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11/23: Helmet-to-Helmet Hits: Football Fans Define the Penalty


11/23: Helmet-to-Helmet Hits: Football Fans Define the Penalty

The NFL has been cracking down on players who commit illegal helmet-to-helmet hits with fines and suspensions.  But, what do football fans think the punishment should be for this type of player conduct?  More than one-fifth — 27% — believe these players should be, both, fined and suspended.  An additional 31% say they should be only fined while 22% believe they should just be suspended.  One-fifth — 20% — believe neither punishment should be used.



Younger football fans are more tolerant of helmet-to-helmet hits. 27% of those younger than 30 years old don’t think any punishment should be imposed compared with 14% of fans 60 and older.

There is also a gender gap on this question. More men — 26% — compared with women — 11% — don’t think players should be penalized at all for these hard hits.

As for the number of U.S. residents who are professional football fans, 68% of residents report they watch the sport, at least, a little. There has been no change on this question since Marist’s October survey.

Table: Punishment for Helmet-to-Helmet Hits
Table: Professional Football Fans

Marist Poll Methodology

Related Story:
Interview: Verne Lundquist Discusses Hard Hits on the Gridiron

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  1. Terry

    April 11, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    There are many times when helmet to helmet contact is incidental and while frowned upon, should not be fined or suspended. The league survived for many years without the issue being such a hot topic, so why now? If you listen to all the reports that come out regarding things that will kill, maim, or even scar you for life, most of us over 40 should already be dead. Like anything else, those that are involved know and understand the risks associated with their activity. At any time they so choose, they can walk away. Why as a society do we have the need to regulate the actions of others, especially when we all cherish our “freedom”? Intellegent people know when there is a cheap shot thrown, fine and suspend. Incidental contact? Leave it alone.

  2. Dentaldoc

    March 17, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    This is only good for spectator value. We need to reduce any type of physical contact that is not conducive to the execution of the sport itself. Fine and suspend these guys pronto!

  3. livescore

    March 6, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Nice post. we are impressed by the way you produce a clear description of your topic. Thanks for the information and keep on posting.

  4. Shimano Curado 200E7

    February 16, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    I’m a male in my 40s and I believe that the player should be fined and suspended. Some people just don’t get the fact that head-to-head hits like this, no matter how cool they might look, can be incredible damaging.

    It’s not too common, but these kinds of hits can result in broken necks and lifelong paralysis to the victim. Additionally, the person doing the hitting can also be permanently injured. They seem to forget this in the heat of the moment.

    I think it’s time the NFL cracks down on this once and for all. Tough punishments will bring this to a screeching halt before too many people get seriously hurt.

    Just my opinion, of course 😉

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