I think the only way the game survives, long-term, is if the rules change dramatically to something like flag football — to a sport that resembles basketball in terms of athleticism, pace of play, and violence. Me? I think I might enjoy watching such a football very much. But I don’t think most NFL fans would. Too many NFL fans are in it for the violent hits, not despite them.
[I don’t think this is true. I think a lot of folks don’t care about the hard hits. In fact these days, I see them making more people quest than anything else. BTW, the same applies to hockey. The big hits and fighting degrade, atmo, two beautiful sports. I’ve played them both in my own bush league way… but I’ve enjoyed standing on the ice with real players (NHL) I’ve played football with guys who were going to the combines, and not quite making it etc. I know how gifted these guys are. Change the rules, give them a chance to adjust, and we can all enjoy the power, speed and beauty of watching people play at that level without the stuff that is killing people.]
Source: Daring Fireball