Sunday, August 12, 2007

Safety First, Bone-Crushing Hits Later

Purdue University football coach Joe Tiller wants you to know that safety is paramount in college football...unless you want to be like the NFL.

Tiller is none too fond of the new rule in college moving kickoffs back to the 30 from the 35 and bringing college football more in line with the NFL. The NCAA wants to speed up the game by virtually eliminating fair catches and almost certainly will. Save a gale force tailwind, we'll be seeing more returns and in the case of Tiller's Boilermakers more great returns called back for illegal blocks to the back.

Tiller is not happy with 22 guys careening off of each other with a full head of steam. According to Tiller, "The most violent play in ALL OF FOOTBALL IS THE KICKOFF!"

I think he means it. Seriously, look how close he got to the microphone to tell us. He also seems not convinced that the speed of the game is the driving force behind this decision to "create more G-forces as these kids are running into each other" resulting in "a few more injuries than we've had in the past."

I for one was shocked to find out kickoffs were more violent than a crossing route right into the jaws of some middle linebacker. So if that's the case and kickoffs are the most violent plays, then the victory formation "take a knee" must be the most benign. The most exciting is a interception return, (especially since it starts with an exhilarating pair of words, "Picked off!"). And the most hapless play must be the coin toss at every Duke game.

Ain't football grand!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anybody who has actually played football (high-school, college, whatever...) will agree that the kick-off is the most violent play in the game. Sure, 1 in 100 "regular teams" plays features a big hit, but only the kick-off has 10 defensive players running full-steam down the field, ready to collide with blockers from the return team. It doesn't always show up on TV, but without a doubt this is the most consistently violent play in sports. That said, those same collisions happen whether or not the returner takes a knee in the end zone or actually returns the ball, so moving the kick back 5 yards won't necessarily increase the violence of the play.