Tag Archives: Bleacher Report

Protecting It’s Players or “Protecting the Shield”

by Nicholas Muhl

“We’ll take a quick break while the trainers tend to the player down.” I have never heard this statement made by football broadcasters more than this National Football League season. As of last week, according to official NFL statistics, 15 percent of NFL players had suffered some type of injury through the first two weeks of the season.

15 percent. That’s 234 players.

If you want to take a look at it another way, NFL teams can have an active roster of 53 players. That means that over four full active NFL rosters had suffered an injury out of 32 total NFL teams. Worse than you thought, right?

This past weekend was highlighted by even more injuries, specifically Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who suffered an MCL sprain and bone bruise to his left knee. He joins starting quarterbacks Drew Brees (Saints), Tony Romo (Cowboys) and Jay Cutler (Bears) on a growing list of high profile NFL players who have suffered serious injuries this season.

A lot of sports media coverage has been highlighting these individual NFL injuries, specifically the quarterbacks ones, but coverage of the overall issue seems to be lacking. A simple google search of “15 percent of NFL players hurt” will provide you with very limited results. Outside thinkprogress.org and one Bleacher Report article, the only coverage of this issue seems to be on the many low profile sports blogs. ESPN and other major sports media outlets continue to shy away from serious dialogue about the growing injury problem in the NFL. They rather spend most of their time discussing how long players will be out and how it effects our fantasy football lineups.

The NFL continues to damage control as it faces more and more questions about the safety of it’s players and medical care after their careers have ended. According to a report released by Frontline earlier this month,  87 of 91 deceased former NFL players that were included in their study tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The leading cause for CTE is repetitive trauma to the head. This report comes just a few weeks after the trailer of the new movie Concussion, which stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu. A doctor who challenged the NFL’s policy’s and medical treatment of players, specifically after retirement, when he discovered CTE in the brains of several NFL players.

Despite new medical research being done everyday and legal action being taken against the NFL, it seems that the major media still is shying away from the issue. Whether its because the NFL is working to repairs its image in cooperation with the media or because major media decides fantasy football and other coverage brings in better ratings, something needs to change. The media needs to begin asking the question, is the NFL and commisioner Roger Goodell truly doing everything in their power to protect it’s players? Or are they more concerned with “protecting the shield.”

A Decline in College Basketball?

By Kaleb Page

April 14, 2015

As this edition of the college basketball season comes to a close, it is time to reflect back on what we all saw.

I guess we should start off by giving a round of applause to the Duke Blue Devils for taking down a tough Wisconsin squad; a squad that just came off a thrilling win over the nearly untouchable Kentucky Wildcats. At the same time it is important to look at the collective product of college basketball.

To be honest it was a sore sight to watch this season. Between free throw shooting, offensive production and fluidity; this season was rough.

For awhile now Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been all over this subject and a proponent of changing a lot of aspects to rules involving college basketball. He even went as far to say the D-League should be an introductory step before the NBA (possibly eliminating the one and done rules).

Now would I go that route; not necessarily. I think the rule of just one year is bad for college basketball. It should be similar to how it once was with if you are good enough to go you go, but this time players should have an evaluation period so they don’t make the mistake of coming out of high school when they shouldn’t. This one and done culture is not good for the collegiate game.

It cheapens the product because not only is it just delaying the inevitable but it is possibly taking away spots from kids that have the talent to go to a Kentucky or Kansas; kids that need to be and want to be there for multiple years. It will only help the college game and NBA game by letting those talented guys in right away, and then allowing guys who want to build in college the chance to do so.

In Cuban’s interview on Bleacher Report, he went on to list his new list of changes to the game. His first order of business was bringing down the shot clock closer to what the NBA has.

“If they want to keep kids in school and keep them from being pro players, they’re doing it the exact right way by having the 35-second shot clock and having the game look and officiated the way it is.” -Mark Cuban

With the scoring of college basketball being the lowest its been since the pre-shot clock era (Grantland Sports), Cuban’s quotes above and below make a lot of sense. Cuban’s take on tempo with games and how offense is in college, is something I look at when watching college basketball (not as extreme as him though).

“It’s horrible. It’s ridiculous. It’s worse than high school. You’ve got 20 to 25 seconds of passing on the perimeter and then somebody goes and tries to make a play and do something stupid, and scoring’s gone down.” -Mark Cuban

Will the NCAA partner with the NBA to make these changes and bring basketball standards to a better level? Only time will tell.

Why should the NCAA feel rushed when they have a 35 second shot clock to work with.