How to keep football alive?

I read a WP article today about the possibility of the NFL making the 4th and 15 rule happen. Only 1 in 29 onsides kicks has been successful given other rule changes, and this rule change would allow a team to have one chance, only on 4th quarter to have the ball at their own 35 yard line with a chance to convert a “4th down, 15 yards to go”.

Last year the rule failed to pass. There are many who feel like it’s too much of a fundamental change.

Football is dying. Like the inexorable march of climate change prospects for the future are dim.

How many of us with adolescent children or grandchildren want to see them suit up and risk long term injury to brain or body?

Even if you think the risk reward is acceptable, it’s clear many do not, as youth participation is plummeting.

Let’s assume that we can’t create a helmet that eliminates risk of brain trauma, since trauma occurs from sudden stopping of an object in motion, that is brain smashing into skull regardless of headpiece.

Given that, what changes would do you propose that are acceptable to the game to keep you interested while significantly decreasing the risk to players?

Take the helmet and shoulder pads away. You’ll see more ugly bruises and less teeth out there but you won’t see so many high speed collisions and violent launching that causes the long term injuries.


Something needs to be done for the long term health of the game. The players are bigger/faster than ever and the big collisions are dangerous, no debate about that.

Something definitely needs to be done about onside kicks. the 4th and 15 rule or something where the kicking team actually has a chance would be great for overall competition. Right now the onside kick is essentially impossible.

How about a weight limit? By position. Or total for a team?

1 Like

Urban Meyer had an interesting piece on modern tackling techniques that reduced concussion risk and led to less missed tackles on one of the Fox pregames.

pregame. It’s not just football, TBI is also prevalent in girls soccer.

Allow people to accept responsibility for the risks they take in life again, instead of caving to lawyers’ pursuit of profit via the scam that others are responsible for one’s own decisions.

Don’t play if you can’t stomach the risk. If players had no safety net, they would have incentive to play differently.


We could put X’s on the helmets of the kids over the weight limit and make them play on the line.


I didn’t see it so I wonder what it was. I noticed when bronco was the coach at byu-provo, his defenders always went full speed for the big hit, never wrapped up and missed a lot of tackles. The Ute defenders may have slowed slightly right before impact but generally wrapped up and made much cleaner tackles. It also seems like byu’s DBs were often out with concussions. The coaching difference between the Utes and byu-provo was really obvious.

Fwiw, rugby is seeing similar problems.