Hard Hits and the NFL
A penalized hit during a Ravens vs. Patriots game, Oct. 17, 2010 (AP)

A penalized hit during a Ravens vs. Patriots game, Oct. 17, 2010 (AP)

The NFL is getting the message. Last week, it laid serious fines on three professional football players for “flagrant and egregious” hits. 

That has set off a big debate about whether pro football can be football without the kind of spectacular hits that for years have been a staple of highlight reels. 

Is it football without those hits? Is it humane with them?  

We look at big, dangerous, devastating hits, and the NFL.

-Tom Ashbrook 


Kevin Blackistone, columnist for the sports Web site He’s a frequent panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn” sports roundtable.

Michael Oriard, professor of English and associate dean at Oregon State University. He’s author of “Bowled Over: Big-Time College Football from the Sixties to the BCS Era,” and “Brand NFL: Making and Selling America’s Favorite Sport.” He’s also former offensive captain and second team All-American at the University of Notre Dame, and played four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Tim Hasselbeck, football analyst for ESPN. He’s a former NFL quarterback for the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Buffalo Bills. He’s son of former NFL tight end Don Hasselbeck, and brother of Matt Hasselbeck, who is currently the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.

Ann McKee, associate professor of neurology and pathology at the Boston University School of Medicine. She’s director of BU’s Neuropathology Core, where she maintains the University’s “brain bank.”  She has testified before Congress on the NFL and brain injuries.

Joe Nash, former nose tackle for the Seattle Seahawks. He played 15 years for the team.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Oct 9, 2015
A manhole begins to spill over with floodwaters as high tide approaches at Dorchester Road at Sawmill Branch Canal in Summerville, S.C., Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.  (AP)

Russia goes big in Syria. The US hits a hospital in Kunduz. Hillary flips on the TPP. An epic flood in South Carolina. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 9, 2015
In this Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, photo, Devlin D'Zmura, a tending news manager at DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, works on his laptop at the company's offices in Boston. (AP)

Fantasy football scandal, and the wild, booming betting world of fantasy sports.

Oct 8, 2015
US singer Patti Smith performs during the Way Out West music festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, Saturday, Aug.15, 2015.  (AP)

Iconic rocker, poet of punk, and National Book Award-winning author Patti Smith joins us to talk about her new memoir, “M Train”.

Oct 8, 2015
In this Aug. 2, 2012 file photo, local newspapers show stories about the controversial strategy to bail the government out of a financial hole, at a restaurant along Seven Mile Beach on the outskirts of George Town on the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands have lost some of their allure by abruptly proposing what amounts to an income tax on expatriate workers who have helped build the territory into one of the most famous or, for some people, notorious offshore banking centers that have tax advantages for foreign investment operations. (AP)

Trillions of dollars are now stashed in protected tax havens around the world, leaving societies’ bills to those at home. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Rep. Daniel Webster: ‘I’m Gonna Sell This Message’
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015

When House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced his retirement and resignation from his position last month, it surprised both his Party and the Washington political establishment.

More »
Our Week In The Web: October 2, 2015
Friday, Oct 2, 2015

We say hello again to our email address (since so many of you did this week) and goodbye to the Log Lady.

More »
Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘Count Me As A Radical’
Thursday, Oct 1, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making waves in the 2016 Presidential race, and he joined us today from the US Capitol to explain how his campaign message is connecting with voters around the country.

More »