Meadville Tribune

National Sports

July 23, 2013

NFL injury risk has Hall-of-Fame dad concerned for rookie son

(Continued)

If there is one thing that reassures the Longs, it's the sunlight factor: A combination of congressional interest and pressure from lawyers in the concussion litigation means the NFL is operating under a level of scrutiny it never previously experienced. "The elephant in the room is talked about now," Diane says.

In 2009, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell faced a scathing House Judiciary Committee hearing in which Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., described the league as intransigent on concussions and safety issues and compared it to tobacco companies that insisted there were no ill-health effects from smoking. The accusation galvanized the NFL into major reforms.

In a speech to the Harvard School of Public Health last fall, Goodell described a "relentless focus" on player safety and enumerated measures by the league "to take the head out of the game." The NFL Kyle will play in has new practice rules, issued in 2011, aimed at reducing the impacts and wear and tear on players. The Bears will be allowed to put Kyle through only one fully padded practice per week. The two-a-days that tortured his father have been abolished. Also, Kyle will play an on-field game with vastly different rules than his father played under. Two years ago the kickoff line was moved five yards forward to reduce high-speed collisions, resulting in a 40 percent reduction in concussions on kickoffs, according to the league's figures. This fall, a new rule will forbid running backs and tacklers from lowering their heads and using the crowns of their helmets.

Many former players have expressed concerns that the new measures might water down a physical game, and it remains to be seen whether the NFL's culture and practices can really be altered.

The NFL Kyle enters has placated Congress by spearheading a lobby effort that resulted in 48 states and the District of Columbia passing laws ensuring youth football players are cleared by a licensed health care expert before returning to play. It also has launched the Heads Up program, a partnership with youth organizations to teach safer tackling, which Howie and Diane Long have signed on to.

Text Only
National Sports
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg One-sided ruling against Rodriguez makes statement for clean baseball

    Alex Rodriguez's team of lawyers and public relations people portray him as the victim of a conspiracy. Regardless of the defense Rodriguez offers, the New York Yankees star isn't believable.

    January 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why do pro athletes recover before you do?

    It's a mystery: When we twist our ankle playing tennis, it can take weeks to heal, but when a pro athlete does it, he often misses barely a beat.

    November 15, 2013

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Changes to NCAA foul rules could lead to free-throw marathons

    I attended a Big Ten basketball game in Bloomington, Ind., a few years ago where I was seated so close to the floor that I had to keep my feet pinned under my chair so I wouldn’t trip the referee as he raced up and down the court. The view from courtside left me with one shocking reaction: I no longer had any idea what was a foul.

    November 5, 2013 1 Photo

  • Coaches grapple with line between discipline and abuse

    The outrage was visceral last spring when ESPN aired the damning video showing Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice shoving his players, hurling gay slurs and throwing basketballs at their heads.

    November 1, 2013

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Is the NCAA a sinking ship?

    The daily flow of bad news chronicling the NCAA seems to fall somewhere between damaging and defeated. By comparison, the NCAA’s myriad problems make the Obama Administration’s roll out of the Affordable Care Act look smooth.

    October 30, 2013 1 Photo

  • spt_cardscelebrate.jpg VIDEOS: Memorable MLB postseason celebrations

    Some of baseball's most enduring October memories are punctuated by jubilant celebrations. Take a look back at some of the most memorable expressions of joy in Major League Baseball's postseason by players and teams after the final out.

    October 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • spt_siegrist.jpg The most insufferable fans in sports live in St. Louis

    The Cardinals are a very good baseball team. Their fans have every right to be happy. You can't blame the rest of us for not sharing their joy, though.

    October 17, 2013 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Maybe we should rethink the post-game handshake

    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has advised educators to rethink the long-standing tradition of teams shaking hands after athletic events. Is sportsmanship dead in the Bluegrass State?

    October 16, 2013 1 Photo

  • Turner Field Dangerous, deadly falls from sports stadiums A 30-year-old man fell about 65 feet to his death at an Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field Monday evening. Details on what caused the fall are unknown. There have been several other deadly or dangerous falls in sports stadiums in recent years.

    August 14, 2013

  • FBN-INJURE211.jpg NFL injury risk has Hall-of-Fame dad concerned for rookie son

    Kyle Long is going into the family business. "Some people are third-generation carpenters, and that's what they do," his father says. "Well, we hit people."

    July 23, 2013 2 Photos

Business Marquee
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks