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Pain is hurtful and hurt is painful

Some NFL fans are booing hits from defenders that used to be legal, but aren’t anymore. Anything that leads with the head is going to get a flag and a 15-yard penalty. Anything that goes for the head of an opposing player is going to draw the same punishment.

It’s about time. The NFL says head injuries are at the top of its list of concerns. Rightly so. And if it means making the game less violent, so be it.

Injuries are always going to be a major part of football. Too much a part of football, if you ask me. But that horse left the barn a long, long time ago.

Equipment is always being improved, but the athletes who play football are bigger, stronger and faster than they were even 5-10 years ago. Football players are pushing their bodies like never before, and some of those bodies are breaking down.

Getting hit by a defensive back didn’t used to be that big of a deal, when defensive backs were 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. Now that many of them are 6-1 and 210 pounds, the hits produce a lot more shock.

Human bodies aren’t made to play football. Pads help, but they don’t alleviate the problem. The game is based on blocking and tackling, activities guaranteed to produce a fair share of ouchies. Throw hitting into the mix and you have a game that needs to be closely monitored, which is what the officials, under the mandate of commissioner Roger Goodell, are trying to do.

Yet Goodell is sending mixed messages. He says injuries – especially those to the head – are one of his league’s biggest concerns, yet is pushing for an increase to an 18-game regular season.

Goodell can’t have it both ways. You can say it’s just two more games, but it’s a 12-plus percent increase to the schedule.

By pushing for 18 games, Goodell is undermining his expressed concerns with the game’s injury situation. More games aren’t going to cause fewer injuries. And at a time when the NFL labor agreement is up in the air, Goodell will try to use the 18-game schedule as leverage to avoid a lock-out.

I think 16 games is plenty. I’m sure most of the players and coaches do, too. The only people who want to see 18 games are the owners and some fans. The same fans who love helmet-to-helmet contact and players being carted off the field.

I was looking at a site today and it displayed logos for some college teams.

I really looked at the logos, studied them with an artistic eye. Previously, I never really paid much attention. But there is such a thing as a good college logo and a bad one.

Let’s start with Michigan. I’m not sure why just the scripted M wasn’t good enough here and why “Michigan” was inserted. It detracts from the logo, in my opinion. I do like the colors and I love the “M.” That would have been sufficient. Grade: C-minus.

Michigan State. Although you really have to be a fan of logos to know that an “S” can be a symbol for Michigan State. It’s understated, almost cocky. The average logo fan – which I was before this undertaking – would be confused by this logo. It’s as if Michigan State thinks it can just throw an “S’ out there and take for granted that people are going to know which school it refers to. Grade: D

This is Utah’s logo and although I’m sure there are some who don’t believe it’s politically correct, it’s one of my favorites. I love the feathers. I love the “U.” I simply love everything about this logo. Grade: A.

This is Washington State – the Cougars. There’s a cougar hidden in this logo somewhere. If I close my right eye halfway and look up at the right angle with my left eye, I can make it out. I see what Washington State was going for here. I do like the whiskers. Any logo that can adopt whiskers is a log I’m usually rooting for. But this one falls short. It looks like something you have to type in before you get access to a website. Grade: D-minus.

We’ll look at more logos at a later date.

My Facebook friend

Darcy Powers O’Neill

Oh, what can one say about Darcy. I’ve known her since she was a student at Wichita State, and she was dating Wichita State baseball player Jaime Bluma. Of course, everyone loves Bluma and Darcy was just as cool. When my son, Jeff, was 10 or 11, I hired Darcy to babysit when I was on road trips. She was dependable and Jeff seemed unscathed by the experience. Darcy is happily married now (not to Jaime) with two children. She loves Notre Dame football and Shocker baseball and is just a really wonderful person.

Here’s what Darcy had to say about our Facebook relationship: Well, I would say we are friends because of Shocker baseball. Going to school at WSU and of course me dating Jaime put me in contact with you and thus I became the house sitter/babysitter for Jeff while you traveled.I could say our mutual love of drinking beer and our love for the Eagles has been the foundation that has continued the great friendship over the years!