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first period of Saturdays
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Does the violence a player experiences on a football field breed a violent attitude and eventually violent actions off the field? I wonder sometimes if it should be a consideration, a topic for discussion given the domestic public actions of a few players. It is true that in many - in fact I say the majority of positions - on a team you have to internally develop an intense insensitivity to hitting and being hit. It is called football but it could be called hitball because all you do is hit other people to get the ball and when you have the ball you can expect to get hit. Ike Taylor was going after the ball and got hit by his own guy, his own teammate and broke his arm on Sunday night in Carolina. I do wonder if year after year if it does not change a person and their perception in an emotional moment of right and wrong. Now this is not a rationalization or excuse in regard to Ray Rice or others but more an inquiry as to why an action is taken that has such dramatic consequences. In my time as a player you did come across a player of two where you had to wonder if it was only a matter of time before the police would be visiting his home. And among players it was looked at as a weakness and with disdain, that on our team we had a guy that could not control his temper and anger on the field. Yes, a thought or comment was made that it was just a matter of time that his attitude would get him in trouble - truly a minority of people in the extreme. I do think football can change you in personality and values. Over time as a player you do need to switch on before you play, switch off when you leave the field. Still I found switching off very easy, switching on taking some emotionally concentrated effort and purpose. One of the aspects I enjoyed about playing football were the people and the personality changes you saw from nice guy to not so nice guy, amazing to watch and experience. And after the game the not-so-nice guy was gone and the normal nice guy returned. All the time? No, but almost all the time. I do think that many of the issues facing the NFL are very similar to the issues facing society. I am more aware of meeting the wrong person at the wrong time in daily life than I ever was in a football atmosphere. Still, I cant help but wonder if the demands of the sport dont warp the mind a little, and a little mind warping is a lot. Again this is not to justify or create an excuse. People I have spoken to all agree that the Rice incident is shocking and repulsive but because it happened as time moves on you do wonder why and how a man with so much to lose in a moment would lose it all. I do believe that the surrounding associations and environment you grow up in just may be the biggest influence in life. It the case of football because the aggressiveness and violence is rewarded it may and can change you. It has logic. The league will introduce programs and courses and hire specialists and this and that. All good. Still players also must realize whether it is football, boxing, hockey or MMA the sport they are participating in is not the norm. It is an event that has a beginning and ending that need a temper or anger switch to be turned on and turned off. Yes, hitting people can be a rush, but the rush has to stay on a field, in a ring or on the ice. If it is, then no problem. If it is not, big problem. Pro athletes are not raving maniacs of evil intent, quite the opposite. Yet, you do conclude that some handle the demands better than others. And the demands can change you at the most inopportune time. Not a rationalization, just a theory. Jeremy Lin Jersey .ca MLB Power Rankings, the third consecutive week that the As have held top spot and the third straight week that they have been one ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays. Dominique Wilkins Jersey .ca. Kerry, In the first period of Saturdays Montreal-Ottawa game, Brendan Gallagher is called for goaltender interference. 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