Aubrey injury should be a wake-up call

Baseball is a joke. Joke, as in, have you heard the one about how Bud Selig rescheduled a recent couple of Astros games?Houston home games that had to be moved because of Hurricane Ike?not to a ballpark in Texas, but to Milwaukee. Yes, that Milwaukee. As in, the city that?s 92 miles north of Chicago! Milwaukee, as in, Selig?s home town! As in, the city of Miller Park, the stadium that houses the team he is a minority owner of!

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I haven?t checked this to be sure, but I probably just used more exclamation points in the last paragraph than I have in the last two years worth of articles combined! And now I can?t stop using them! I hope there?s a support group! Or a 12-step program!

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I?m not one to gossip, but I heard a rumor that the concrete slab out by the grain elevator is not, in fact, a bumper crop bunker. I heard it?s actually going to be a skating rink and that Hillsboro will soon be home to a semi-pro hockey team.

But don?t tell anyone. It?s a big secret.

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OK, so I lied about the hockey rink rumor. When the bumper crop bunker topic came up in the weekly staff meeting last Wednesday, a few of us tossed around ideas for what else that slab of concrete could possibly be used for. And by ?a few of us? I mean Joel, who looked at me with that twinkle in his eye that he could probably use to persuade a smallmouth bass to swallow a cinder block if he really wanted to.

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I read somewhere that a certain person with a great deal of football knowledge recently laid out the framework of the rules concerning the way that rogue defensive backs who deliver helmet-to-helmet hits on quarterbacks should be handled.

To all the teams in the league the Commisioner said: ?From this point forward, you should be clear on the following point: Any conduct that unnecessarily risks the safety of other players has no role in the game of football and will be disciplined at increased levels, including on a first offense….

To all the players in the league he said: ?Playing by the rules shows respect for your fellow players. No one wants to see unnecessary injuries…

And to the particular player who acted in such a reckless and dangerous manner, the league?s executive vice president for football operations said: ?Your actions are of particular concern in light of the emphasis that our office has placed on developing and enforcing rules designed to protect players from injury, including concussions…

?The safety of our players is paramount to all of us in the NFL.?

Wait, NFL? Shouldn?t that be KCAC?

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The above quotes are from a memo the NFL circulated in response to a helmet-to-helmet hit delivered by Tampa Bay defensive back Elbert Mack to the head of Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan two weeks ago.

But to the best of my knowledge, the KCAC does not even have a mechanism or a process by which it could evaluate whether or not to suspend the….. um….. human being who tried to knock Jason Aubrey?s head off after he ran out of bounds during the Ottawa game.

Memo to KCAC: figure out how to take that kind of ugliness out of the game before somebody gets crippled.

I?ve got as much respect for the Jack Tatums of this world as anybody, but if intent-to-injure hits and hitters do not belong in the NFL brand of football, they certainly do not belong in the brand of football we?re playing here in central Kansas.

Here?s my suggestion: define a match penalty and lay out the consequences of committing one. I propose that whenever an official throws a flag for an unnecessary roughness, facemask, chop block, or late hit out of bounds personal foul, and a player is injured as a result of the foul, the official should check with the injured player?s trainer at the end of the quarter.

If the trainer declares that the injury is severe enough to prevent the player from returning to the game, the offending player should be assessed a match penalty and ejected.

If the injured guy misses multiple games, so should the injurer. I think it really is just as simple as that.

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