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Post 23 Jul 2014, 4:25 pm

I'm not a rugby fan, but I know enough about it to say that this is true. It's a different sport though. It's quite rare to get a head-on collision in rugby. In NFL the goal is to advance by 10 yards to set up another play, so it's in the interests of the ball carrier to drill down to sneak an extra yard or two (and in the interests of the defensive team to throw everything into stopping them). In rugby it's different. They tend to offload the ball before they get tackled, or if they can't do that then they have to try and position their body so that the ball can be released from the ruck to one of their own team after they're brought down to prevent losing possession. This means that you don't get so many clashes of heads.

Also, some of the hits you get in NFL games are much bigger than what you see in rugby. The legality of the forward pass means you get situations where a receiver catches the ball in mid air and is then slammed to the ground from a height of about 8 feet. That never happens in rugby, where almost all passes are lateral and slightly backwards.
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Post 23 Jul 2014, 5:21 pm

Sassenach wrote:Also, some of the hits you get in NFL games are much bigger than what you see in rugby. The legality of the forward pass means you get situations where a receiver catches the ball in mid air and is then slammed to the ground from a height of about 8 feet. That never happens in rugby, where almost all passes are lateral and slightly backwards.


Good point.

This is an excerpt from the Malcolm Gladwell article George posted (which was very well-written, as usual):

Football faced a version of this question a hundred years ago, after a series of ugly incidents. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt called an emergency summit at the White House, alarmed, as the historian John Sayle Watterson writes, “that the brutality of the prize ring had invaded college football and might end up destroying it.” Columbia University dropped the sport entirely. A professor at the University of Chicago called it a “boy-killing, man-mutilating, money-making, education-prostituting, gladiatorial sport.” In December of 1905, the presidents of twelve prominent colleges met in New York and came within one vote of abolishing the game. But the main objection at the time was to a style of play—densely and dangerously packed offensive strategies—that, it turns out, could be largely corrected with rule changes, like the legalization of the forward pass and the doubling of the first-down distance from five yards to ten. Today, when we consider subtler and more insidious forms of injury, it’s far from clear whether the problem is the style of play or the play itself.


Somewhat ironically, the rule changes they made back then, doubling the first-down distance and legalizing the forward pass, may have opened up the game, but have led to a lot of the big, open-field hits we see now.
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Post 24 Jul 2014, 8:28 am

American Football and Rugby are both brutal sports but brutal in very different ways. American football has an emphasis on direct high speed, full contact with breaks between that allow (slight) recuperation to do it again and again.

Protective gear is not the issue so much as the helmet, this one item seems to cause the most damage. Yes it protects one from a lot of minor damage, but aside from legs sprains/breaks, ACL damage and the like (some done by helmets as well) the helmet causes maybe the most damage. My team, the Buffalo Bills had a player (Mark Kelso) that suffered too many concussions and he wore a goofy padded helmet, it was like he had a big nerf ball surrounding the helmet and from what I understand, it was pretty effective. We used to call him "Gazoo" because it reminded us of the Flintstones character

his helmet:
Image

Gazoo:
Image

My guess is it's just not "cool" to wear something like this? (and calling him Gazoo only perpetuates that sort of attitude) I bet we see something like this being used within the next few years however!
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Post 24 Jul 2014, 1:42 pm

Reminds me of the protective baseball cap for pitchers. Only one player wears it and I think vanity has a lot to do with it.

Alex Torres in his cap.

Image
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Post 02 Aug 2014, 6:09 am

SLOTerp wrote:Reminds me of the protective baseball cap for pitchers. Only one player wears it and I think vanity has a lot to do with it.

Alex Torres in his cap.

After a couple of days spent around (but not in) Petco Park when they were playing the Mets, and with this display of sartorial elegance, I will now adopt the Padres as my baseball team.
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Post 02 Aug 2014, 6:16 am

I think that people are taking sport safety much more seriously than they used to. When I was a kid we'd play cricket with a real (wood wrapped in leather) ball but no padding whatsoever. It soon learned you how to avoind getting smashed in the shins! But my mate Ghulam was a pretty fast bowler so it is just as well he was accurate, too.
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Post 02 Aug 2014, 7:12 am

danivon wrote:
SLOTerp wrote:Reminds me of the protective baseball cap for pitchers. Only one player wears it and I think vanity has a lot to do with it.

Alex Torres in his cap.

After a couple of days spent around (but not in) Petco Park when they were playing the Mets, and with this display of sartorial elegance, I will now adopt the Padres as my baseball team.



Good luck with that...better get used to losing!
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Post 03 Aug 2014, 11:59 pm

theshrizzz wrote:
Good luck with that...better get used to losing!
The football club I support got relegated, my nation was out of the World Cup after 2 games, and in other sports England / Britain / UK have often under performed.

I think I can deal with losses by a rounders team.
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Post 25 May 2015, 11:55 am

Man, o man, was I ever wrong.

I hate that MLS has playoffs. I love the European system!

Championship Sunday was incredible--even though Chelsea had already won.

Fighting off relegation . . . the pressure! The pride! Amazing.

I so wish we did that with some of our sports. Of course, we'd need many more leagues to do that with "soccer," but we could use it with basketball, football, etc.
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Post 26 May 2015, 7:10 am

Doctor Fate wrote:Man, o man, was I ever wrong.

I hate that MLS has playoffs. I love the European system!

Championship Sunday was incredible--even though Chelsea had already won.

Fighting off relegation . . . the pressure! The pride! Amazing.

I so wish we did that with some of our sports. Of course, we'd need many more leagues to do that with "soccer," but we could use it with basketball, football, etc.


It'll never happen, but it would make for some great drama.

Could you imagine AAA teams in baseball moving up and big league squads getting bumped? It would certainly solve the issue of "tanking" in the NBA...

I've always thought this would be great.
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Post 26 May 2015, 8:20 am

theshrizzz wrote:
Doctor Fate wrote:Man, o man, was I ever wrong.

I hate that MLS has playoffs. I love the European system!

Championship Sunday was incredible--even though Chelsea had already won.

Fighting off relegation . . . the pressure! The pride! Amazing.

I so wish we did that with some of our sports. Of course, we'd need many more leagues to do that with "soccer," but we could use it with basketball, football, etc.


It'll never happen, but it would make for some great drama.

Could you imagine AAA teams in baseball moving up and big league squads getting bumped? It would certainly solve the issue of "tanking" in the NBA...

I've always thought this would be great.


Baseball and Basketball could be done. It would take some deeper pockets at the AAA level, but it would take a rules change first.

TV would never allow it, but I think it would be terrific.
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Post 26 May 2015, 8:31 am

The premise is wonderful but simply could not work in our pro sports franchises. Here it's all about the almighty dollar. Let's use baseball and where I live as an example.
First off the whole "farm system" would be gone. The major league team owns the rights to the players in their farm system, if relegation existed, that simply could not be?

Let's assume we can work around those issues
Right now the major league teams play in the larger cities and have larger stadiums and all sorts of "other" issues. The past few years the Phillies have done poorly relegation would see one of the largest cities in the country with a fairly good fan base despite their current quality drop a level. The fan base would of course also drop. Now you have this big stadium hardly inhabited until they manage to get better (IF they get better). Meanwhile a team like the Rochester Redwings who play in a small market and have a nice but small stadium move to the big leagues. The money lost on having a small stadium would be lost by the visiting teams as well. It's just not going to work here but yeah, it's a very cool idea in principle!
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Post 26 May 2015, 11:36 am

Doctor Fate wrote:TV would never allow it, but I think it would be terrific.
Why not? It would provide not only the drama of the final days of a campaign and teams managing to "escape" the drop, but then the following season the prospect of new underdogs coming in to take on the big guys.

But yeah, the franchise and farming systems, as well as entrenched moneyed interests will stop it. And they sell the thing to the TV companies.
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Post 26 May 2015, 11:45 am

and imagine losing say the Philadelphia market while picking up say Syracuse NY? That aint gonna go over too well with ad dollars!
The almighty dollar rules all over here.
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Post 26 May 2015, 11:56 am

The franchising system and the closed shop is what allows things like the draft and relatively equal revenue sharing, which ultimately means that US sports leagues are much more competitive than their European equivalents. If you had promotion and relegation it would be difficult to maintain these things, so the whole nature of your professional sports operation would fundamentally alter. This might be a good thing, but equally it might be a disaster. Certainly it would need to be thought about in a lot more depth before taking the plunge.