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The Master Debaters: Pratt vs. Ron

Top of the morning to ya MCM!
Ron Burgundy and I have decided we'd like to start a mulit-post topic called The Master Debaters: Pratt vs. Ron. It will mainly be in the format of us interviewing each other on certain topics of our choosing (we may create a poll later on or take suggestions from the comments on future topics, but this is kind of our pilot to see if it works or not).

Basically the format will be, each of us will either support or oppose a side of the topic and we'll "interview" each other for your enjoyment. Then at the end of the post, we'll provide you with a "few things we think" could be football related, more often it will be completely random.

Please! any and all comments or suggestions are welcome as long as you are not Capt. Negative like ByThePowerOfMunchak...

Alright, let's do this Leeeeerooooy Jeeeeeeenkins!

Tonight we are talking about Concussions in the NFL and how no body likes them...


Ok Pratt, we all know you are rather anti-Goddell. The hot topic in the league right now with the death of Junior Seau is concussions. Over 2,000 former players are involved in lawsuits against the NFL. My question is...why are they just now getting to this?

The WisePratt:

Good evening Mr Burgundy;

((SideSide Note: Actually I really don't mind Goodell, I think he's trying to make the league safer for everyone. I just wish his punishments were the same across the board, but I'll play the part for sake of argument))

I believe the problem has always been there, just not talked about. As Seau said in previous interviews, players rarely brought up concussions or other problems for fear of ridicule from other players and/or benching. This is the model of football the NFL built, your job is always at risk; every year, every camp, every play, could be your last time you step on a professional football field.

I don't believe you can have football be a safe sport, but still ask for big hits. Players need to understand what they are getting involved in before they step on the field.

San Diego's King:

Come on now, Pratt, don't you think every single one of these guys know what they're getting into? Especially once they have reached the NFL level, they have likely been playing the sport since middle school and had plenty of time to realize, "I'm going to be hit hard, which could lead to serious injury and other health problems." I honestly believe a lot of this recent concussion hysteria has been fueled by the media latching onto the shocking death of a recent NFL great. Would we be talking about all of this if it was another player from the 50s/60s era of the league? (This is not to look down upon that era; if anything, they're the ones who need the most help today financially, but I don't think the concussion issue would be as big as it is right now if it wasn't for Seau's death.)

Pratt The Infallible:

No, I honestly do not think these kids fully understand what they are getting into at a young age. They are envision riches and stardom at a very young age; we all know majority of kids already think they are invincible and are not worrying about arthritis in their knees, let alone mental/physical problems from past concussions. It's not that I disagree with Goodell's stance on making the league safer, but it is not as if this is new to the NFL. He needs to be promoting safety for the right reasons, not trying to warp the game into something it is not *a "safe" game*. The league has PLENTY of money to start researching and developing the safest equipment for the sport, why don't they invest more time in pursuing that avenue instead of trying to water down the game? Big hits, dangerous play will ALWAYS happen when you are dangling a $50 million dollar carrot infront of people.

Ron, on the jazz flute:

Didn't they just make hip and thigh pads mandatory? I think the league is taking steps, but I have to agree with you that at some point the NFL has to fully commit to making the game safer. Right now it seems like the league is reactionary rather than proactive in reaching effective solutions that can make this game safer while still providing the entertainment value fans love. What is it going to take for long-term solutions to be instituted? I don't want to see the NFL become flag football, but you can make equipment better. I think a related issue to this is injury reports and injuries in general and the competitive nature of teams/players in wanting to be on the field. How many guys do you think have had concussions and gone right back on the field a few plays later? That competitive drive isn't going to go away, coaches and players rely on winning and performing to keep their jobs, but if the league is going to have these rules on reporting injuries and protocols in place, enforce them more strictly if you really want to see changes in how player health is managed.

Pratt, looking through the bottom of a whiskey glass...:

Which goes into my biggest gripe with Goodell; there needs to consistency with his penalties/fines, if someone continues to disregard the rules and becomes a repeat offender, he gets banned from the league. Straight up.

Change the rules to make it safer, but everyone needs to follow the code; that includes Goodell himself.

Ron with the wisdom:

That's the privilege of being judge, jury and executioner. We could have an entirely separate conversation on Goodell and what his run at the top has done for the league, but as it pertains to concussions and safety, I don't think it'd necessarily be a bad thing if the league became more Orwellian in that area and got more oversight of injury reports and recovery in general. Late last year the league announced that "certified independent athletic trainers" would be present at games to help evaluate injured players and notify team medical staffs of things they might not necessarily catch in the heat of the moment. While this might be a small step in the right direction, it's not enough. I think the next step is league-employed doctors overseeing injuries and getting final say on whether a player can return. Unfortunately I think it may end up taking a major in-game injury (or reinjury for that matter) or tragic incident like Seau to get serious, sweeping changes going.. Teams fudge their reports all the time, we all know it, and teams are interested in winning, meaning player health/safety may not be priority one in the middle of a close game.

Commander Pratt:

Player health/safety in the heat of a game is not a priority - we can both agree on that.

Now! For some things we think right this second;

Ron - Do NOT ever get food from a street vendor in Nashville (I never have, just walked by them and the thought of it disturbed me). Food trucks are a different story, however.

Pratt - Diablo 3 is incredible... if you can ever get it to actually work on your computer.