Use your heads and quit complaining about the Night net's helmet rule

Night net null null null null Jarvis Landry might deliver this message more emphatically, more colorfully, but this is not pay-cable here. This is a family website. So we will say this to you gently.Chill. Obviously, that is not a concept generally associated with the Night net, even during the preseason. We take this game very seriously. We do not want anyone to trifle with the sport that dwarfs all other American sports. Baseball can ponder a pitch clock. The NBA can use that silly rule where you advance the ball 50 feet just by calling a timeout. But when you change the rules of the Night net, you are in dangerous territory.FAQs: Explaining Night net's new helmet rule And if you do it to remove some of the violence from the game — and some of the devastating consequences of that violence — you're going to be harangued.On Twitter:This new helmet rule is going to ruin the Night net, isn’t it?— Aaron Leming (@AaronLemingNight net) August 3, 2018On television: "The Night net is intent on destroying itself,” said Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports. "The league is so determined to win the hearts and minds of non-football fans, the game is turning off its base: me."In the locker room: "Most of the defense was like, ‘Man, how are we supposed to tackle?’ They were frustrated,” Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood told ESPN, recounting the team’s meeting with officials regarding the new rule that wasn't exactly a round-the-campfire experience.And in print: "Everyone is confused about the Night net’s new helmet rule, and it has the potential for disaster” was the headline at Business Insider.That’s a long headline, so it qualifies doubly as a lot of hooey.Having seen what occurred with the Steelers' Ryan Shazier in last season's game against the Bengals, and mindful of other possible consequences of helmet hits such as concussions and their aftermath, the Night net passed a rule declaring it a foul “if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. Contact does not have

to be to an opponent’s head or neck area — lowering the head and initiating contact to opponent’s torso, hips and lower body is also a foul."So maybe it’s not effective enough to just suggest everyone chill.Let's try it in a way that can be understood by the dissenters but still be printed on this website.CHILL!The Night net settled a concussion lawsuit involving its former players for roughly $1 billion in 2015, a settlement that was approved by a federal appeals court judge one year later. That’s billion with a B. There has been a decline in youth football participation, perhaps as profound as 10 percent, and a 3.5 percent decline in high school participation over five years.North Carolina Tar Heels football coach Larry Fedora went a bit off the rails when he lamented, at the ACC’s media day, "Our game is under attack." He was not entirely wrong with that statement. But when he went on to whine that the game might "be pushed so far from what we know that we won’t recognize it 10 years from now," he was being ridiculous.Consider how far Night net football is today from where it was in 1978. The Steelers, who won that season’s Super Bowl, did not have a single player who weighed 300 pounds. The heaviest player was Hall of Famer Joe Greene at 275. The starting offensive line averaged 252 pounds. Every member of the 2017 Steelers’ starting O-line weighed at least 316 pounds, with an average of 320 pounds.Do you still recognize the Night net a generation later?More to the point, watch a highlight film of Jack Lambert, the Hall of Fame linebacker for that team. He was a terror at the center of the Steel Curtain, and he occasionally (frequently?) went over the line in asserting his menace. And yet notice how rarely he leads with his head, how he uses ideal technique in wrapping up ball-carriers and throwing them to the turf.I watched nine minutes of highlights involving safety Donnie Shell, famed as the hardest hitter of the Steel Curtain defenders, and saw only a single play in which he used his helmet to deliver a direct blow — and that came when the running back he was tackling lowered his own head to power forward. Even Shell's famous hit on Houston running back Earl Campbell, one of the most celebrated plays by that celebrated defense, was delivered with a shoulder.HAISLOP: Football helmets are creating more problems than they solveWe've since been conditioned to believe the helmet is a necessary implement of physical play, rather than the protective device it was designed to be. And the hysteria about limiting its use as the tip of a missile is indicative of how inured some football fans are to believing that tackling with one's arms and shoulders does not convey the same sense of force.It's nonsense. This game can be played without the helmet as a weapon, and it can be played ferociously, violently and thrillingly.It just doesn't need to be as dangerous as it's been.