Should hockey players still be allowed to fight? Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan would seem to think so. In fact, he wants the NFL to allow players to drop the gloves.
— Jerry Ainsworth (@TaylorLewan77) February 9, 2017
It sounds fun. Why not let a bunch of testosterone driven dudes throw a few punches to resolve their differences? The problem is that hockey is really the only sport where fighting could work. The reason is simple. It’s played on ice.
Even for remarkably skilled skaters, throwing a solid punch on ice is incredibly hard to do. It’s too easy to slip and slide around. As such, while it’s not unheard of, it’s incredibly rare to see anyone get really hurt in a hockey fight.
Football is not played on ice. Any potential punches would be thrown by someone with solid footing underneath him. On top of that, football players are massive individuals. Hockey players generally have similar bids to NFL quarterbacks. They’re great athletes, but their punches won’t usually have the kind of force that an NFL linebacker (or lineman) could generate.
So, if football ever becomes a sport played on ice and it’s athletes are about 50 pounds lighter on average, the fight argument may be worth discussing. Until then, it’s best to keep the fights out of the game.