The National Football League can’t seem to get away from criticism over the dangers of brain trauma in the game. Currently, over 4,000 former players and their families are suing the league, claiming that the NFL hid information related to the true dangers of the repetitive hits players take.
A report from National Football Post claims that as recently as a year ago, NFL officials considered widening the field. The thought was a wider field, similar to the one used in the Canadian Football League, would help spread out the bodies, leading to less pile ups. The CFL’s field is 195 feet wide, compared to 160 feet in the NFL. Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, who played six years in the CFL, thinks it would be a good idea, as the Canadian league has fewer head to head collisions. “The lower impact hits I think cause more problems over a period of time because there are more of them,” he says.
At a certain point, the NFL is going to have to make a change. There is no denying that players take hard hits on a regular basis, often with a force that rivals some car accidents. Whether widening the field is the answer the league is looking for remains to be seen. It would be a big financial investment, as many stadiums were built specifically the the dimensions of the current field.
When it comes to the safety of the players, though, money should be no object. Eventually, the dangers of the game aren’t going to be worth the paycheck you’ll get, and some say that day has already come.