Our NFL Nation Confidential poll results roll on. We surveyed 10 players from each NFL team on a variety of questions, and today we present to you the answers to these two:
True or false: I’d play in the Super Bowl with a concussion
True or false: The NFL is committed to player safety.
Of the 320 players surveyed, 272 said they would play in the Super Bowl with a concussion. That's 85 percent, and frankly I'm a little surprised it's not higher. Never mind the fact the NFL at this point wouldn't allow a player to play in the Super Bowl with a concussion. This is a theoretical exercise in which players were asked whether they'd ignore a concussion to play in the Super Bowl if it were up to them. The results indicate the unsurprising fact that these guys have worked and dreamed for years for a chance to play in the Super Bowl and would be willing to risk long-term health issues if presented with a chance to do so. My guess is the percentage would have been even higher 10 years ago, before concussion issues became such a significant part of the NFL discussion and players had a chance to assess the real dangers they possess.
On the second question, 192 players (60 percent) answered yes, the NFL is committed to player safety, while the other 40 percent said no. Greater disagreement not surprising here, since this is a broader question that incorporates each individual's definition of that word "committed." Someone who answered "no" could have been in a bad mood over a play they didn't like in a game two days earlier. Someone who answered "yes" could have been doing so in a negative way, perhaps echoing some fan sentiment that an increased commitment to player safety is damaging the fabric of the game. I'd be interested in hearing some of the explanations behind some of the votes on this one, though it was a confidential survey, so we won't. We're left with "commitment to player safety" as a nebulous issue in 2014, and I expect it will remain that for some time.