There's a dance going on in the NFL right now... and its happening in the middle of an intersection called winning. The NFL sees the need for more regulation of fundamentals, higher safety standards... and now (finally), better ethical standards. How NFL coaches and coordinators decide to get to this intersection involves ethics, and based on those decisions/coaching styles, they take the game of football and the NFL the rest of the way down the path they chose... there is no left turn at the ethical intersection.
Isn't this what life is all about? Ethics. Everyday we make an infinite amount of ethical decisions, whether in our personal or professional lives. Each one leads us down a different road of consequences. When NFL coaches teach, reward, and support the targeting of injured players or the re-injuring of players for the advantage as way to win... they may get to the intersection of winning, but once thru the path, the road they take the game degrades the quality of the sport to one of cheap hits and poor quality.
Fans of the NFL like hits, they like the contact, the noise of collisions, and the occasional wince at the screen when a player gets lambasted. Those fans that have played the game, have (hopefully) been taught the fundamentals. Tackling, when done correctly, minimizes injuries for both colliding players. Injuries can happen and are apart of the game(Hell, its a contact sport)...with that being said, unfortunately the artificial creation of injuries have also become apart of the game as well.
What Greg Williams is being accused of and the report concerning Jim Schwartz intersect at a point... both coaches share the same goals of winning by encouraging their players to be physical. However, the paths (reportedly) taken come from totally different ethical directions and lead to a totally different NFL experience.
One path promotes the artificial and intentional act of injury or to reinjuring of specific players, for a monetary gain and peer acceptance. This not only stains the reputation of that team and the league, it changes the fundamental make up of the game. More and more rules will be implemented to curb this unethical behavior... we already see it happening. More and more, coaches like Greg Williams will unknowingly, hurt this game.
The other path promotes physical domination of the opposing team, by using correct fundamentals of the game. The reward... a symbolic trophy of the game, a baseball bat or boxing glove. Tools that are used in other sports to provide a knockout or homerun... both positive game changing events. Injury is allowed to be part of the game, not the cause of the game.
Football is a contact sport. As such, comes the responsibility of coaches to promote, reward, and support an ethical, physical, and fundamental playing style to their team. People can twist and shout all they want about the similarities and history of Schwartz and Williams... but I have the utmost confidence that the report concerning Jim Schwartz proves his commitment to the correct and ethical promotion of fundamental physical play that created the NFL of today. From Pop Warner to the Pros... coaches should be rewarding big hits and excellent fundamental tackling... cause that's what makes this sport great.
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