Want To Reduce Concussions NFL? Ditch The Helmets
Did you see that vicious hit on Desean Jackson on Sunday? Brutal, by all means. If you didnt, watch this before it gets taken down off the interwebs.
Dang! I say, dang that was a hit! Amazingly enough, there were several other helmet to helmet and wince inducing hits this past weekend and a lot of players were taken out of their respective games due to them. I mean, James Harrison of the Steelers took out two of the Browns’ receivers all by himself! That is impressive and scary all at once.
Shockingly, due to all of these injuries, the NFL is all up in arms now about the violence of the game.
Imagine that? Football is a violent game. I had no idea.
Anyway, the league feels like the only way to reduce these sorts of injury inducing hits is to hurt the offending player and his team with penalties, ejections, suspensions and fines. As a matter of fact, effective this Wednesday, anyone with a “devastating hit” or helmet to helmet blow can be suspended even if its your first time crushing somebody.
I dunno what the definition of devastating hit is, but what I do know is that I want to see it.
The foolish thing about all this is that the easiest way the NFL can actually prevent helmet to helmet hits is to do one very simple, yet controversial thing…get rid of the helmets.
That’s right, get rid of em. Ditch em. Forget about em. There have been a number of studies that show that the helmets themselves are probably the cause of a lot of these injuries, if you wanna read an excellent article on it, check this out from the Wall Street Journal last year.
If you’re too lazy to read, let me paraphrase. The original hard shelled football helmets weren’t designed to prevent concussions, they were trying to prevent fractured skulls…which is certainly a problem, don’t get me wrong. But, while helmets are great at stopping the fractured skull, they kind of produced a horrible side effect. Players now, with their “protected” heads, stopped caring about protecting their heads and used it as a weapon.
From the article,
But while these helmets reduced the chances of death on the field, they also created a sense of invulnerability that encouraged players to collide more forcefully and more often. “Almost every single play, you’re going to get hit in the head,” says Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long.
Do you think, if you were a football player, you’d be hit in the head as much if you didn’t have a helmet on? Do you think anyone in their right might would “spear” or jump leading with their head at another player to knock him down? Icertainly don’t.
There is a reason that one doesn’t see Australian Football League (Aussie rules rugby) players getting carted off the field with fractured skulls or concussions at nearly the rate that American football players do, that is because they have 25% less head injuries than NFL players.
If you don’t have that helmet on you wouldn’t be throwing yourself at someone that way. Its obvious to me that you cannot lead with your helmet or spear if you don’t have a helmet at all. I mean, if the NFL really wanted something on their heads, they could go back to the old school leather dealies they used to have. Not really the attractive option to say the least.
Sure, without helmets people will still get hurt. There will definitely be some head trauma as a result of not having a helmet and those injuries might be way more immediately graphic than a concussion since that is just the brain getting smashed on the inside of one’s head–but if everyone out there is banging heads every game because as a player you are taught to hit a man with your head first, then odds are most players are going to come down with a concussion at least once in their career whether they know they have one or not. Odds are you probably wont get a fractured skull tho.
Seriously though, if the NFL was really concerned about its players safety and the prevention of concussions, why is this not even being discussed?
Filed under: NFL
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