This has to be one of the most intriguing episodes on television concerning the state of football today compared to yesteryear. Chris Wallace, the host of Fox Sunday News today, interviewed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann, former Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Jerry Kramer and the panel of Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw and Michael Strahan.
With the interview of Roger Goodell on the collective bargaining agreement, he sounded political without much addition to the common knowledge of the fanbase. Nothing has been decided upon, and he and the NFL owners will attempt to close the labor negotiations within the past three or four weeks. In the state of football today, Goodell commented that economics bears more importance now than it ever did. Whether players can continuously make multi-million dollar salaries as a rookie or otherwise, Goodell commented that “[one] has to watch the cost side of business.” Unfortunately, this includes the players salaries going forward which ultimately limit the overhead cost or the salary cap, as it commonly known.
The interviews with Lynn Swann and Jerry Kramer was notable. Lynn Swann, the former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, understood how safety is such a concern in the NFL nowadays, but he also commented that the players today are no longer as durable as those in his day. The hits used to be harder in his day with less equipment. Jerry Kramer agreed in his own way. When Mike Wallace asked whether their teams would win today facing the teams of the Super Bowl today, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers, Lynn Swann and Jerry Kramer both agreed that with the training of today used on their teams, the teams of the past would dominate the game. I would have to agree, although the speed of the game today is much faster than in their day. In light of all this, both are glad that either the Green Bay Packers or the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking the Vince Lombardi Trophy out of Dallas.
The last discussion with Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw and Michael Strahan also covered the issue of the state of football currently. All three acknowledged that the football games today have become much more violent. Strahan said that compared to ten years ago even, the pacing and the hard hits have increased. Howie Long said the increase to an 18-game schedule won’t do the players any favors in that regard either. All three acknowledged also that most of their former teammates are fighting their injuries and concussions long past retiring from the NFL. Some of them are suffering from dementia among other symptoms.
The game of football has changed tremendously from the 1980s to today. The players are generally much faster, stronger and make quicker and more intelligent decisions. It doesn’t matter if they play defense or offense. These players today have become much more students of the game than in years past. Now today, in Super Bowl XLV, the students of the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers will be battling it out. Whoever gameplanned better and makes the better adjustments overall will win this game. It should be close and one nailbiter of a game for the general public and the fans of either team.