Your Weekly Stephen A. and Skip Bayless Are….(Back!)

Don’t worry kids, it’s back.  After a hiatus, your weekly dose of ESPN’s wonder twins Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless is back with avengence.  Without futher ado, today’s video:

This one’s a doosey folks. Strap in, this is going to be a wild ride.

The above clip is a “discussion” of President Obama’s comments about the future and safety of football.  THIS article is about the comments about the comments made by the President.  Let’s start off with Stephen A.:

“I do think with the fans, the level of frustration will elevate.  You do get to a point where you see how fast the game is, and how the NFL is making such a concerted effort to tone down, ya know, reduce the number of lawsuites coming their direction…”

First off, just to be a snarky asshole, I think it should be “its” direction and not “their” direction, Stephen A.

You see the NFL in complete panic mode, where every little thing is called.  And that would be very, very frustrating, particularly to the fanbase that shows up to the game.  If I’m watching from home on my televsion, chillin on my couch, that’s a different ballgame.  My comfort level hasn’t been interrupted.  But if I’m going to a game, and the game is going from three hours, to three hours and twenty minutes, to three and a half hours, maybe even to four hours because of the numerous number of penalties being called.  The game is being slowed down.  It would frustrate me to no end.

Ok.  What?  He thinks the reason that the game would lose popularity is because all of the extra stoppages of play would “frustrate” fanbases?  Oh, but not all fanbases, just the ones that go to games.  That’s weird, because last I checked, the only people that go to NFL games anymore are the diehard fans that wouldn’t care if there was an extra half hour thrown in to live games.  And who cares if the penalties and stoppages of play are for trying to assuage Dunta Robinson from doing this.  Or allowing time for Stevan Ridley to wake up.

Also, who are you kidding Stephen A.?  When was the last time you actually went to an NFL game in person, much less had to experience it outside of a press box or suite?

Your turn Skip!

Do you think the NFL is in trouble, next ten years?

Yes.

Because of all this?

What?  You mean the obvious correlation between head trauma and degenerative brain disease?  Yes.

So you think it will fade and one day the NBA will be more popular than the NFL?

I have a question for YOU. Why are you still asking these rhetorical-not-really-rhetorical questions?  And yes, of course one day the NBA will be more popular than the NFL  You guys are acting like there is no precedent in American culture for a violent sport being hugely popular and than fading into obscurity.

Wait, hold on, Stephen A.’s not done.

I wouldn’t go that far because football is football.

That’s some mind-bending analysis right there.

Back to Skip.

I’m not sure our President would’ve made these profound statement before the election.

Off to a great start.

So when our President reaches for the football fans’ conscience, what do we think in our conscience, that leads me to believe that our game of football, NFL football, even college football, borders on a death sport.

Go on….

Let me first pont out.  Have we ever had a death on the football field?

Um, well, no…we haven’t had a death on the field from a football related injury, but there have been plenty of deaths in hospitals from players coming directly from the football field due to a football-related injury.  Isn’t the fact that this conversation point even exists reason enough to know that football’s time is coming?

“Football is too dangerous.”  “Yeah, but has anyone ever died from a hit (literally) on the field?  No?  I think I made my point.”

But Skip then goes on to mention the infamous Jack Tatum/Darryl Stingley incident that left Stingley paralyzed FROM THE NECK DOWN.

Jack Tatum nailed him, and he was paralyzed from the neck down.  It was a terrible tragedy.  HE DID NOT DIE.

Oh, he didn’t die?  Everything’s cool then.  Just paralyzed from the neck down?  Nothing to see here, move along people.  And we aren’t even talking about the issues with concussions and brain trauma!  Is this line of reasoning really BENEFITING football right now?

But it was a terrible tragedy.  Let’s be careful here, of overreacting.  Because I start to feel like I am in ancient Rome, I’m supposed to be sitting in the Coliseum lusting for blood, screaming for a death on the field because that’s the way every competition has to end.

What is Skip TALKING about? Where is this slippery slope hyperbole coming from?  There is mountains and mountains of growing evidence that the MINOR hits in football (like the one’s that lineman sustain on every play) are far more dangerous and responsible for permanent damage than the spine-crushing monster hits that Skip is alluding to.  (Lots of fans of Nelly in this circle of YouTubers, I see.)

I like it that they are now regulating the collisons.  Very carefully.  To the point that anything that is evenly remotely helmet-to-helmet the flags fly.  Anything that’s remotely defenseless receiver, flags fly.  Does it slow down the game?  Sure.  But I am glad for the long haul, for the safety of the players long-term.

THAT’S NOT THE ISSUE.  Penalizing a player for knocking a player out is like admonishing someone for committing suicide.  THE DAMAGE HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE.  Keep in mind that flagging someone 15 yards for a helmet-to-helmet hit is only enforced on receivers right before and after they have caught the ball.  You’re a running back?  Or you’re a receiver that has made a “football move” (whatever the hell that is)?  You can get laid out til next Tuesday and no penalty will be assessed.   Seems to me that making a certain type of hit illegal, but only in very specific situations, doesn’t really alleivate any of the issues, does it?

And how about the lacking in self-awareness from both Stephen A. and Skip saying that the reason the NFL will die is because the fans may tire of the increased delays in the game caused by rules that help keep the players on the field in the first place.  The NFL will die because young athletes will either not be allowed to play football by their parents, or because they will choose not to play themselves.  NOT because fans will get “frustrated” or bored with the new rule changes.

Are you going to limp a little bit?  Maybe.  Possibly.  Are you going to die on the football field?  The odds would say you won’t die on the football field.

THIS.  This is the best part.  The odds would say that I won’t die on the football field?  The fact that Skip has to qualify the statement “you won’t die on the football field” with “the odds would say that you won’t die on the football field” means THAT THERE IS A CHANCE THAT YOU WILL DIE ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD.  I can say, with 100 percent confidence, this: You won’t die on a basketball court.  You won’t die on a baseball field.  You won’t even die on a hockey rink.  Guaranteed.  If you do, it’s not because the nature and rules of the game allowed you to be put in that position.  But with football, you need to qualify a statment like that.  You PROBABLY won’t die from playing football.  That fact, in and unto itself, is the beginning of the end for football.

I don’t know any person who would gamble with their life with something where the odds are “probably not”.  Not when they are so many other options.  Hopefully football realizes this sooner rather than later.  Before someone actually does die on the football field.

There’s other parts of this clip I want to say something about.  But I just can’t anymore.  At least not today.

 

 

 

 

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