It seems like that Outside The Lines report about Houston's illegal contact drills should get people at least as riled up as what some baseball player sticks in his butt. But it won't.
If you missed the tale, offensive lineman Dan Stevenson (who has never played a game in the NFL) filed a grievance with the league after he was hurt doing full contact blocking drills during a Houston mini-camp last spring. Such drills are prohibited during spring practice by the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. He was one of three Texans players to suffer season-ending injuries in those drills last year.
Everyone seems to say—not surprisingly—that this sort of things goes on all time. Chris Mortensen (I know) and Mark Schlereth (I believe) actually seemed to defend the practice on ESPN Radio, saying that coaches routinely ask players to participate in full-speed, full-contact drills and that "technically" it is a violation—but that if they didn't do it, even more players would get hurt when training camp opens. ("You need me on that wall," etc.) In other words ... suck it up, pussies.
So the union actually tries to protect its players—then everyone looks the other way in the name of "old school" toughness. Then as life spans are shortened and debilitating injuries mount, they all look around with shrugged shoulders and ask who could have let this happen.
Although, I'm still confused... are the Texans 8-8 because their coaches get players hurt in meaningless off-season drills or are they 8-8 because their players are whiny bitches?