Fascinating Article... I don't know the science behind it, whether it would be a scientific good idea or not; but I know going away from the hard plastic helmets back to leather, has been discussed as a safety measure. Hard plastic should offer more protection, but with concussions rampant in all levels of the sport, its hard to really say that it does. But one thing hard plastic does is allow players to use the crown of the helmet as a weapon in tackling. Witness the recent NFL reaction to helmet to helmet contacts, for what is about the 100th time in my life as a fan.
I personally think taking the last version of leather helmet and putting the new Xenith style padding inside might solve a whole lot of safety problems at once. Kudos to Ferrara, and to the U of Ottawa for getting the ball rolling on this.
I agree.. I don't think the hard helmets have done what they were intended to at all. They might be a little more protective overall, I'm not sure, but that also means that players are able to use their helmets to cause a lot more harm.. and I think that far outweighs any added protection.
The article provided by PiCat is excellent, and Marcellus Wiley of ESPN commented last week that the NFL hypocritically, being a pay-to-play league for those manufacturing playing equipment, knew about the raw technology in these helmets years ago. As if they did not have the resources to invest in its development for the sake of player safety? :roll:
Wiley for example played his entire career 1997-2006 in the same Bike helmet technology from pee-wee league.
His career included, as for most players of such tenure, 2 concussions and countless stingers, most of which would have been prevented by these helmets.
HOWEVER, over and above the discussion of protection though is the issue of aiming point on hits especially on defenseless players.
High hits can be reduced drastically on defenseless players thanks to late new rules and now late enforcement of them, but they won't be eliminated in contact on the line or against non-defenseless players.
Along the lines of all the points made with regard to new helmet technologies one point seems to be amiss. No new technology will work effectively too long should players not change their aiming point as in fact can only be enforced with some more rule changes. In turn the hits to the same target above the shoulders will merely be even harder given that the helmet is more protective!
The status quo has been along the lines of the perennial ammunition calibre debate some of us hear from all the gun talking folks. They'll argue all day about whether .45 or .40 calibre is better for carrying, and many will bemoan a 9mm, but reality is that one's aim matters more than anything else when it comes to the use of lethal force for self defence.
The game of football involves less than lethal force, but the short-term and especially long-term medical risks are at hand and need be reduced by re-direction, where possible but not ruining the game, of the aiming point of hits PLUS advancements in head protection. The latter alone has been proven not do the job and is why we are having this discussion now as late as 2010.
For a great explanation of better enforcement with regard to lowering the aiming point of hits that has already been effective at least in NFL action this past weekend, after all the moaning and fussing last week mostly from the dirtiest of players, see the video linked in the concussion thread.
I am probably one of the few to applaud the changes even though they are overly late, and I see them coming to all of gridiron football.
There is so much to be dealt with in regards to players who are permanently disabled after football, after being told what do repeatedly with less safety in mind, who are not getting taken care of properly by especially those still with overflowing pockets of cash.
Anything to protect people's life after football is a good thing.All of these concussions and such add up after a while and I remember watching a TSN special on it about it a year ago.They aren't just there for our amusement, they are human beings just like you and I.Here's to a healthier life after football :thup: