Faced by the recently elevated attention given to the dangers of football and the grave hardships faced by NFLretirees, Roger Goodell has suspended concussions for the first 8 games of the season.
The suspension, which some have hailed as strong and decisive, and others as dementedly unrealistic, marks the first time the commissioner has truly tried to address a problem that has plagued the sport since it's beginning. Goodell, unwavering as ever, issued a statement regarding the controversial decision.
"It is now readily apparent that concussions are a serious problem in the NFL. Despite many attempts by myself, the players union, and the media to talk about concussions, concussions have gone on ignoring the Sportscenter specials, the Outside the Lineses, and persisted in being quite terrible. It is clear to me now that the only course of action is to suspend concussions for the first half of the season."
"It's about time," said Austin Collie, the Colts' white receiver whose career has been riddled with concussions. "Now I can finally play how I want-- all heart, head down, more crossing patterns." Others, however, are more skeptical.
"I don't think he should do that," said one concerned fan who, ironically, lacked any medical credentials to back up his statement. "The league is going to have to address this one head on," the fan concluded, quite ignorantly.
As players and fans react to the decision with a mix of support, resolve and utter confusion, concussions have remained eerily quiet, perhaps serving their suspension with professionalism, perhaps because teams are only running non-contact mini-camps at the moment. The true non-impact of the suspension remains to be seen.
When posed with the possibility that his solution was unrealistic, that one can not suspend a syndrome, and that the league was skirting the root of the problem, Goodell responded, "Is there any better way to address an issue than to suspend it? I suppose I could suspend concussions for longer, but come on, this is football."
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