or future well-being then they should quit now and apply for a job outside of the professional sports world. They did graduate fom college; they do have degrees in some field. It's risk vs. reward. The players have that choice to make. No one has a gun to their head.

.....if the quarterback's slow he's gonna get bent.....

Thank you Richard Dent for talking sense! Now if you could just go out and shut up the Politically correct Freaks who are ruining this sport.

Football is a violent game. There are men who put themselves in harms way logging, fishing and mining every day who make a lot less money than NFL players. To suggest a rule change in response to a few hits during one weekend of play is ridiculous.

You know what is messed up, people are all worried about Pro Football players who get a ton of money to play a fun but violent game and are very well informed about the risks.

On the other hand truck drivers have a shorter life expectancy then football players, often suffer from kidney and liver problems. Have a yearly skyrocketing death toll, and make about 35 thousand a year. Yet nobody is worried about them.

No the poor million dollar babies need to be protected and everyone else sucks. Basically it's lets protect the rich and F### everyone else.

Why do you think Players try to get as much money upfront and guaranteed/ Cause they know it can be over in the blink of an eye.

What next are we to feel bad for MMA fighters and change that sport by not allowing closed fists, submissions, takedowns, or kicks.

When you where a kid and you did stupid stuff, you know the stuff that got you in trouble if your Mom found out but your dad laughed off. The stuff that has left those fun little scares on your body. The stuff you new even when you where 10 would either end really cool or end with you in the emergency room. We spend are whole life taking risks. It's not like we don't know the risks, people have a right to live their lives. If your not breaking the law then you have nothing to worry about.

We jump out of planes, cliff dive, free dive, scuba dive, wrestle, box, mma, ma, etc. for fun. WTF.

Football is violent and scary boo hoooo. What next instead of a real game the players sit down in front of an X-Box? Great 10 years from now I can watch Mike lead the Bears team Wii to the Super Bowl. How fun.

I have a theory. It may be idiotic, but here it is.

I have the entire 1985 Bears season on DVD. I watch it once per year leading up to the present season (yes, I am a dork). The rules 25 years ago were different.

The biggest difference I see, is the corner touching the receiver rule. Back then, the corner could ride the receiver all the way down field. Couldn't grab or hold, but much more contact was tolerated according to the rules. This slowed down the receiver of course. So the speeds down the field were slower. Also, most of the tackles were just above the waste, or just below the waste. The defense was trained to get players to the ground. Taking out his legs was the easiest way. There were much more of these types of tackles back then.

Now, you cannot touch a receiver downfield. If there is a fight for the ball, pass interference is flagged mostly on the defender. The receivers are allowed to run wild and fast. The rules have forced opposing defenses to play spread out. This means more opportunites for big collisions.

The style of football back made teams run the ball more. The rules nowadays have not just encouraged, but forced teams to pass more. They are. The pass play always involves more risk of a violent collision because of the speed.

I think the rules of today's game are partly to blame for today's increase in helmet to helmet collision due to forcing more speed into the game.

I don't know all the stats of how many injuries per year, or of what type of injuries there are per year. But I am willing to bet the there are the same amount of injuries now as there were back then. I am also willing to bet that there are more concussions now, than there were back then.

Someone look into this for me because I am too lazy.

Not half bad Ryan. The league wanted a passing game and they got it. You can also point to the fact that like you said offenses are spreading the ball out more and think it's ok to attack the middle of the field more. Which you see a large amount of the big hits.

You also don't want to forget ESPN, everyone likes the highlight hit. And everyone wants to be on ESPN because it equals more money.

Fewer passes and more runs would equal fewer hits and fewer chances to make the big hit. They made the mess and can't figure out the proble which is right in front of them.

You don't pay to see Rugby? Hmm, when was the last time you watched Rugby? Would love to see a few NFL players try to play rugby and see how you go - oh, gotta leave the helmet and pads on the sidelines. Pansies. Play a real contact sport and leave all your protective equipment at home.

The WHOLE point in all of this boils down to...safety....NO....it's $$$$...Ticket sales, club box rentals, television rights, and most importantly, advertising revenue is what drives all of this. When the NFL started marketing the player more than the game 25 years ago, they needed to protect said players. 90% of those playmakers and "flashbulb" icons are on the offensive side of the ball. True, there is the occasional defensive player that gets highlighted when a game is being promoted {Urlacher, R. Lewis, and Troy P.} but for the most part it is the QB with an occasional sprinkling of RB, & WR.

The NFL is under extreme pressure to keep the Mannings, Brady's, Johnsons, Jacksons, and the rest of the ESPN highlight regulars on the field. How to you think the big shots at Proctor & Gamble, or Coca-Cola, felt after dishing out millions of dollars for advertisement during Patriots games only to find out that the biggest star of those games was going to miss 15 of the 16 games that year and all of the playoffs? When Fox, CBS, ESPN, or NBC plays the jacked up promo music for the upcoming game and the viewer sits on his butt watching it, they're banking that the person continues to sit when the shaving cream, pop, fast food, etc. commercial comes on directly afterwards.

As long as there are 100 million dollar + contracts and the majority of the money being paid comes from T.V. revenue and luxury box rentals, then you're going to have rule enforcement like this. What screws up the game are hits like the one on DeSean Jackson. I see one idiot above called it a legal hit? You can't lead with the crown of your helmet, dufus. It's not like the soft padded one you wear. If you can't see what you're hitting, then you're doing it wrong. The guy that was lucky was Robinson. He's luicky he didn't get a compressed vertebrae injury. The Merriweather hit was moronic as well. He launches himself AND leads with the helmet. Genius. I don't see the NFL complaining about the hit that Peppers put on Stafford or the block that Bennett put on the punter the other day. Those were, by evidence, "devestating" hits. And it's not like this should be any surprise to anyone, the league has been moving this way for years.

I have the same DVD set, Ryan. Brings back old memories.

"What screws up the game are hits like the one on DeSean Jackson. I see one idiot above called it a legal hit? You can't lead with the crown of your helmet, dufus." -GearHeadToy

"For Dunta Robinson to get fined $50,000 for making a great football play is kind of unreal, unheard of." -Chris Harris, NFL Safety

Hmm, looks like Gear-in-the-Headlights is once again proving that he has no idea what he is talking about. Show me one analyst, player or writer who thinks the Robinson/Jackson collision was illegal and I'll show you twenty expert sources who think otherwise.

And yes, I'll even allow you to quote sources from all those women's blogs you hang out at like iVillage.

Also it's funny how you come to the conclusion that these stricter penalties are meant to keep the superstar players from missing game time when suspensions on defensive players, such as hard hitting superstars like Lewis and Dawkins, means they will be missing game time. Thanks for your brilliance on that one. Wowzers.

Mikey,

There you go again clown. How many of these back and forths have we had where your facts back up your argument? The answer would be none. Wow, you're going off of what? The guys at the NFL Network? Yeah, when's the last time they took a stand on anything. The problem with most of the analysts is that they're afraid to take a stand because they might be construed as:

A. Racist...{why don't you ever pick on a black athlete?..You see this topic being brought up on Sportscenter, Ist and 10, and Outside The Lines on occasion}

B. Painting the player in a bad light. In this case being a dirty player.

I don't care what the analysts/experts say because I saw the replay, and just now, after reading Mike Smith's quote, went back and saw it again. I have read that he "led with his shoulder." Huh? it wasn't his shoulder that went between the sturnum and chin strap of Jackson. It was his helmet. And then Mike Smith says "We all know Dunta," Smith said during his Monday press conference. "He's been in this league a long time. He's a guy who plays the game very hard. That was a bang-bang play in terms of the contact. I know from my vantage point it looked like there was no helmet-to-helmet contact, but it was a bang-bang play. I am glad that both those guys are going to be all right, but it was a big-time hit."....Well, which is it, Coach? If there wasn't helmet to helmet contact where did the concussion come from? I can see laying on the ground with the wind knocked out of you, but to stand up and have that "where the !@#$ am I" look on your face like Robinson had is the result from a helmet to helmet hit. I am not saying it's a dirty hit, but you are taught from Pee Wee football throughout H.S. to hit the following way: Head up, see what you're hitting, roll your shoulders and wrap up.

It's obvious, Mikey, that we here on the blog site are going to have to pitch in together and get you "Hooked on Phonics" for Christmas. Or maybe they have the "Rosetta Stone" converting idiocy to English. You either don't understand agruments, or are just plain too ignorant to comprehend what others are talking about. In all of the analysis and video that was shown over the last 2 days, where were the videos of Ray Lewis and/or Dawkins? I didn't see any. Why? Because they are hard nosed, tough tacklers staying within the framework of the rules. Not that they haven't been fined or flagged, but I don't remember them leading with their helmets. And getting back to the argument. Given the choice of having Ray Lewis on the field {only using him since you brought him up} or Manning, the NFL takes Manning, Brady, Romo, Adrian Peterson every time. And look at the fine. Peppers takes a shot to the head of Stafford, less than 10 grand. Zombo to Cutler, same thing. I think it was $7500. This thing was 5-6X more than their fines.

Funny, Mikey...I guess you just came out of the closet/bag or where ever guys like you come from. I can't speak for anyone else on this site, but I have never heard of..what is it?.."Ivillage"? Interesting. And "Wowzers"? Do you also wear a hand bag when you and your mother go shopping every Friday night?

I am not sure if any of you watched PTI earlier today, but they had the guy that was the head of officiating on for the 5 minute part of the program. He pretty much agreed with what Gear said earlier. It's all about keeping the money makers on the field.

Gearhead,
I agree with you to an extent, but Robinson didn't lead with his helmet although he did connect with it. And he did have the crown of his helmet exposed during the hit. And I have seen the hit at least 5X from a variety of angles. in my opinion, the worst hit of the weekend was the one on Heap. That safety launched himself & had his head down. And if i can expound on one point. This isn't new. When Chuck Cecil was with the Cardinals he was being fined heavily for torpedo style hits.

The NFL is on a slippery slope here. They probably won't be playing next year and anything they do to upset the fan base even further may have long range effects on viewing and attendance. It will be interesting to say the least.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on October 19, 2010 10:23 AM.

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