A New York investor named Jeff Lewis could start a national touch football league in 2018 if an experimental game featuring Michael Vick this June does well, reports Peter King of the MMQB.
“If a 7-on-7 touch football game featuring some big names like Mike Vick on June 27 in San Jose shows well, a New York financier named Jeff Lewis intends to start a national touch football league in 2018,” reports King.
The game in June will feature Vick, but the league — if it comes to fruition — may not. According to King, the game in San Jose will be played like flag football, with magnetic flags being pulled and pinpointing the exact place the player is stopped with a sensor.
Although the overall goal of this: football without head trauma, is noble, it’s frankly tough to see this succeeding. The violence, for lack of a better word, that football entails doesn’t just attract a notable segment of its fanbase, but it also makes the game what it is.
Football just isn’t the same without tackling. So many strategic elements are lost with flag football — even if you have the fastest guys in the world, there isn’t much point in running the ball if you don’t have to bring down the ball carrier. Ditto for screen passes.
There are steps the NFL can and should consider taking to cut down on concussions. Getting rid of kickoffs should be on the table, and maybe the league shouldn’t even balk at some sort of study around getting rid of helmets entirely. But getting rid of tackling altogether is a step too far.
A better thing to do would be to continue teaching kids to tackle without using their heads and coaching young running backs and linebackers not to use their heads as a weapon.
Maybe people have interest in a touch league if names like Vick are involved — there’s certainly a football void this time of year — but it’s tough to imagine long-term success here.