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Goodell’s goal is simple: Take the head out of the game

Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell listens to a reporter’s question during a news conference at the annual NFL football meetings at the Arizona Biltmore, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


The effort to make football safer includes proper management of the most significant and distinctive piece of safety equipment that game uses.The helmet, which was designed to protect the human skull, has become perhaps the greatest threat to its contents in recent years. Commissioner Roger Goodell is trying to change that.

Goodell’s efforts have resulted in the Neurosurgical Society of America’s “Medal For Outstanding Service,” a fitting prize for a man many current players believe has become Wreck-It Roger. But Goodell never wavers. And he won’t be wavering when it comes to efforts to make the game as safe as possible for the brains of those who play it, at every level.

“We want to take the head out of the game,” Goodell said upon receiving the award, via NFL spokesman Greg Aiello’s Twitter page. “The helmet is for protection. It is not a weapon.”

It has been a weapon for decades, and Goodell has been struggling to change a culture that all football players willingness accept, despite the risks. His objective suggests that more rule changes are coming. Indeed, to truly take the head out of the game, John Madden’s suggested abandonment of the three-point stance becomes inevitable.

That’s the kind of change that would fundamentally alter the game and, more importantly, the way it looks when piped through our HDTVs. As a result, it’s a long shot that the three-point stance will ever go the way of the flying wedge.

Still, look for Goodell to push for any and all rules changes that can make the game incrementally safer without making it look any different to the ever-growing throng of football fans, both zealous and casual.