Back then it was called getting your bell rung. Remember Jim Brown in his hey day taking big hits and soldiering on like it was no big deal ... like in "is that all you've got pal?". Except in one game he took a hard hit and got up ... and as usual trotted back to the huddle. Only problem ... it was the wrong huddle.
Yes, but if you watch the whole nature of these high-contact sports, there is a different level of ferocity that marks the collisions. It is almost as if people are trying to use themselves as battering rams. But when you watch the old-time players like Butkus, Nietschke (sp.?) etc. they were, for the most part not leading with the head (the shoulders maybe) but they were trying to “wrap-up” with the arms.
Same thing in hockey. You see mid-ice collisions now that are intentional—this seldom happened in the game (that I recall). And we won’t even talk about all the “drilling into the boards” that happens now. Back in the days of Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, and others, those checks were, for the most part, coming from the side, not right on.