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  1. #1
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    Hey all. I am stuck in Utah on business, so I've had some time to just sit around and ponder. Me and a buddy were sitting around talking football last night, and got into a dicussion about why there seems to be so many injuries around the league these days. Thinking about it, injuries really do seem to be more prominent than ever. I see player after player going down in training camp and in preseason, and it's really startling. I thought back over the years, and really couldn't remember this happening in the 90's ...

    So, what is the cause for the increase of serious injuries? Well, I came across an article actually concerning pro wrestling. This guys, of course, are pumped up on steroids, and train every day to look as good as they can. It's a part of the business: they need to look good to be a star since it is essentially a soap opera. However, the stronger and more ripped they get, the tighter and shorter their muscles get, and you see many injuries to pro wrestlers like torn quads and triceps, biceps, and pec muscles. They overtrain and become so stiff that they no longer have the range of motion they did before ...

    So, what does this have to do with football? It's the same concept. Today's athletes feel they have to train, train, and train more to get their combine type skill numbers to insane levels. They want to have 3% body fat, and be faster than a rocket. Do these things equate to a football player being successful? Absolutely not. Football is the consummate team game. You have to be smart to play this sport. Sometimes, the greatest professionals are not the greatest athletes, look at Joe Montana and Jerry Rice for instance ...

    Ultimately, I think the evolution of free agency has contributed to this. Player's always feel they need to get the edge on another guy to get the money they want. They train so hard, even obsessively, to the thing to where they are no longer athletes, they are rock hard machines. However, becoming rock hard can sometimes make you fragile. These guys work out all summer long, get ripped, come into camp, put on pads, make the work move, and blow a knee or pop a hamstring, because they haven't been training for football: they have been training to look like Mr. Olympia. They say image is everything ...

    Think about the 70s, 80, and even 90s. Player's back then didn't look like they did today. They were stout and big and strong, but not ripped like bodybuilders. Today, athletes have so many supplements to help them get stronger and faster. This makes their bodies dependent on chemicals and they become machines, machines enclosed with ticking time bombs. Maybe I am just getting old, but I never remembered players looking like total freaks, at least not from a physical standpoint, in the 80s and 90s. Nor do I remember them dropping like flies due to injuries. Really, it was commonplace back then for players to come to camp completely out shape. They would work their butts off in camp to get where they needed to be. But remember, back then, there was no free agency, you were committed to your team. However, you didn't really have to worry about being replaced by anyone other than somebody on the squad or a rookie. Maybe not the best outlook, but these guys used camp to get into shape. Now, with free agency, its a 14 month look competition. They guys have to work everyday to prevent themselves from losing their jobs ...

    There is another case though. Some guys are just fragile, and that's how it is. There is really nothing you can do about that ...

    Just a thought, maybe it's nonsense. But it does seem that so many players are going down to strains and pulls. Maybe it's global warming. Who knows ...


  2. #2
    makersncoke's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting perspective on why injuries seem to be more widespread these days?

    I do not think any of what you said is nonsense, it seems like perfectly good logic to me. There were injuries back in the day, but they were more knee injuries and the ocasional hamstring and such. Nothing like there is today and it's not just in football, it's in all sports. Todays athletes do not have an offseason because the (business end) of sports do not allow for them to relax and prop their feet up. The other thing is that in the 70s 80s and early 90s owners did not have as much invested in players financially as they do now. There is no way an owner wants to take a chance with their $49 million investment if he has the slightest chance of making his injury worse as compared to the guy who got payed 25,000 dollars back in the 70s the attitude was play him unless he's dead then get him off the field.

  3. #3
    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: Interesting perspective on why injuries seem to be more widespread these days?

    Interesting point. I can see that. I don't presume to know the answer to this question, but I have also heard many people say that the game has gotten a lot faster over the last decade or two. With trying to out-speed eachother the hits are faster and invariably more violent.

    Mass x Acceleration = force (i think). So my postulation is, assuming the players are the same size and weight, by playing/moving faster, each tendent, ligament, joint, and muscle has to deal with a much greater amount of Energy in relation to the same mass when turning, accelarating, and stopping. That's a greatly increased amount of force being applied to those poor little acl's, tricep muscles and hammy's.

    maybe its a combination of the two... maybe its neither. i couldn't say, but I think you're right when you point out that injuries seem to have increased. I know as a Rams fan it certainly seems so.
    Last edited by HUbison; -08-22-2008 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Just helping Koi w/ his interpretation of Newton's 2nd Law.

  4. #4
    Chris58's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting perspective on why injuries seem to be more widespread these days?

    Good post. I think there probably are several factors, but certainly muscle development and stress of year round conditioning is probably a big part of the equation. Extraordinary forces must be put on connective tissue and bone, which really can't be as fortified as muscle is by workouts, nutrition, and chemicals (legal and otherwise).

  5. #5
    MoonJoe's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting perspective on why injuries seem to be more widespread these days?

    Agreed, good post. Although I do believe that Jerry Rice did become a workout hound at the second half of his career. I would also add in astro turf as a factor.

  6. #6
    bigredman's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting perspective on why injuries seem to be more widespread these days?

    It's because today's players are a bunch of weinies. Not tough like back when we played football. Am I right MoonJoe?
    Last edited by bigredman; -08-21-2008 at 10:57 PM.
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  7. #7
    MoonJoe's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting perspective on why injuries seem to be more widespread these days?

    Damn right, let me go all "Old School on them!!!

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