NFL Hall of Famer Lem Barney had some very interesting comments recently about the NFL.
When speaking on a panel that many would have thought would have promoted football, (as he was appearing with Michigan Coach Brady Hoke and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio) Barmey said that football is a growingly deadly game and he wishes he never played it, instead opting for a career as a truck driver or cab driver.
Barney also believes the game will lose its fans within 10 to 20 years.
He later apologized, not for what he said, but for the forum in which he said it. I don’t particularly agree with Barney that football is becoming more dangerous. It is definitely becoming less dangerous. However, the game will be at risk when it crosses the line of removing so much danger that it loses the violence that people have come to love and expect.
“Safe football” is an oxymoron. It just isn’t realistic. It is a violent sport. It is why the game has become the most popular sport in America.
The more violence they eliminate, I believe ultimately they will diminish the fan base.
By the way, there may be no other choice because as time passes, we realize a lot of the forefathers of the NFL are paying an unbearable price. The violence of football made it popular. The reduction of violence may be its demise.