Violence in football is unnecessary and counterproductive

Submitted by MonkeyMan on January 27th, 2019 at 5:34 PM

Watching the pro bowl was fun and revealing. It was basically a game of tag football and every bit as entertaining as the regular violent version of the game. 

Many say that w/o the violence that people wouldn't watch. If violence sells so well, then why is boxing nowhere close to being the number one watched sport? I think people watch football for the athleticism, visual beauty, and unpredictability. Taking away powerful hits seems to not change the game at all.

The fake "violence sells" belief is killing the sport. People are backing out due to concussion fears, little league teams are collapsing, high school participation is plummeting, TV rating and fan attendance is crashing. 

A less violent version of the sport is easy to install. Just let the linemen play as usual and reduce the play of the skill players to tag (per an official's whistle). The worst hits are the ones that happen to the skill players anyway.

Those that do not evolve, die off.


Perkis-Size Me

January 28th, 2019 at 8:57 AM ^

Agreed. There are also not really any big personalities anymore. Aside from Mayweather, and he may be officially done at this point. But boxing used to be big because of the big personalities in and outside of the ring. Ali, Tyson, Frazier, Foreman, those guys transcended the sport itself. Some of them for the wrong reasons, mind you (cough Tyson cough), but they made themselves known to the world. There also really aren't any Don Kings out there anymore. The big loudmouth promoters who you may have hated, but boy were they good at their job because they could promote the hell out of any boxing match. 

Also doesn't help that anytime there is any boxing match "of note," its on PPV and you've got to pay an absurd amount to watch it take place. So you're watching two nobodies that you've never heard of square off, or an over the hill Manny Pacquiao take on some other guy you've never heard of, and you've got to pay an extra $75-$100 on top of your already big cable/internet bill just to watch it. It's almost economically irresponsible to watch boxing at this point. 

No wonder everyone has moved over to UFC. I don't watch it myself, but can perfectly understand why others do. 



January 27th, 2019 at 7:24 PM ^

The gap has closed. 

Typically boxing draws the better mega fights, but it is tame below that.  People in bars seem to care more about a run of the mill UFC fight than a run of the mill boxing match. 

As a teacher I hear kids talk about UFC, I don't hear kids talk about boxing.

I don't like either so I am just stating my neutral observations.


Mpfnfu Ford

January 28th, 2019 at 11:54 AM ^

There's nothing concrete, but there's been speculation for years that MMA is less violent on the brain than boxing. You don't have the constant 10-12 rounds of getting punched in the head over and over and over again, or 10 seconds to get back up and then continue to be pummeled even after you've got a concussion. Most of the time, a blow strong enough to knock you down ends the fight in MMA. The grappling is also way less punishing on the brain than boxing. It's hard to suss out.

I imagine the real reason the UFC has done better than boxing in America is that we have a massive youth sports culture around wrestling and a massive percentage of MMA stars are guys with wrestling backgrounds, which means you have a constant supply of new young talent, some of whom are going to be talented enough and charismatic enough to be attractions. There's far fewer American households willing to let their kids box, which means you have less of a talent pool once guys start to turn pro. 


January 27th, 2019 at 9:19 PM ^

Tom Brady - "You think I play this shit to go to Pro Bowls? ... We're trying to win rings."

There you have it from the GOAT himself. Pro Bowls are for losers and don't ever let the NFL Network tell you differently.


January 27th, 2019 at 5:43 PM ^

do you think that people would actually watch, for a whole season, a league of glorified flag football?  

that is not the most well thought out proposition you've ever had.  not by a long shot. 

EDIT:  i thought about this for a minute.  you aren't serious.  you are trolling.  i missed the '/s'.  you got me.  

Inflammable Flame

January 27th, 2019 at 5:43 PM ^

There is already something of this nature. It's called flag football. Nationals are in Orlando, or at least used to be when I played. It's been about 10 years, but I can assure you it is not the money maker you think it is.

Swayze Howell Sheen

January 27th, 2019 at 5:45 PM ^

OP will get murdered for this, because duh.

However, if this is a good idea, it seems easy to find out: make such a league, and compete with the existing one. If it's the better league, it will win out. #capitalism?



January 27th, 2019 at 8:28 PM ^

well except...#communism...the NFL owners control football, they control the top talent, they have an embedded system, they have the TV contracts, the facilities. It's not as simple as drop some cash and watch it flow. This is the moronic perspective every time a solution involves throwing money at something with money's not that simple. 

I agree with the OP, part of the current problem with the NFL/NCAA is the violent outcomes that aren't really necessary. Yep I'm fine with tackling, and the current state of the game is beyond that. It's about cheap shots, and who's willing to play dirtiest within a grey area. The Rams/Saints 'play' is part of my example. The defender made zero attempt to make a play, he just blew up a receiver because he was beat. No way a guy like Jerry Rice is as prolific in the current state of football. It's become more violent than the rules of football intended. It's a bunch of thugs leading with the head, elbow, shoulder trying to make highlight hits instead of making plays. Woodson didn't blow people up...he played smart, incredibly super human football.


January 28th, 2019 at 9:48 AM ^

considering Jerry's style and size...yeah...regardless of prolific stats, he'd get the hell kicked out of him and likely have his career cut short by about three to five seasons today. He was smooth...not violent and taking pounding hits. Why do you think Gronk has become such a tool...and even he isn't the same anymore. And as to the agreement with the OP...I agree with the IDEA...I don't play mindless lemming follow board rules mob mentality.


January 29th, 2019 at 12:22 AM ^

If anything, football was dirtier before the rule changes (see Dick Butkus, Ray Nitschke, Dick Night Train Lane) and advancements in video technology catching player’s every move now.

re: Jerry’s size and style...he reminds me a lot of one Antonio Brown, who’s had a bit of success in the modern NFL.

B1G Winning

January 27th, 2019 at 5:48 PM ^

This just in!

There already is a “Professional Flag Football League” and, Spoiler Alert!, it’s not popular.

If the Pro Bowl format was popular among football fans, it would stand to reason that it would have similar/better ratings than the Super Bowl itself.  After all, the Pro Bowl should appeal to a bigger audience since it’s more representative of everybody and has the best players from every team in the league, effectively creating super teams. Whereas the Super Bowl represents only 2 franchises worth of fans.

[Insert pseudo-enlightening quote here]

Nice troll.


January 27th, 2019 at 9:53 PM ^

Sorry, that logic killed my soul a little so I had to respond.

The Pro Bowl is a meaningless game. That is why nobody watches. Even if it was played as a real football game, people wouldn't care because it is still a meaningless game.

You can't compare the Pro Bowl to the Super Bowl...the most meaningless game to the most meaningful game.

Sorry, I just couldn't get past that logic.