Meh. Just because something "just is" doesn't make it right.
I don't see any good reason to make sports "safer". I WANT my sports to be "gladiator" in nature. That is part of the entertainment value. Players have the choice to not play if they feel the sport is too dangerous (though I guess I could just stop watching as well).
Asking players to be able to draw the line between being hyper-competitive, but, at the same time, asking them to curtail the "overly physical, confrontational contact" is absurd. Intensity is a switch that is not easily turned on/off during the heat of the moment.
As a spectator, I agree with you. I love fights, hard fouls, helicopter hits, helmet to helmet contact, and again, FIGHTS.
As a former and current player, I'm very happy for the rules, because the toll they take on the players is just too great.
Now Rondo's little kerfuffle is hardly on that level, but what if one of the punches he did or didn't throw had shattered Humpty hump's face? People demonized Kermit Washington, but it was one hard sucker punch. Could've ended in nothing. Could've just knocked Rudy T on his behind and left it at that.
But it didn't, and the palace happened, and thems the rules.