I want to take the time to address a controversal topic that doesn't have anything direction to do with personal training. It is the increased enforcement of penalties and fines in the NFL on hits to the head and neck. Here are two basic tenets:
1) The NFL HAD to do something, you simply CANNOT have a sport where you have over five people per week being left with concussions or neck injuries. You just can't.
2) Just because a sport is phyiscal does not mean that you can take liberties with your opponent. Having rules that prevent you from taking cheap shots does not make the game any less manly, it makes it more of a sport. Take a cue from other sports, in boxing, can't hit someone in back of the head. Also, if someone is knocked down, the opponent goes to a neutral corner for a standing eight count. In soccer, you can't tackle someone from behind, the risk of career-ending achilles tendon and PCL injuries is too great. In baseball, you can't just throw at somebody's of head. These rules do not make their respective sport less manly in any way.
Now one thing that I do understand is the idea of having to "protect your turf", and these rules might change that. I was a soccer goalie is high school, college, and after college. As a goalie, the bigger part of the penalty box that you can control, the better off your team is. When you have a fifty-fifty ball with an opponent in the air, your opponent has a running start, you don't. You have to protect yourself. If I was in the air, I was going in with an both elbow and one knee up. I was protecting myself. That is OK. I was not taking a swing at someones head or trying to spear them in the face. What the NFL has to do tread that fine line between "not lighting up a defenseless player" and "giving receivers amnesty". I believe that it is not hard, as long as you protect heads and necks while still letting receivers get hit. It is not different than the penalties for rouging the passer/kicker, late hits, clipping, facemasks. These rules make football more of a sport, not less.
Now here are some suggestions that I have.
1) Not only should a violent hit to the head on a defenseless receiver be a fine and a penalty, the player should be ejected. This would stop it more than anything.
2) If a hit to the head is avoidable but not violent, the player should receive a penalty and a warning. After a second warning the player is ejected. If a player is reckless or careless, that is just as bad and being malicious.
I think a lot of headhunting has actually led to some bad tackling technique wise. Maybe if they learn to wrap up better and keep the head up, a lot of this will go away.
Look, it is a physical game, and players will get hurt even on a clean hit (see Romo, Tony). But any head and neck injuries that can be avoided, HAVE TO BE.