Sep 23, 2014
Concussions are a hot topic in all sports now. Brought into the mainstream by the tragic death of Junior Seau, head injuries have become the buzz by which all our favorite spectator sports are now being scrutinized ever so tightly. A player's well being is the catalyst for sweeping changes in sport and this is a topic which drives the old timers insane.
Isn't part of the appeal the inherent danger in some of these sports that makes the spectacle sparkle after all? Indeed it is but what is not considered by those who harbor this belief is that the general fan considers their two to three hours of entertainemnt wonderful, but disposable. They don't have to experience the dizzying nausea that paralyzes these athletes for days, they're onto the next game and what excitement it can offer.
But now a paradigm shift is happening to protect the modern day gladiators. Even the dinosaur that is the governing body of soccer, FIFA, is looking into this topic and considering sweeping changes. Entertaining the concept of actually stopping a match for three minutes to allow team physicians to assess the condition of players receiving blows to the head is a very controversial matter to consider. http://www.foxsports.com/soccer/story/fifa-plan-to-introduce-three-minute-breaks-for-concussion-assessment-092314
This change in the laws of the game would be the biggest since no longer allowing the goalkeeper to handle back passes played by teammate's feet in 1992. To actually have an allowance to stop a match for three minutes is as revolutionary as allowing instant replay and would indeed open the door for that very controversial technological hope/ fear (depending on one's position) to become a reality. Soccer would now have the very thing the purists despise- a time out.
In 2014 there were water breaks granted in the heat of Northern Brazil and now that the door has been cracked, FIFA is going to blow it wide open. Be prepared, once the winds of change begin blowing, it won't take long for them to gust and then howl their ever progressive changes to sweep away what was once unthinkable.
Will it be an improvement? It certainly will to those who lose cognitive ability for the sake of other's entertainment. But then there will be those with the old school perspective who will argue, "They knew the risks."
Whichever side one takes, this much is true, if this three minutes comes to fruition, then instant replay will not be far behind.
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