, Newburyport, MA

February 8, 2013

Ridley hit was enough football for me

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

I couldn’t agree more with Rama Valianti’s recent Viewpoint on NFL and the safety of football players. I love the game and am very lucky to have the Patriots to cheer for and to have seen the likes of Junior Seau and Ted Johnson play for them. I always believed football was a game of skill and strategy, not a blood sport like those practiced back in the days of the Roman Empire.

But right there in the second half of the AFC Championship game, I watched the Patriots’ running back Stevan Ridley get knocked out by a helmet-to-helmet hit put on him by one of the players on Baltimore’s defensive line. As Ridley lay there unconscious, the ball fell from his helpless arms. The refs hesitated it seemed like a long time before making the call: a fumble and recovery by Baltimore. I would have thought it should have been called a personal foul for the helmet-to-helmet hit. But no, that rule instituted to safeguard players’ safety didn’t apply in this particular case.

As they carried Ridley’s body off the field and awarded Baltimore the ball, I clicked off the TV. It might be the last time I watch an NFL game. It really should be.

Bruce Parks