Super Bowl Concussions Would Be A Headache For The NFL
by Brett Spielberg
Jan 28, 2014 1:00 PM EST
The Super Bowl is one of the few games that the refs, typically eager to steal as much of the limelight from the players as possible, stay in the shadows. Pass interferences and holdings that would be an easy flag in Week 8 aren’t called as they would be, and in general, fans appreciate letting the two teams truly duke it out during the biggest game of the season. But with the black cloud of concussions looming overhead, should the refs step it up this year? Better question: Will Roger Goodell make the refs step it up this year? If a concussion happens during the big game, that won’t be good. It won’t be good from a marketing standpoint; who wants to be the commercial that fades in right after a player getting carted off the field in a neck brace fades out. It won’t be good from a legal standpoint -- as far as the NFL is concerned at least; with the recent settlement ruling revoked and now considered a low-ball to the players, the highest profile concussion of all time could add a zero or even two to the already nine-digit number. And then it comes down to each one of us, the fans. We want to see big hits. We want to see a kickoff return for a touchdown sparked by an epic block at midfield. We want to see Marshawn Lynch go Beast Mode like he’s playing the Saints. We want the Legion of Boom to punish Wes Welker. But what everyone who will tune in to the Super Bowl doesn’t want is to witness a tragedy. The NFL has tried to stay out in front of the concussion debate from the beginning, but the one thing it's avoided is the worst-case scenario playing out live with over one hundred million eyeballs tuning in. Those eyeballs are worth quite a bit of money ... nearly hundreds of thousands per second. Turning the Super Bowl into a snuff film would lower that revenue. Considerably. I hope the game is riveting, nerve-wracking and truly entertaining. I just hope that there aren’t any casualties in the process. Because if there are, the Super Bowl might not be so super a few years from now.