I’ve had the privilege of knowing Doug English for many years. English starred in the NFL for ten years as defensive tackle with the Detroit Lions before settling back to his native Texas. As great as he was a player, he is also a terrific guy. As such, he will be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame next February.
In a story about his election, English told the Austin American Statesman that he hardly recognizes the sport anymore.
“I think the game is pretty much going away as it stands,” English told the paper. “It’s certainly the way they’re addressing the problems. If you run those (rules changes) forward five to 10 years, the quarterback will be wearing a red jersey, and you can’t even hit the quarterback. They may put a little flag on their hips at the rate they’re changing the game. It’s going to be a completely different game.”
He added with emphasis: “Now, it’s ‘Oh, my God, he hit a helmet. Just put a dress on them.”
English said he knows of only one obvious concussion he suffered during his career. After taking a blow to the head and leaving that game, English sat on the Lions’ bench and asked a trainer why it was the fourth quarter already, according to the paper. The trainer informed him he’d all but blacked out for the entire third quarter.
He has no regrets about his decision.
“We were willing conspirators,” he said. “When I had my bell rung, I was always wanting to go back in the game.”