Emmett Tyrrell

Now certain public-spirited citizens are speaking out. They want adjustments made. Helmets can be revised. Rules reinterpreted. More rules prescribed. Gun control can -- drat, I got carried away. Though I note that the same mentality that is in a pother over gun control often is aroused by football violence. Well, on gun control they are wrong. In a country with over 280 million guns in circulation and a Second Amendment in place, they will get nowhere.

Yet with rule changes in football they may have a chance. Frankly, I see the public-spirited reformers of professional football coming out for ending those ferocious tackles and propounding the implementation in the NFL of touch football or possibly flag football. Imagine Adrian Peterson running fifteen yards for a first down before Ray Lewis tags him in an utterly civilized lunge or snatches the flag from his rear pocket with style. If the NFL were to replace tackle football with touch or flag football there would still be dangers. Those helmets really can hurt. Perhaps they could be replaced with funny hats lined with cushioning. Elbow and knees can cause a lot of pain. Again thick cushioning could be prescribed. There are many alternatives that can be employed against brute force.

Actually there seems to be a movement led by the athletes themselves in this direction. The artistic demonstrations after a mighty tackle or an overpowering touchdown run have been an innovation that must have warmed the hearts of many reformers. Those elegant dances are very tasteful and in the Super Bowl this year I even detected routines employing the hands that showed real artistic taste.

So maybe the time is ripe for the reformers to make a move against tackle football and in favor of modern dance on the gridiron, as it is called. Maybe it is only a matter of time before the halftime entertainment overwhelms the game -- Beyonce appearing in a chorus line with beefy linemen and even coaches. Call it the ongoing feminization of America. I would not be surprised.


Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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