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Former Vikings coach Bud Grant wants the NFL to do away with fair catches


Bud Grant aspires to get the NFL without the new safety measures.

Bud Grant aspires to get the NFL without the new safety measures.
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The Simpsons’ “Old Man Screams in the Clouds” headline – Coach Bud Grant, who turned 95 yesterday, speak The Minneapolis Star Tribune, which he thinks are “boring” parts of football, including fair tackles, knee-to-knees and flashbacks, should be removed from the game. Now, to you and me, those are better known as measures to prevent unnecessary and dangerous injuries and improve player safety, but to be fair to Grant, they still played with leather helmets when he was in college. Change is difficult.

The nonagenarian coach, who led the Vikings from 1967 to 1983 and again in 1985, recommends for batters to return 5 yards and remove the fair catch, moving the feedback back to the 5th line. yard and tells the clock to stop if an offensive team doesn’t ‘didn’t move at least one yard per play (this opens up a bunch of different worms for the clock to stop working, but I digress) . Although Grant was beloved, it was a bad move – especially given what we now know about chronic traumatic encephalopathy and its effects on former members of Vikings’ team Grant.

In 2017, a Boston University study of the brains of former NFL players found degenerative CTE in 99% of the brains studied. This marks a major step forward in a journey of groundbreaking research that has changed the way many Americans view the sport. And four of the 111 brains in the study belonged to former Vikings players who played under Grant’s coaching during their time in Minnesota.

The players were Wally Hilgenberg, Gerald Huth, Grant Feasel and Fred McNeill, the latter being among the better known names in the CTE field. His early-onset dementia and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) resulted in his untimely death at the age of 63 given by CTE, and he was the first patient to be diagnosed with the disease while still alive and was the first to be diagnosed with the disease. his death.

But the rest should also be kept in mind. Hilgenberg died of ALS brought on by CTE at age 66. Huth died at age 77 after severe cognitive problems forced him to leave his insurance job at age 57 and was left permanently disabled. Feasel died at the age of 52 after years of substance abuse. And while the tragedies from their careers in the 1960s and ’70s are certainly not Grant’s fault, choosing to publicly state that the game should be more physical and carry a greater risk of head injury. rather than an insult to these players’ memories, heritage and families.

In 2017, Hilgenberg’s widow, Mary, Talk to Star Tribune:

Head injuries in football are such a serious, serious problem. But if you speak against football, it’s like speaking against someone’s religion. But how can today’s parents allow their children to play football? They wear seat belts, but then they drive to the football field? It makes no sense to me.

Just this February, in fact, an NFL learn found that replays and replays caused more injuries and more serious injuries than other matches. While I’d like to give Grant the benefit of the doubt here, there’s really no reason to appeal than some of these high-risk play patterns endanger the health and safety of athletes. There was a “disproportionate amount of concussion” as well as lower body trauma in those plays. Given how many of his former players have CTE, he should be more sensitive to the issue.

So maybe I’m an old man shaking hands with the clouds here, but with the deaths of his former players from degenerative brain injuries in mind, perhaps Bud Grant should keep his thoughts to himself. think it’s for himself in the future rather than complaining he doesn’t see enough shocks live on TV anymore.



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