[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="575" caption="Yup, that left leg is broken. McCaffrey should have worn NIKE PRO COMBAT knee pads."][/caption]
Ed McCaffrey is rolling in his grave right now after the NFL announced it's intentions to require players to wear knee and thigh pads in NFL games in 2013. What...he isn't dead? I am shocked! He played in the NFL for 13 years without knee and thigh pads and didn't die from knee bruises and thigh injuries? Interesting. I thought with the recent negative press of retired players dying with suspected connections to their NFL careers and injuries suffered within that career, that the NFL would focus all of their attention on potential cures for what ails them.
No, it seems that the NFL is focusing on knee bruises and thigh injuries. Not those concussion things that actually matter. Even though knee and thigh pads aren't all that sexy, Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay is passionate about the new rule. McKay gave this extremely convincing quote today, "There's no downside, they have to add some sort of protection," Said McKay. "In our football system, everyone wears them up to our game (NFL). Common sense tells you it has to be safer for (protection against) thigh injuries and knee bruises. If players have worn it in Pop Warner, high school and college ... from a safety standpoint it is time to put it back in."
If the NFL is taking it's rules from Pop Warner, I've got a few other rules that should be instituted for the grown ups in the NFL:
- Every game there will be a rotation on whose mom is to provide juice boxes for after the game. (Looking at you Eagles, Donovan McNabb's mom provided you all with Campbell's soup for all those years and he isn't there any more. So it is time to talk to all of your mom's and let them know they will have to pick up the slack. Nnamdi! Drop the "sloppy joe" that Michael Vick's mom made! That ain't beef me boy! That's left over pit bull! He has to get rid of the bodies some how!- This has been Ben's 2 Years Too Late Joke of the Week! Brought to you by the Tonight Show with Jay Leno! Want more crappy jokes? Tune in tonight at 10:35 central on NBC!)
- Play stops if any player is crying, no matter if there was a penalty committed or not.
- It is the coaches responsibility to tie all player's shoes.
- Potty breaks don't count against team time outs.
Honestly though, what is the NFL accomplishing with this ruling? There has to be something else behind this, I just don't see this being purely a player safety issue. I know I hear ya, "GASP! THE NFL HAS ULTERIOR MOTIVES?!?!?!"
My guess? Since Nike took over the jerseys for the NFL from Reebok this year. Nike also has their padding system "Pro Combat", with the integrated football pants featuring thigh pads and knee pads. So, per usual with the NFL, money is behind this move. Idea being obviously, force all the stars to wear Pro Combat, and Nike is happy, and the NFL gets the green stuff.
Is it a big issue? No. As McKay said, it really should help with knee and thigh bruises. So in 2014 finger nail pads can be instituted as well, because they will probably also help to reduce broken nails. Just make sure the pads are big enough to stick a Nike Swoosh on them.
This is the real issue I have with this announcement by the NFL, major injuries will probably/likely not be reduced at all from this move. So it then is worthless when the NFL needs to do everything they can to improve their helmets in order to reduce concussions. That should be the number one priority until the NFL and the players are satisfied. Until then, lame attempts like this to "improve player safety" look just as silly as finger nail pads.