Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Do We or Don't We Want to Fill our Football Pants?

by Sam Parnell

The next time you watch an NFL football game, take a look at the players' pants and where the bulges (not bilges) are. No, I'm not a girl, neither am I gay; I'm talking about whether or not the game pants in question have pads in them and, if so, how many and which ones?

Those who have played the game at any level will know this. Your football pants come down to your knees and have pockets in them. No, not for your wallet and your keys; for your pads. Take them out of the practice pants on game day and put them in your game pants. After the game, take them out of your game pants and ... lose them? NO! Not that! Youth football, Jr. High and HS football rules require a full set of pads: thigh, knee, hip and tailbone. I'm not sure about the NCAA, but I'm sure someone will tell me. Bloggers are so informative!

Unless it has changed (tell me if it has), there is no hard and fast NFL rule requirement for pads in the pants. Look at the receivers and DBs. Many of them wear no pads in their pants at all. I've seen many RBs wear thigh and sometimes knee pads which makes a lot of sense for them. I can't remember seeing anyone wear hip & tailbone pads in the NFL. It seems to vary greatly team to team and player to player.

I'm sure receivers and DBs think they detract from their speed and agility. "Hey, if that dude ain't wearin' 'em, I ain't neither!" That's logical. However, most of these guys are on one of the Special Teams (KO/KOR/P/PR/FGA/XPA/PK) most of which require hard running, blocking and tackling. Is it possible that the lack of pads in the pants of some of the players inhibits their performance on ST? I wonder ... ?

The NFL has already met and voted on rules changes. The NFL is very rules conscious. It seems to go with the territory of a fascist organization with indentured workers who have so rudely organized a labor union. However, the NFL could enact a rule which would require all players to wear a full set of pads in their pants. Then the situation would be equal for all, they would all feel unjustifiably invincible, and maybe they wouldn't puss out on ST. I wonder if it would reduce injuries ... nah!

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