RedEye

Bostic fine puts the hype in NFL hypocrisy

The NFL’s web site highlighted Jon Bostic’s hit on San Diego wide receiver Mike Willie as “spectacular.’’

Then the NFL fined the Bears rookie $21,000 for the hit.

You know, business as usual.

The NFL’s web site glorified the kind of hit that made football America’s obsession, when “Sharknado’’ isn’t on, I mean. The NFL has been built on a foundation of massive hits and the league’s web site has followed other media outlets in offering home-page links to such “spectacular’’ video clips.

The NFL’s home office, in the meantime, financially punished an unflagged hit after spending hours reviewing video to determine the mistake made by a player who had nanoseconds to decide.

Yep, hypocritical business as usual.

This is what happens when a sport that is intrinsically violent and gets sold as intrinsically violent and becomes a multi-billion-dollar business because of that intrinsic violence (and the point spread) is fearful of a jury verdict.

The NFL is named in a class-action lawsuit for being, well, the NFL. The NFL is lamely responding to charges it sat on evidence that its game causes concussions and brain injuries. There’s more. There’s always more when you’re talking billable hours.

But the point is, the NFL looks like it is trying to deodorize a potentially expensive charge of conspiracy by laughably adding its own OSHA rules going forward. You can’t put Band-Aids on internal injuries. You can’t say, “Presto, all our new rules make the past all better.’’

Yes, Bostic was appropriately punished under a strict interpretation of a rule, but it’s one of many rules conjured up seemingly by NFL lawyers and seemingly meant to sucker fans and potential jurors into believing the league is protecting players.

What. A. Crock.

You cannot protect NFL players and still have the NFL. Again, the game intrinsically runs counter to anything close to that preposterous concept. You can’t make a violent game safe, short of playing two-hand-touch or flag, as is often suggested. The NFL’s entire act smells disingenuous.

You will never eliminate brain damage from the NFL as long as players line up a foot from one another and immediately slam into each other. I mean, what’s the NFL’s signature sound? The crack of helmets, that’s what. Anybody who still has a brain, meaning those who never played the game, will tell you there is a scrambling of every offensive and defensive lineman’s brain on every snap.

You also will never eliminate brain damage as long as players are ordered to physically bring down the opponent with the ball. These collisions -- and the NFL is a collision sport, believe me -- occur at a higher speed with both tacklers and ball-carriers ducking their heads. It’s an act as instinctive as advertising those big hits to sell the game.

So there you go, hypocrisy and deceit.

Oh, and don’t forget the NFL is so concerned about player safety that it wants to add two more regular season games of hits, collisions and brain damage at players’ greatest intensity. Yep, business as usual with Roger Goodell looking like the Dumbledore of the NFL’s Clown College.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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