Imagine, if you will, a cool Saturday morning in the fall. You wake up, [~*~*~*~TURN YOUR SWAG ON~*~*~*~*~], crack open a FourLoko and hop in the shower. You throw on your ceremonial war-rags. You drink another FourLoko. Somebody hands you a Jeffrey. You're in the zone.
Now it's time to head to the arena, where you will see how the gladiators from your geographical region stack up against gladiators from another geographical region. You will cheer, you will scream, you will cry, you will fret -- all in the course of a three hour affair. Hopefully it's not your gladiators's turn to be eviscerated in front of 100,000. If it is, no worries, there will always be an unlimited stream of young men willing to trade their livelihood for a chance at glory and your entertainment.
The days of players dying in the midsts of playing football seem to be over; though they're still at risk for for paralyzation. Thankfully for the People Smoking Jefferies, athletes for the most part are like the dogs in Where the Red Fern Grows; they have the courtesy to drag their soon-to-be-carcasses into the wilderness to die alone without burdening anybody with their pity story.
Make no mistake, I'm not different. I remember crying like the 12-year old bitch I was after reading Where the Red Fern Grows, but I couldn't tell you the names of the dogs. I guess I could Google them, but their exhumed bones have already served their part in my argument that's probably built on fallacious grounds. Such is life in the labyrinth of drug-fueled blazes which is my mind.
Football, by definition, is grizzly in nature. Like those who make a living by climbing into a steel cage and maiming other people, it takes a special breed to survive on the gridiron long enough to harvest robust bags of money from it. If the NCAA doesn't plan on paying their money-generating players, then the NCAA should be doing all it can to protect the gladiators they're banking off of.
When I lived in Montana, I had a roommate who happened to be the second string running back of the Montana Grizzlies, a D-1AA powerhouse. He would play 15-20 snaps a game. He could barely walk on Sunday mornings. Have you ever seen a six foot, 240 lbs. dude walk around like he's an 80-year old riddled with Parkinson's? It's somewhat terrifying.
That's why I'm a fan of the NCAA's kick-off/touchback rules, but like everything with the NCAA, it wasn't enough. Why even have kick-offs? Strength and Conditioning coaches are basically mad scientists these days. Players are walking merchants of destruction. Why can't the magic diamond be placed at the 25 yard line after a score?
Come to think, why the hell do we even have extra points? Just make a touchdown worth seven points.
I know this will touch a tangent with the "AWWWWW MAN, THIS HERE IS FOOTBAW, GET THAT SOFTY BULLSHIT OUT OF HERE" crowd. Fortunately for those people, nobody is coming after their Busch Light or shitty Toby Keith songs. They're also not the ones who will be dead before 50 or paralyzed like Eric LeGrand.
It's kind of like how I don't need a scientist to tell me Mankind is fucking this planet up; I don't need a doctor or Malcolm Gladwell posturing as a doctor to tell me football is degrading to the human body. I lived with it. I saw it first hand.
Everybody has had a hand in frothing the brutality in football. However, as the scientific evidence continues to mount, I think it's high time we've examined every single rule in the game and assessed the risk-reward involved with some of these plays.
It would suck to lose the "OOOO-H-I-O" kick-off banger, because it's probably the only time the Ohio State fans have showed any originality en masse. However, when you envision yourself as Julius Caesar commencing the gladiatorial games, it kind of loses its luster. Caesar was a prick, so let's not try to be like him.