Is Toughness a Dying Aspect in Sports?

There are so many different sports in the world and all have their differences whether they are played by individuals or teams, with a puck or a ball, with a lot of equipment or with no equipment. Then there is an even bigger division based on the line of contact and non-contact sports. This division is possibly the largest in the sporting world as the contact sports are some of the most popular sports in North America. Out of the four major sports leagues in North America there is a clear-cut division. The MLB and NBA are both non contact sports, although the NBA is more physical than the MLB, while the NHL and NFL are the two contact sports. The NFL is far and above the most popular sport in North America while the NHL is the most popular sport in Canada and a very popular sport in the Northern U.S. People love these contact sports because of the physicality of them with big hits and big plays every time you watch. The physicality of the sports are a major draw as physical sports have always been some of the most popular. With Boxing in its heyday this was true and still is true in MMA that has entered the mainstream of sports. As these sports progress then end up creeping into society as the images are seen everywhere and people outside of the sports community begin to see more and more of it. This can cause problems however as society seems to be moving towards not doing anything that may offend any other person. This is completely opposite of sports as for many people they hark back to a time when you solved your problems with a physical test, like fighting in hockey. With the clash of these two sections of society comes a lot of problems as groups outside of the sports world begin to complain about the violence of sports. With all of the pressure from the outside world these leagues are forced to overcome some of the violence in their sports. This is everything from fighting in hockey to hits in the NFL. The outside world is not the only reason for the many changes as recent studies and recent tragedies have brought a major issue to light. Through a number of studies the sports world has recently seen the affects that these contact sports have after a professional careers. With concussion awareness increasing the NHL and NFL have changed rules around in an attempt to reduce the amount of damage that athletes are taking while playing. These changes have angered a lot of sports fans as many people believe they are slowly removing the physicality of the game. This belief has led to a lot of debate among sports fans and I am throwing my hat into the ring as well.

I personally love the physicality of sports with big hits and hockey fights being part of my love for the games. I think that the complaints of toughness and physicality of sports being removed is false. Sport is a business and they need to protect their investments, which are the players. By changing rules the leagues are looking to prevent their players from no longer being able to play. A perfect example of this is Sidney Crosby who, because of a concussion missed half of last season and has yet to return this year. With the loss of Crosby the Penguins are doing well but they have a big draw missing as Crosby is the favorite of almost every fan. Protecting these players is a big reason why the leagues are changing their rules and I think it is necessary for these sports to continue to grow. Besides the reasoning I also think that the theory that the physical part of the game is being taken out is completely unfounded. I have not witnessed less legal hits this year and I think the complaints about restrictions are some of the most ignorant complaints. For a big hit there is no need to launch yourself like a missile at the opposing player or put your elbows up to hit another player in the head. There are more than enough examples of clean hits that have made fans stand up and cheer. The rule changes are simply a way to protect the investment of players and are not changing the game. The fact is that there needs to be an adjustment period in these leagues for players, that have apparently never learned to tackle properly, to learn how to tackle within the new rules. This will happen fairly quickly as there is evidence of players picking up the new rules to this day. Toughness has not left the sports world it has just become more safe and back to the fundamentals that everyone learned when they were first learning the games that they love. There needs to be less complaining by everyone including the fans and players as if they truly were to watch the games they would realize that nothing has changed and the toughness in sports is there and will never go away.

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