- Photo: Reuters
Officials with the National Football League are considering widening the playing field in an effort to help protect players. The idea is that a wider field would eliminate some of the so called "big hits."
There has been a growing debate in the sport of American football as to how to better protect players from harm- specifically from head injuries. With recent talk of concussions and other impact-related head trauma there is a concern to help better protect players and preserve the country's most popular sport.
"I'm not so sure we shouldn't think about widening the field. It's a radical idea, but I think it's worth thinking about. You would have more space and perhaps a safer game. I say that based on my CFL experience. There are less collisions of that type in the Canadian game," Bill Polian, a former NFL competition committee member, told The National Football Post.
The current proposals being discussed would widen the field from the current 160 feet to 195 feet, which happens to be the same field measurement that the Canadian Football League uses.
However, some are arguing that the often talked about "big hit" is overshadowing the smaller, more frequent, contact hits to the head, which some say does more damage in the long run.
"The lower impact hits I think cause more problems over a period of time because there are more of them," Warren Moon, former CFL and NFL quarterback, told the Huffington Post.
"A wide receiver doesn't get the number of hits a linebacker or lineman gets on a day to day basis. Those hits accumulate over time and probably do more damage than a big hit a receiver might get a few times a season," he added.
As calls for increased safety for players grow, league officials and NFL owners will have to decide which course of action would be best to not only grow the sport and increase revenue, but also keep the traditional notion of the sport intact.