Dick Harmon: Ex-Coug decries football sissies

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  • doughboy SPRING, TX
    Jan. 3, 2011 7:17 p.m.

    I agree with Derik. This country has become a breeding ground for "pansies". I bet the ones who disagree, are the same ones who's kids are out of control at church or in public places and you encourage it because they are "just expressing themselves". I bet they are the ones who played football on x box or play station because "real Football" was too dangerous. We all make decisions in life based on consequence. I know football is dangerous and i have the choice whether to play or not, knowing i might get hurt. I am a fireman knowing i might get burned or die one day because its dangerous. These are risks we take to do what we love. I would rather see football banned now than see it digress into powder puff or the local ward turkey bowl. Its time to man up, or stick to video games, coed flag football, mini vans, and time out! (sorry about the mini vans).

  • bfh529 Orem, UT
    Dec. 30, 2010 12:55 p.m.

    This article reflects a misconception of what a man should be in this society. Should men be willing to abide pain? Yes. Should they be foolish, out of control, or succumbent to the prevailing attitudes of the day of how one displays his toughness? No. You tough it out when you have to, and don't go out of your way looking for pain.

    Extrapolating Stevenson's comments, why don't we eliminate protective gear altogether? Football is a game to be won, not one in which players try to intentionally injure their opponents. It's about skill, intelligence, finesse, strategy, and sportsmanship. This is a sport and a game, not a fight. Brutes fight. Real men should separate themselves from brutal behavior.

    There are too many sissies today, who can't stand discomfort of any sort, even outside of football. They complain too much about it being too hot or too cold, or the food not tasting good. So should we reduce ourselves to third-world country status? Of course not. On the contrary, we should be always seeking to improve the quality of life, meantime tolerating pain without complaint. THAT is real toughness.

  • lukesrealfather Diamond Bar, CA
    Dec. 30, 2010 9:26 a.m.

    As Gru said....."knocked oooooooovverrrr"

  • Max Syracuse, NY
    Dec. 30, 2010 7:00 a.m.

    This guy definitely has a few loose screws (probably from multiple concussions)as several comments have pointed out. While entertaining to read (nut cases often are) I am surprised that such lunacy was given a forum. The sad thing is that there are those out there who may actually take this guy seriously.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Dec. 29, 2010 8:20 p.m.

    Time for better helmets to reduce brain damage.

  • radically_independent Orem, Utah
    Dec. 29, 2010 4:45 p.m.

    Wait... did some more reading up on old Derik. Were these comments really made by a guy who never played a down in a single game in the NFL. I don't do this often but....


    He isn't even on the NFLs list of players who ever played the game. Oh, this is rich. The DN could not find a quote from anyone who actually played the game? How weak is that.

  • radically_independent Orem, Utah
    Dec. 29, 2010 4:42 p.m.

    What a bunch of over the top manly man chatter.

    What ever.

  • Duckhunter American Fork, UT
    Dec. 29, 2010 4:14 p.m.

    Lotsa pansies these days. My advice if you are one of them is don't play football, don't let your pansie sons play football, and don't watch it either.

    Your son still won't be any good if they eliminate the contact so don't try to ruin it for the ones that have what it takes.

  • Rock Chalk BYU Lawrence, KS
    Dec. 29, 2010 2:53 p.m.

    I served a mission with Derik's brother. They basically had the same personality. Makes me laugh just reading the article. His brother was a great guy, and Derik was a great player.

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 29, 2010 1:36 p.m.

    Im a Utah fan but know BYUs rosters very well. Stevenson, I barely remember.

    When you make moronic statements like the following: "I used to start to salivate when I lined up across from a tight end or running back in thermal underwear. I could smell weakness. I knew I would have him in tears before halftime. There is no way you can take this Tool seriously.

    Being properly dressed to play any sport, in any condition is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of common sense. Things we did Back In the Day have been proven fool hardy.

    Football is a violent game. Long term safety of players should always be considered. Period!

    Dick, I know it was a slow week for you, but dont give morons a forum for their irrationality.

    Go Utes!

  • lukesrealfather Diamond Bar, CA
    Dec. 29, 2010 10:09 a.m.

    I'm starting a petition to have LES renamed. Sure LaVell Edwards did a lot for football in Provo, but let's all admit here and now who has brought the Cougar's program to where it stands today.

  • coachjake Boise, ID
    Dec. 29, 2010 9:31 a.m.

    As a young man I loved the sport of football! I was always taught to keep my head up when I tackled to avoid head injury not "lead with my eyes." I still had plenty of big hits and was a sure tackler. I think it is very disturbing to see illegal hits continued to be glorified and praised. If we want to preserve the greatest game in the world we must preserve its players. I myself suffered a few concussions beginning in the 7th grade. When you have to stay awake to avoid slipping into a coma, I think it should be classified as serious not sissy. The following measures might help. First eliminate helmet to helmet contact in the pros. Start suspending guys for this stuff. They will get the message. Second educate young men on not only the proper way to tackle but also the effects of repeated concussions. Finally require better helmets. I dont care if it looks goofy. If everyone is wearing a new protective helmet then it just be normal and a few years down the road no one care about how it looks.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Dec. 29, 2010 9:26 a.m.

    Old people have been calling younger people "sissies" since the days of Sparta.

    Young people have been calling old people out of touch since the days of Nero.

    As far as having Steve Young on here commenting instead of Derik, we know what he thinks of current players. Just listen to his comments after MNF. Talk about uphill both ways.

    Old dudes are crabby and delusional.

    Young dudes are sissies.

    'Til the end of time.

  • Utes21 Salt Lake City, ut
    Dec. 29, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    My dad could beat up your dad!!! He wasnt a sissy he played football with no pads at all and he always played in the snow going uphill against the wind the footballs were made out of rocks and back in the day you could bite and gouge eyes he also played against the nazis in the WWII and scored 12 touchdowns while taking three bullets to his back.
    Really is this article for real? Cmon! These post are the funniest things I have read for a long time. How can you take this guy serious. Did he even have a NFL Career? No you played in Provo a couple years and that gives you the right to call out professional athletes something you never obtained. Least get chad lewis or steve young to comment on this kind of story. I think you are suffering from brain injuries if you think that football has become sissy my friend. Wow they wore sleeves to stay warm, do you still walk around without a shirt in a snowstorm? Dont compare yourself to Urlacher major difference he is a primetime player while you work at a kiosk in the Provo mall

  • chuqnorris Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 11:26 p.m.

    Stevenson was a beast. Don't hate the playa, hate the game.

  • chuqnorris Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 11:15 p.m.

    Don't kid yourselves. The NFL doesn't care about the safety of the players. It's about $. Prolong the careers of the high-profile, big money offensive players. Squeeze out a few more years for each Brett Farve type and put some butts in seats. Spare us the "health and safety" speech.

  • chuqnorris Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 11:06 p.m.

    In My Opinion your poor 4 boys are going to grow up to be very sensitive. Very, very sensitive. And well informed. And very commonsensical. And very in-touch with their feelings. But you should probably not let them play football. Wrap them in bubble-wrap and send them out in the backyard to play with the girls from next door.

  • In My Opinion Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:46 p.m.

    I speak as an avid BYU Football fan and as a mother of 4 boys. I cringe to think that my boys could ever turn out like Derik Stevenson is portrayed to be in this article. His views about the game of football, toughness, and manhood are frankly appalling to me...so off-base from what real manhood entails. As for changes in the game of football...things have changed because we have learned a better way to do things based upon sad lessons learned from past experience and based upon new knowledge and common sense.

  • chuqnorris Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:42 p.m.

    Derik Stevenson is Luke Skywalker's real father. That was one bad dude. Back in the day NO ONE would dare get up in his kitchen.

  • Don't Feed the Trolls Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:16 p.m.

    I played D-1 ball. Broke three helmets because I "led with my eyes." I think I may have gotten two concussions:

    One when I was knocked out for a minute or so playing flag football the night before a high school game -- which I played.

    The second in a college game. I was dazed, walked to the huddle with the guys whose jerseys matched mine, my head cleared right before the next snap.

    I LOVE football, loved hitting people so hard they remembered the hit when we met years later, loved playing, loved coaching for many years -- and I think Stevenson is a blowhard, and this article is dumb.

    Concussions are no joke. Nor are injuries. Jim McMahon's brain damage is sad.

    Despite the fact I love football, I am all for protection, and rules that protect players.

    We didn't know what a concussion was in my day. We also didn't know about dehydration. No one drank water at practice, even during August two-a-days -- to toughen us up. That is as stupid as saying people are "sissies" for knowing the difference between "pain" and "injury," or for making rules to prevent concussions.

  • kugrlover Provo, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:02 p.m.

    RIGHT ON Derik (and DH)

    Nauseating, but totally expected to see all the libs, nay-sayers, sports pacifists flocking to comment on this SPOT-ON opinion of football, and by extension, our society. Guess most of you hate boxing or MMA as well?

    To those wanting to outlaw football altogether, or continue legislating it into the ground until they finally take off the pads and just play flag like the wannabe intramural college weekend warriors, or two-hand touch, and to those who say they want strategy and skill over hard-nosed football, played the way it was DESIGNED to be played, some suggestions:

    1 - switch to watching soccer, televised chess matches or Dancing With the Stars.
    2 - Join Greenpeace, the Sierra Club or some other liberal feel-good organization: go save the world and leave football alone.
    3 - move to Mamby-Pamby Land.
    4 - dress your boys in short shorts and pink socks
    5 - join the Marines and try selling your POV in the barracks at boot - good luck with THAT, Francis.

    and finally, if all else fails,

    6 - change the station or turn the TV off. But leave the game alone.

  • electric grantsville, ut
    Dec. 28, 2010 7:03 p.m.

    For those of you decrying the battlefield analogy, maybe we should get rid of all war analogies; like no more shotgun formation, no long bombs, heck, no more offense or defense. Maybe we should keep religion out of the game too, so no more Hail Mary's.

    Life is tough. It's war out there. When I get in a tight spot I'll be calling Derik, not those of you who got participation awards in T-ball.

  • MenaceToSociety Draper, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 6:21 p.m.

    Who cares? This guy is not the type of person I'd be going to for advice on anything.

  • David in New Mexico Rio Rancho, NM
    Dec. 28, 2010 5:50 p.m.

    Amen. I remember going to High School Seminary and on Friday before the football game, inevitably someone would pray "Bless that no one will get hurt in the game". It's football. That's like praying to stay dry and then going out in a rain storm. It's like praying your eyes won't get hurt when you stare at the sun. Honestly. I wonder if any of these commenters have played tackle football on a competitive level because the author's right: every player gets hurt every game. Seriously. It's just a matter of how bad. Big bruises, bloodied knuckles, broken ribs. There's a spectrum but the bottom line is FOOTBALL IS NOT SAFE. It's not designed to be safe. It is all about one massive body moving running as fast as possible carrying the ball with another man set on a collision course to stop the ball. If you want safety, or pray for it, use some common sense and simply avoid football.

  • DH48 West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 4:56 p.m.

    I could not disagree more. I'm not interested in his manly perspective. It is unfortunate to watch skilled players knocked out of games because of a vicious hit. I want to see talent and skill not just a bunch of brutes pounding their heads together and knocking each other in to an early grave.

  • He-Man Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 4:52 p.m.

    Yep. Football is for sissies. Real men play rugby!

  • Jimmy James Bronx, NY
    Dec. 28, 2010 4:37 p.m.

    I'm glad to see so many comments taking this guy to town for his "Sissy" comments. I'm guessing he hasn't seen the reports that came from studying the brains of former football players. Just try googling "chronic traumatic encephalopathy", and I'll think you'll see why football needs to be sissified. This isn't something to be "taken like a man". We're talking about long term permanent brain injury here.

    In fact, I for one am in huge favor of "sissifying" football even more. People seem to be incurring more and more injuries these days, and I think it's time some rules were changed to account for that.

  • williary Kearns, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 4:18 p.m.

    People, including this ex-player, too easily forget this is a BUSINESS. It is a business for the millionaires who own teams and seek to make a hefty profit. It is also a business to the TV executives who shell out billions of dollars for broadcasting rights.

    In regards to the game tonight, again this is a business for the NFL and the Eagles. Philly needs as many patrons in the stands as possible. They need to sell every ticket available, and sell as much food/merchandise to those ticket holders as possible. That was not going to happen were ticket holders not able to get to the game, period. Financial decision. As for the NFL and NBC, they need people to watch this game from their home, if they are not going. That becomes very difficult for Eagles fans who are out stuck in a blizzard, instead of sitting in front of their TV.

    As for the concussions, its all about business. It hurts the owners/players/league when starters are continually missing games due to injury. They need to keep as many starters healthy as possible.

    Just common sense.

  • UtahUte16 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 3:46 p.m.

    I bet this guy was really really strong

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 3:06 p.m.

    Sounds like Derik suffers from too many hits to his head. Fans pay big bucks to see Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Michael Vick, Aaron Rodgers, and yes even the beloved "living right" Austin Collie play football and do not want to see them on the injured reserve list because of some out of control viscious hit. What was once a 250 lb tackle moving like a lumbering bear is now a 350 lb giant moving like a jackel. Yes, the game has changed a lot Dick and Derik. Time to get with it.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Dec. 28, 2010 2:48 p.m.

    I go back to 2-way football in the early sixties before offensive and defensive teams were allowed. My 1964 Rose Bowl huskies had huge backs who weighed slightly over 200 lbs. A 200 lb lineman was normal, 225 was big, 250 was almost unheard of.

    Today, normal is 300 lbs for a lineman, and 250 pound running backs are not unusual.

    It is all about weight training and drugs (legal or not). I met a former all-America linebacker for Nebraska who dropped 45 lbs after he finished his career (he did not want to play NFL). How did he drop the weight? He stopped lifting. He still weighed about 195 and was ripped.

    Bigger faster stronger is reality. Force = mass times acceleration. A lot of mass and rapid acceleration makes for very hard hits. The brain hasn't changed since 1960, but the brawn has. I remember seeing two or three guys knocked completely out nearly every game. They'd be back in after some smelling salts or something. Today, hits with 1690 equipment would be fatal.

    I'm in awe of today's players. Whatever you call them, they ain't wusses.

  • truck9fullertoncharger Draper, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 2:46 p.m.

    wait....football is dangerous?

  • truck9fullertoncharger Draper, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 2:45 p.m.

    The limp-wristed ninnies are taking over. The lib bloggers have even infected the BYU Cougar Football chat rooms and message boards.

  • truck9fullertoncharger Draper, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    Football is "sacred ground" don't let them feminize it. Stand up people. We don't have much left.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 1:57 p.m.

    AHHHHHHHGGGGGHHHH. How I feel after reading the incredible wimps and illiterates who post.

    Great article, Dick. Some of us understand the spirit and allegories present by DS. It is called "War Memorial Stadium" not accidentally, but as part of the metaphor.

    As George Carlin would say, baseball players wear caps, football wears helmets. Football is played in War Memorial Stadium, baseball is played in a park. In football you throw bombs, and blitz. In baseball you just want to go home.

    Football is a great sport. Keep diluting it and you'll end up with soccer.

    Austin Collie's injuries could not have been avoided with different rules unless they go to flag football. It was unfortunate, but, rare. More kids are injured in girls gymnastics, soccer, and wrestling than in football in high school.

    Good grief people, stop feminizing men's sports. It's bad enough to see the non-stop onslaught of the feminisation of men in America. We're becoming way too British. I wrestled British kids while living in England and they were a sure win for me. Put a West Point on one and he'd "yield". Stop protecting your kids so much.

  • Floyd Johnson Broken Arrow, OK
    Dec. 28, 2010 1:53 p.m.

    I recall a lawsuit from an Eagles fan (perhaps 2001). Winter storm shut down the stadium, the grounds crew called out to volunteers to shovel out the stands. If you come help, you can stay for the game sort of thing. Guy spends all night shoveling snow, loses his hands to frostbite.

    Fond memories of those guys Stevenson, Morris, Tait. Great group of guys, great footbal team. Wonder if I can still find my Morris freight train whistle....

  • stormandzoey Rexburg, ID
    Dec. 28, 2010 1:52 p.m.

    Derik Stevenson is my hero! Let's bring back the battle!

  • yougotthatright! Phelan, Ca
    Dec. 28, 2010 1:04 p.m.

    "Let's go all the way!"

  • spudlydoright McCammon, Idaho
    Dec. 28, 2010 12:47 p.m.

    I will never understand why some people think that trying to reduce or eliminate injuries in sports is reducing the value of the sport or somehow making it not entertaining. I think we should constantly be trying to protect participants as much as possible. As far as postponing a game because of a blizzard that could possibly have caused some injuries or even deaths I think whoever made this decision should be applauded. The dinosaurs who think that the game is being reduced to something inferior to what it once was need to pick up their swords and have at each other.

  • Red Leader Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 12:34 p.m.

    By the way, how did Derik's career among the "sissies" go?

  • Red Leader Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 12:24 p.m.

    Battlefield? Amen to being sick of that, I don't care how long it's been going on.

    And there is nothing weak about a player thinking about his career and his future... it is, afterall, just a game. Long sleeves help your muscles stay warm, especially if you've been on the sideline for awhile.

    Lastly, the news said there was a 100+ car accident due to the storm that delayed the game... but who cares about their safety, I'm sure all the fans would be fine. They were probably wearing sleaves...

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 28, 2010 11:34 a.m.

    Truth..... and you are what? You played? You could take these guys on I suppose?

  • Observation-ist Ogden, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 11:24 a.m.

    If my father were still alive and had Derik's attitude, he'd turn around and call Derik a sissy. I'll bet Derik wore a fiberglass helmet with a face mask. He most likely had sturdy shoulder pads too.

    Well Derik, my father told me stories of playing football in a LEATHER helmet WITHOUT a face mask. He personally didn't loose any teeth but told of several friends who did. He was tough. Then again, he also told of his WW II stories getting is wrist shattered by a bullet and his thigh ripped apart by shrapnel. That's tough.

    Football is certainly transitioning from a game that emphasized toughness, grit, and a certain amount of just plain meanness to a game requiring more skill, intellect, and talent. While I admire toughness (both physical and mental), overall I prefer seeing talent and skill.

    Toughness isn't the only badge of honor from the game of football. Intellect, speed, talent, etc. are also worthy badges.

    If you prefer the old days, perhaps your sport today is MMA or UFC. Certainly those sports appeal to the base-nature of man ... for better or worse!

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Dec. 28, 2010 11:22 a.m.

    Congrats to the DN for finding the area's youngest old man, doing what old men always do - insisting that he and his peers were tougher, meaner and better at everything than those who followed. I think I've heard this all before.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 11:20 a.m.

    I agree with Stevenson....and based on the comments of the saturday morning QB's who never played Football in their entire lives here on D-News?....the is a valid concern that football today is not only played by pansies...its watched by them as well!

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 11:06 a.m.

    We have to be careful with our analogies I suppose. I remember the Bear Bryant movie when he was at Texas A and M when he was talking to a father about how football was "war" out there. The father corrected him instantly saying something to the effect, "no sir, I was I was in a war and football isn't war." Even one of the greatest college coaches ever took a step back to analyze what exactly he was doing in the coaching of his players.

    I do actually think there is a middle point between what Stevenson is saying versus what is happening in sports and to a certain extent in our society. We are probably too soft and protective in many ways. Again, he is expressing a point of view and causing some discussion. Good for him.

    I do disagree with the governor of PA (and Stevenson) because the main point of postponing the game is the safety of the fans. The players would have been fine, they probably have played in colder conditions. But thousands of fans driving in blizzard conditions is not a good thing and the NFL made the proper call there.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:57 a.m.

    TheHailstorm | 7:51 a.m. Dec. 28, 2010
    South Weber, UT
    Andrew Rich had no problem with " leading with his eyes ". Seems 'ol helmet to helmet , horse collar Rich is still playing the Stevenson brand of football.

    Geez, neither the refs or television cameras can back up your cheap statement.

    Rich is a stud.

    Maybe you could read some of HIS comments, and learn a little class and dignity, instead of the constant jealous whining that you post.

  • OlpuebloguyInWyo Evanston, WY
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:52 a.m.

    So, with all respect, Derik really was not a 'stand-out' for the team as an LB. 5 sacks in 3 years (none in '95 since he was probably on the bench before his mission to England)?

    Stevenson, Derik

    LB, 1995-98
    #54 6-4, 240, Diamond Bar, CA

    DEFENSE UT AT Tot. TFL Sack Int.
    1996 9 4 13 1 0 0
    1997 16 8 24 .5 0 0
    1998 29 20 49 14 5 0
    Career 54 32 86 15.5 5 0

    Kick Returns
    No. Yds. Lng. TD
    1996 1 0 0 0

    The teams most productive year (while he was at BYU) was his first year where he was most likely a back-up (14-1; Cotton Bowl win). His most productive year was 1998 when the cougars were 9-5 and lost in the Liberty Bowl 41-27 to Tulane.

    You gotta be a part of the "field of battle" to comment on it. Easy to do when you are looking from a chair. Happy New Year.

  • cynic Appleton, WI
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:48 a.m.

    It's interesting to me that in the photo that accompanies this article, Derik Stevenson is shown making a tackle with his chest and shoulder, while his head is off to the side. This is the way I was taught to tackle, and the way my sons were taught as well. Nobody I know was ever taught to lead with their head.

    Sorry, but in my mind the best football players have always been the ones who did their job, made the tackle, and went back to the huddle, not the flashy ones who made spectacular hits and then stood gloating over their victims. There is nothing tough about intentionally trying to injure someone, whether in football or anywhere else. Arrogant showboating should never be confused with manliness.

    One more thing. Say what you want about players staying down after big hits. I would take Austin Collie's toughness over Derik Stevenson's any day of the week. The Deseret News does fans and young football players a huge disservice by glorifying Stevenson's attitudes.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:47 a.m.

    "If they refused, they usually got punched in the mouth. They have other sports for guys like that."

    Ok, so this guy to swings at fellow players. That explains somethings.

    And with anything consider the source. While Derik may have had a successful college career, his experience playing at the NFL level is nill to none. He is not a good spokesman for what NFL players go through. How many downs did he play?

    The game is evolving. It is moving away from people who are just big, strong and mean, to people with brains. The game has become much more technical than the smash mouth run up the middle days of past. And frankly, if you can't bring a man down by driving through him at his core instead of trying to make head to head hits, well then you are probably not as good of a player as you think you are.

    I would love to see Derik play against today's wimpy players. I would love to see his comments backed up. Evidently his style didn't work in the past, and I doubt it would today.

  • Seek to understand Sandy, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    Football hurts kids and leads them into situations where they harm their long-term health to please adults who have something to prove through them.

    I think it is taking advantage of innocent children to lead them into football. Children who can't make an informed decision and who do things that harm their health for their entire lives.

    Especially when you see that these are young boys who naturally want to please the men (coaches, dads) more than anything. So sad. Nothing is worth a person's lifelong health and ability to lead a healthy, full life. But kids are tricked into it every year.

    I'm a nurse - no good Dr. or health professional lets their kid play football. Not if they love them and want what's best for them. Get a clue everybody else.

  • teri88 Spotswood, NJ
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:19 a.m.

    Yes, football is played in the snow. But, the Eagles/Vikings game was postponed due to a BLIZZARD which dumped 30 inches of snow on Philadelphia. The last thing the road crews needed was a bunch of idiots blocking the roads with their disabled cars coming from a game. Yes, it's a GAME. Not brain surgery. There was no public transportation due to the blizzard. The NFL made the right call and it has nothing to do with being tough or being able to play in bad conditions.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:17 a.m.

    I remember Derik. He was tough and can back up what he is saying. I'm a Ute as well, but I can respect someone who plays with a lot of pride and toughness and that was definitely him. He wasn't scared to run full speed and hit someone.

    And just for those of you arm chair guys who don't know about it... It is a hard thing to do. When you play with serious toughness then a lot of people are gunning for you to see if you will break. You have to back it up constantly even when you are tired and hurt. Most football players can't do it.

    Being tough is relative. We do need tough guys, but very few kickers were ever tough and they don't need to be socked in the mouth. We don't need bullies.

    Also, I'm looking forward to the game tonight. I think that was a good call. We don't need to live life with a chip on our shoulder trying to prove how tough we are every second of the day.

    Common sense is fine too.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:15 a.m.

    Oh, Derik, nice job of protecting your family. I'd do the same thing, except I would have brought the punk onto the field and "crushed them like a grape." Peace out my brothers...except for those who take offense to my comments. I've gained a greater appreciation for BYU football thanks to Derik...

  • cynic Appleton, WI
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:09 a.m.

    Um, Derik?? One too many blows to the head?

    Here's a guy we are praising for going into the stands to get into a fight with fans?

  • dforth79 Orem, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:05 a.m.

    My cousin lives in New Jersey and works in Philephia were they cancelled the game. he said they cancelled it for 5 inches of snow!!! 5 inches. Not the blizzard they make it out to be. He was so happy for his after christmas shopping because these whimps wouldnt go out for 5 inches, no one else in the stores. Just another example of America becoming a bunch of sissy's Right on with the article. Owe and before you saying anything we are both veterans and could care less about the battle field references.

  • lampa Mc Kinney, TX
    Dec. 28, 2010 10:03 a.m.

    If football players were really tough, then they would change the substitution rules to be more similar to soccer. Once substituted, you cannot return to the game. Also limit the number of substitutions a team can make - soccer only allows 3 in competitive games - let's change football so the teams are only allowed a few substitutions. It would force guys to play offense, defense, and special teams. Now that would be tough.

  • Dave S Holladay, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:56 a.m.

    Does anyone even remember Derik Stevenson? He should probably have made a name for himself on the field before he rips on the players of today.

    Now get back to work and sell me a new cell phone.

  • nicolekaylene Phelan, Ca
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:50 a.m.

    Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these... no wait thats the mailman. Sad day.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:48 a.m.


    I suppose your type yearns for the day when they remove face guards off of football helmets. Like in the "olden days". You know, when men were men. Right? Oh, wait.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:44 a.m.

    Stevenson's comments are right on target for today's "boys" between the ages of 18-30. I believe that what Stevenson's is trying to communicate goes well beyond the football field. For instance, that age of "boys" has the lowest percentage of college age males since the 50's. I believe that the boys of this age group (not all of course) were babied too much and were made soft. I was always told that a man does not show his weakness to anyone. I'm sure someone will comment on some psychological problems this causes, but seriously, look at the difference between the "Greatest Generation" MEN and WOMEN versus the generation of boys I mentioned earlier. Cut this up however you'd like, but Stevenson's point is right on and extends well beyond football. As for the comment of bigger, stronger faster, yes, it is all relative. Those hitting and being hit are bigger, stronger and faster and arguably should be able to take a hit as they did with Stevenson. Cut my comment up however you'd like :)

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:43 a.m.

    As for society becoming wimpier, you should ask my wife's Grandpa who survived Iwa Jima, The Great Depression, and 60 years of manual labor.

    He can't watch the news or listen to politics for a day without "sissy" coming out of his mouth.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:32 a.m.

    Why are there more head injuries?

    1. We diagnose concussions more often with a larger scale from slight to severe. What is considered a slight concussion today was not on the scale ten years ago.

    2. Performance enhancing drugs help athletes be bigger, stronger, faster.

    3. NFL execs are back peddaling in an effort to curb the trend. Most NFL players disagree and want to play violent football...the way it has always been played.

    The game was much more brutal (with arguably tougher guys on the average) ten, twenty, thirty years ago. I personally love the Brian Urlachers of today and miss the Ronnie Lotts and Jack Hams of yesterday.

  • srw Riverton, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    >> Do people know that every player gets hurt every game? They will have to outlaw the entire sport when word of that fact gets out.

    Sounds like a good idea to me...

  • truck9fullertoncharger Draper, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    Everyone is pointing out that players are stronger, faster and hit harder these days...but no one has mentioned that the improvements in the safety technology that goes into the helmets and pads have outpaced the "improvements" in the players. Not to mention the improvements in sports medicine and the knowledge/expertise of the trainers/doctors/surgeons. Ask the old players from the 60s and 70s if the game is safer now. Many retired NFLers these days live like kings. The unfortunate former players with nagging injuries understood all of the risks......and they did it anyway...and most don't regret it for a minute.

  • Snark Provo, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:25 a.m.

    My father fought on Iwo Jima and played football in high school and in the Marines in the day of leather helmets. They used to have competitions to see who could split more helmets during a season. He was shot up on Iwo by a Japanese 7.7mm Type 99-1 with shells that ripped through his neck chest and lung and exited out his back. Was he tough! Well he lived and raised 7 children and coached their WFFL football teams. He knew the difference between a field of battle and and a football game.

    He was also a gentle, loving father who never failed to express his love to his children (or for his players for that matter). What we learned in terms of character was life altering. We were told that we could use any words that we heard him speak; therefore we did not cuss.

    My father died almost 15 years ago, but I think that I could safely say that he would want to wear a the most modern of helmets rather than revert to leather. But, I am also sure that if he played today, he would still try to split a few!

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:21 a.m.

    BYU players are just darned tough! I remember playing high school football against South Summit and they cleared a foot of snow off the field before the game. There were no thermals worn.
    It is important to be tough. Head injuries, however, are nothing to trifle with.

  • Digbads South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:20 a.m.

    Its pathetic to read the comments on hear and see what a big bunch of softies we have come. It is no longer we are getting our butts kicked on the world stage. We are a nation of sissies, being led by a sissy.
    You can't take care of your own, if you can't take care of yourself. We need quite a bit more toughness in our society.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:18 a.m.

    As far as Derik Stevenson's inquiry to Dick H, "What is happening to my sport?" Could it be as simple as karma for all the rules to ensure the game favors the offense.

    I'm all for player safety but lets be honest; players are bigger, faster, & stronger than yrs ago.

    What gets me is; the league comes out w/ some rhetoric about player safety and in the next breath mentions wanting an 18 game regular season.

    When I heard saw the title, I thought of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's recent comments about postponing the Eagles/Minny game. Honestly, Gov. Ed is 100% spot on in his assessment.

  • Peter Coyotl West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:15 a.m.

    I would rather be a sissy with all my mental faculties than some neanderthal banging his chest over all well he can take a hit to the head. Too bad my tax dollars (medicare) will help take care of him while he someday withers away in dementia. This is the most irresponsible column I have ever read in the DesNews.

  • II Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:59 a.m.

    The reason football is so popular is that it is ritualized warfare, competition. There are different levels of reality in the ritual warfare from football to soccer to chess to ballet. Stevenson chooses to participate in high level ritual, good for him. Those who don't like it, attend the Nutcracker and enjoy the toy soldiers indoors.

  • helpisontheway Boise, Id
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:52 a.m.

    Great article, you can tell by the above comments how week our society has become. These are the same liberals that couldn't handle their child receiving any discipline in school, but cry about how dangerous our schools have become. They are the same type of parents that are against any type of competition because it may hurt someone feelings when they loose. They give kids trophies for participating in Y ball rather than winning and excelling. Competition at any level since the time of the Romans has been compared to the battle field. Ronnie Lott, Rob Morris, Ray Lewis where all good examples of the football Warrior.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:42 a.m.

    You are kidding right. Lets all drive to the game in blizzard conditions and freeze our butts off just to prove how macho we are. I attended a USU BYU game is a snowstorm. Left at halftime and glad I did. Sitting there with a blanket and a foot of snow on my lap was not my idea of fun. This guy takes sports way to seriously. Why don't we bring brain damaged Jim McMahon into the discussion. You know the guy who walks into a room and can't remember why he is there. The good old days never were good old days and never will be. This guy sounds like he never outgrew being a high school bully.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:39 a.m.

    I wonder why there wasn't any mention of the incident in Ephraim. Instead Harmon brings up an incident at Rice Stadium.

  • RBC Cody, WY
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:37 a.m.

    Nice interesting article. But back in my day kids we not as big, strong, or as fast. Lifting is something you did--pretty much on you own during the summer time. Now kids are bigger, much bigger. They lift all year long under guidance of a trainer. Take supplements to build muscle mass, and weigh more than they ever did when I played...hit a lot harder too.

    I've never loved football and BYU's version of it more than I do now.

    All that said, my son in law is a neurosurgeon who loves Cougar football like myself (a pre-requisite before dating any of my daughters). He's seen the long term affects of concussion countless times. End result is YES he loves football as much as ever, but NO he won't let his kids play football. Even at the high school level.

    Hard to argue with him, he's the expert....but I'm still looking forward to next fall's opener in Mississippi. I guess I'm just glad my son won't be on the field. Perhaps that makes me something of a hypocrite.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:35 a.m.

    Field of Battle?

    Football should never be likened to the sacrifice, pain, suffering and terror of ACTUAL WAR. This guy has no credibility.

  • region1fan Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:34 a.m.

    Sounds like an ex-jock just a little bit too full of himself.

    There are plenty of former NFL players who are struggling physically and financially due to the beating their bodies have suffered.

    I love football but the caveman attitude is a bit much.

  • lampa Mc Kinney, TX
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:32 a.m.

    Field of battle??? My grandfather never played football, but he fought the Japanese army during World War II - hand to hand combat - the real kind of battle where real men died and real men lived with emotional scars for the rest of their. I'm so tired of football players compare their sport to battle.

    I'm a BYU fan, but I just lost some respect for this guy.

  • Teddy Bear Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:26 a.m.

    He sounds like the instructor of the bullies that pick on Daniel in the Karate Kid. Lame...

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:23 a.m.

    Seems to me there is plenty of "violence" now the way the rules are set to "protect" the quarterback. There is no need to allow intense cheap-shots that would serve only to disable someone. That style of playing does not enhance the game.

    I would like to hear Vai's perspective on this.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:20 a.m.

    Ok folks chill with the literal battlefield comparisons. Anyone with common sense can see a metaphor. Stevenson was talking football only. Get a life, stop looking so hard to be offended.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:20 a.m.

    I just picture this guy on a jr. high field trying to push everyone around to prove how tough he is.

  • FaifeauSam Lehi, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:04 a.m.

    Meant to say average mortality (death age) of football players...

  • BigRich Orem, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 8:00 a.m.

    The size and speed of the game are far different than the good old days. In my mind, the sport is being ruined by the money and the increased violence.

  • TheHailstorm South Weber, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 7:51 a.m.

    Andrew Rich had no problem with " leading with his eyes ". Seems 'ol helmet to helmet , horse collar Rich is still playing the Stevenson brand of football.

  • bjdoc Vilnius, Lithiuania
    Dec. 28, 2010 7:30 a.m.

    Well, it's time to ban Football. It is high time for BYu to follow BYU-Idaho, and end this sport that only enriches Orthopedists.

  • Bula Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 7:28 a.m.

    Try playing rugby............

  • FaifeauSam Lehi, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 7:20 a.m.

    Well said, Xpat. Maybe medical science has progressed to the point that we'd like to see our sons and brothers live a happier and longer life. Didn't the article recently on overweight football players say that the average age of football players today is 55 or so? Is someone doing a study on that also? Maybe Derik would like us to go back to leaches to cure our medical problems.

  • Warren Kay Holladay, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 7:18 a.m.

    I guess Austin Collie being concussed three times this year is because of the Under Armor he wears. ??? To Derik Stevenson - the game today is bigger, strong, faster than when you played. And it most certainly is not a battle field it is a football 'game.'

  • daclash Yuba City, CA
    Dec. 28, 2010 7:16 a.m.


  • Elk1970 Holladay, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 7:15 a.m.

    "field of battle" Brother Stevenson. My friend in Afghanistan would beg to differ. And you probably think he is a sissy. Stick to coaching little league reveling to your boys about how you played in two feet snow and the field was uphill both ways!

  • Ricardo Carvalho Provo, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 5:35 a.m.

    Wouldn't you just love to be this guy's son/daughter/wife/dog? I love watching football because it is a great spot with great skill required. The brutality which ends players' careers (Austin Collie comes to mind) is not what I value. Call me a sissy if you like, but I don't care if my favorite players where long sleeve shirts and I would rather see my favorites play the game for years protected from dangerous hits than see the jaw dropping hits that make up the highlight reels.

  • CocoDreamboat Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 28, 2010 4:00 a.m.

    Yeah, how dare the NFL look out for the safety of its players and fans! Are you kidding me, this author should be fired! As we learn more about concussions and how to diagnose them, they get diagnosed more, and based on how many former players have brain injuries and nervous system problems now I think that's a good thing! And for the snow, I'm sorry, but 80-90,000 people driving to and from a stadium in blizzard conditions is a terrible idea. That's asking for accidents and possibly fatalities. Perhaps Derek Stevenson didn't get out soon enough because it sounds like both him and this author may have suffered one too many concussions!

  • IQ92 Saint George, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    "...field of battle..." You've got to be joking, right?! Football is entertainment, a slightly more complex form of monster trucks.

  • applauder Cedar City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 12:16 a.m.

    Refreshing perspective! I applaud you for expressing yourself. I too still suffer from football injuries to my knees, but they sort of feel like medals. Glad to see you stepped outside of a social engineered point-of-view. Right or wrong I'm glad you expressed yourself.