Granted, there are reasons for that. Football is perhaps the most physically demanding of all sports and, unlike say hockey, which can be adapted to non-checking rules, unless a move to flag football is made, contact is an intrinsic park of the sport. Thus, risking serious injury in an exhibition game doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
That's why, according to The Associated Press, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the league are considering just dropping the game altogether if the level of play doesn't improve.
"If we cannot accomplish that kind of standard [of high play], I am
inclined to not play it," Goodell said. "It is really tough to force
competition, and after a long season, to ask those guys to go out and
play at the same level they played is really tough."
In this scenario, the league would continue to pick opposing Pro Bowl teams, but the game itself just wouldn't happen. The players would get some level of recognition, but not be forced to put themselves at risk.
In all fairness, this move would seem to be a no-brainer if Goodell is true to his word about player safety being a priority. Then again, with Goodell advancing the idea of an 18-game season and reportedly fighting the idea of having concussion experts on the sidelines at all NFL games, the league's actual dedication to that cause can be thoroughly questioned.
Once again, it's the same old impasse: does the NFL really believe player safety comes first? Or does its true loyalty lie with the almighty dollar?
Separated at birth?
Photo via Twitter/@A_Dodger_fan
"He told me he was pitching Game 1 and I said 'OK.'"
–Jim Leyland, apparently taking orders from ace Justin Verlander
We are indeed closing in on Dec. 21.
Delmon Young and Marco Scutaro: LCS MVPs. The end times are truly upon us.
— Jon Tayler (@JATayler) October 23, 2012
This security guard has clearly been taking tackling lessons from Ndamukong Suh.