Posted January 28, 2013

Ravens’ Bernard Pollard: In 30 years, the NFL won’t exist

NFL
Ravens safety Bernard Pollard said he doesn't think the NFL will exist in 30 years because of the effects of violence in the game. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Ravens safety Bernard Pollard said he doesn’t think the NFL will exist in 30 years because of the effects of violence in the game. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard — one of the hardest-hitting safeties in the NFL with a penchant for some violent, fine-inducing hits — doesn’t think the NFL will exist in 30 years because of those hard hits.

Pollard told CBS Sports’ Clark Judge that he doesn’t see the NFL lasting another three decades because of player-safety concerns and the long-term effects of the physical toll of the game. Pollard also said that the way the NFL is going, he believes that there will be a death on the field in the future.

“Thirty years from now,” Pollard said, “I don’t think it will be in existence. I could be wrong. It’s just my opinion, but I think with the direction things are going — where they [NFL rules makers] want to lighten up, and they’re throwing flags and everything else — there’s going to come a point where fans are going to get fed up with it.” [...]

“The league is trying to move in the right direction [with player safety],” he added, “but, at the same time, [coaches] want bigger, stronger and faster year in and year out. And that means you’re going to keep getting big hits and concussions and blown-out knees. The only thing I’m waiting for … and, Lord, I hope it doesn’t happen … is a guy dying on the field. We’ve had everything else happen there except for a death. We understand what we signed up for, and it sucks.

“Like I said, I pray it never happens, but you’ve got guys who are 350 pounds running 4.5 and 4.4s, and these owners and coaches want scout-run blockers and linemen to move walls. At the same time, they tell you, ‘Don’t hit here, and don’t hit there, or we’ll take your money.’ Like I said, I hope I’m wrong, but I just believe one day there’s going to be a death that takes place on the field because of the direction we’re going.”

Pollard’s comments come just two days after he was fined for a vicious hit on New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker in the Ravens’ AFC Championship game win last Sunday. He also knocked running back Stevan Ridley out of the game with a fourth-quarter hit, but he was not fined for that knock.

President Barack Obama said in an interview published Sunday that he worried about the effects of the game, saying he would “have to think long and hard” about a son playing football.


8 comments
imcjl
imcjl

It is the bulking up of the pads that has allowed these vicious hits to occur over the years.  Think about boxing...if you went back to bare knuckle boxing, you would eliminate most of the horrific brain damage the participants risk as they no longer have 16 oz of protection around their hands to cushion their fists from the harder punches they are throwing.  Same with football...go back to limited pads, leather helmets without face guards and no gloves...and trust me, you will see the days of the human field missles gone.

reality check
reality check

Oh yeah - forgot shots to the head against defenseless receivers like what was used in the picture for this article.  I guess if anyone should know....its him.

reality check
reality check

I agree with him.  Its insane when players lung at QB's knees to take them down, drag TEs down from behind and fly into piles at full speed leading with their helmet - all in an effort to blow guys up.  Oh.....wait.  That's primarily what Pollard does.  My bad.

BrettYoung
BrettYoung

Someone recommend a weight limit.   Maybe there should be a rule you can't be over 300 pounds.  

Why would any human being need to weigh more than that anyways

jaybird123
jaybird123

New protective technology in the Helmet is needed.  I'm sure NFL is putting mega $$ into research. 

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

So long as there is demand for a product, there will be a product supplied.