Unnecessary Roughness and Inevitable Injuries

The game of football can be traced back to around1892.^1  American football has always been aggressive and physical which adds to the entertainment component of this sport.   Over the years, the issue of unnecessary roughness and how hard is too hard has come into the forefront of player safety.
Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 in the NFL Rulebook discusses the situations which qualify as unnecessary roughness and are punishable by penalties, fines or game “disqualification”.  Most of the subsections in this rule describe hits that are made while a player is in the air mid catch, blatant hits to the head, neck or face mask all of which make sense and promote player safety.   There have been issues of players continuously hitting hard which makes all the sense in the world to punish those individuals. For example, when you think of “unnecessary roughness” James Harrison pops into mind.  This Steelers linebacker is known for his rough style of playing and his ability to knock a player down.   This is a player whom is known for being called for this penalty which is well-earned. but there are definitely instances in which a player did not blatantly or intentionally commit “unnecessary roughness.”  So why are the Officials making so many calls? According to Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 it states that when an Official is in doubt to always make the “Unneccessary Roughness” call. So basically it is their job and who would want to risk not making a controversial call and jeopardizing their fab job being an NFL official. Regardless of the rule football is an aggressive contact sport which is partly what gives it the appeal that it has maintained over the last 100+ years.  For the Officials to call every hit for unnecessary roughness creates delay and would take away from the game and what it stands for.  I know it is their job but if you don’t want to man up and get hit or play hard, then don’t sign up with the big boys–> plain and simple.

The game is called FOOTBALL people! There are going to be inevitable injuries despite the padding and rules. This sports is rough and the players are taught to aim low and hit hard it’s the purpose of the game.

With that being said the aging Pittsburgh Steelers defensive injuries have grown from the first game and could continue to affect them going forward. Pittsburgh will play the Cardinals on Sunday and in week 8  take on the Patriots at Heinz field.  This game against Arizona should be relatively easy but all that glitters is not gold. Left guard Kemoeatu and the right tackle Gilbert are no longer listed on the   and will most likely be playing on Sunday as well.  However, Harrison, Smith, Hampton and Hoke have both not practiced and are still listed as injured. Due to the lack of nose tackles, Mr. McLendon will be making his NFL career start against the Cardinals.  Even though Wallace has not practiced he is expected to be playing this week.  After suffering a head injury in the fourth quarter against the Titans, Troy Polamalu will be playing this Sunday after passing the concussion test.  Go Steelers! I can taste a 5-2 record for this Steel town!

^1“NFL:America’s Choice” (PDF). National Football League. 2007. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-15.


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