If you don't think the NFL has a huge problem with head injuries, then you yourself might be brain damaged. If you think the NFL has a problem with head injuries, but you still want to see players leading with the head, then you might be an asshole. If you want to see the NFL eliminate head injuries overnight, then I'm with you.
There is only one sure fire way of virtually eliminating all head injuries over night in the NFL: We must remove the facemask. If you've never heard this argument before, just take a moment to allow it to sink in. The NFL could simultaneously become a tougher sport, AND a safer sport by removing the mask all together.
Think about it; Head injuries are a serious issue because players are leading with their helmet. The only reason the players are able to launch themselves with such reckless abandon is because there are usually no immediate consequences. If the facemask is removed, the player is no longer willing to launch himself in a way that would cause him to break his face.
I can hear the haters now, "But Tony, if you remove the facemask, won't facial injuries go up?" First of all, shut the fuck up. Second of all, realize that hockey players look fucking cool. Third, realize that getting your teeth knocked out is a far easier fate than brain damage. If you haven't seen a TV special or read about one of these former players, then you owe it to yourself to do some research and have some fucking compassion.
"But Tony, I have no compassion for the players because they knew what they were getting themselves into!" OK, asshole, try telling that to a former player who can no longer communicate with his family because he slowly lost the ability to do so. Ask the family's of the players who have brain damage. Should they have to suffer because someone didn't want Daddy to make a first down? No they shouldn't.
The NFL needs to get serious about player health. The first step is to cover the healthcare costs of former players. The second way is to remove the facemask. Make the game tougher and safer overnight, while also increasing player visibility.
Tune in tomorrow when I discuss why Tom Brady is the toughest man in the NFL.