Troy Polamalu is ripping the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell for the league's strict recent treatment of defenders who make tough hits. He notes that there is no confusion about the league's policy, but complains that the players should have some role in deciding what that policy would be.â†µ
"It's football, you know. If people want to watch soccer then they can watch soccer," Polamalu said during a lunchtime interview. "But, honestly, overseas when people are attracted to this game, they're going to see the big hits, they're not going to care about touchdowns and different things. So you're also taking apart what attracts people to this game" ...â†µ
"But, you know, he's got all the power; that may be part of the problem, that there needs to be some type of separation of power like our government. There should be some type of players involved in decisions over how much people should be fined or what they should be fined for, as well as coaches, as well as front office people."â†µ
Getting some players involved in the decision-making process isn't necessarily a terrible idea - after all, they are affected by the policies. On the other hand, I'm not sure the players would make the decisions Polamalu seems to think they would. You'll recall that after James Harrison's hit on the Browns' Mohamed Massaquoi that started this whole mess, Massaquoi's agent actually said Harrison wasn't punished enough.â†µ
And there's also some merit to the idea that since these players serve as examples for amateur players, who suffer head injuries too, the NFL, and not the players themselves, should have a strong role in deciding which hits are dangerous, and exactly how dangerous they are. Ultimately, I think it's a shame that Harrison and the Steelers have become the focal point of this issue, since obviously the problem goes well beyond Harrison, but I think it's good that the NFL is cracking down on violent hits.â†µ
Harrison, meanwhile, spoke to Goodell in New York yesterday. More updates on that as they become available.