There may be no better time of the year than the start of football season. The rivalries, the tailgate parties and the discussion of liability issues are what I look forward to every year. I am sure that back in 1892 when William “Pudge” Heffelfinger signed a $500 contract to play with the Allegheny Athletic Association against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, he was not handed a liability waiver.

But more than 100 years later, litigation has become a fact of life in football, especially for helmet manufacturers. In April, a jury in Colorado ordered Riddell, a manufacturer of helmets, to pay $3.1 million in damages to a 22-year old man who sustained a head injury in 2008 while playing high school football. Notably, the jury did not find that Riddell’s helmets were defective, just that the company did not adequately warn players wearing its helmets about the dangers of potential head trauma.

I have a feeling Pudge is rolling over in his grave right now. Football is a dangerous sport, and the players and fans know this. The idea of two individuals colliding into each other at 30 mph is daunting. And it should go without saying that the potential for injuries is high and has been high since the beginning of the sport. This has not stopped former NFL football players from suing the NFL and Riddell.

These are interesting times we live in. I wonder what the players back in 1892 would think. The more disappointing commentary is that the game of football is now becoming governed by lawyers and that the nation’s favorite sport is under siege by lawsuits. And I thought the refs were bad.

Either way, I hope your favorite team does well this fall and that the injuries are kept to a minimum. Here’s to a great 2013 football season!