PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

Way OT - football helmets

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/sports/football/23helmet.html?src=sch&pagewanted=all

I believe that football is headed the way of boxing, which was once on top of the sporting heap, but now is kind of a niche sport that seems to disgust casual sports fans. Players have gotten too big and too fast to make it safe in any real way, I think.

Of course, it’s got a few years left. Hit all time popularity levels this year. :slight_smile:

There are an article recently that suggested the new helmet that some claim provide more safety in fact don’t help anything at all.

I’m with you TJB, I’ve been calling for the demise of football for several years now. It’s obviously going to take some time as a lot of new fans (mostly wives and grandmothers) have really just gotten into it recently, but they are making the same mistakes a lot of other leagues have and I have really lost interest in the game as a result. I see it starting to get to other people more recently now also, and I think it’s just a matter of time until they truly jump the shark on this league - maybe a lockout would be the straw to break the camel’s back.

My question is…are people really getting more concussions? Or are concussions just now being more correctly diagnosed and screened for?

I totally agree.

When my boys were younger, (the occasion might have been a sports physical for an upcoming baseball season) my sons’ pediatrician mentioned that the national pediatrics association to which he belonged, had tried to get football classified by the AMA, in the same category as boxing, as far as football being a health threat. Specifically, that playing football was as dangerous to the brain as was getting repeatedly punched in the head.

I don’t remember what the categories are to which he was referring, or what effect the labeling would have; but, he said the powerful sports medicine lobby, backed by the physicians who working for professional sports teams, made sure the issue never came to a vote at the physicians nation conference.

I’m with Joepa, remove the facemasks and the pretty boys will stop tackling with their heads.

i think concussions and lots of other injuries are just being found more. I think it is that was with my health issues. Even health issues outside of sports.

It’s probably “and” not “or”. We know a lot more about brain damage thanks to imaging and the concern that is growing, while players are getting bigger, stronger and faster.

While helmet safety isn’t necessarily a laughing matter, part of this safety campaign has come about because Stuart Udall took exception to these videos.

He specifically called Schutt out for this video.

Watermelon Test:

The Watermellon Test - Schutt Sports Football Helmet Testing with AiR Maxx TPU Cushioning

The ad was part of a series that Schutt ran that included these too:

Sweat Test:

The Sweat Test - Schutt Sports Football Helmet Testing with AiR Maxx TPU Cushioning

Leaf Blower Test:

The Blower Test - Schutt Sports Football Helmet Testing with AiR Maxx TPU Cushioning

Filet Mignon Test:

The Steak Test - Schutt Sports Football Helmet Testing with AiR Maxx TPU Cushioning

Schutt concocted these videos in response to this by Rawlings.

Putting Zoombang to the Test

In it’s response to Udall, Schutt says they don’t believe the video to be misleading stating “It is difficult to miss the parody considering the use of word bubbles, the tongue-in-cheek text and titles used and the laughable ideas used as “proof” (cooking a filet mignon in a piece of football helmet padding, dropping a bowling ball on a watermelon).”

You can judge for yourselves.

In a related note, just today the PSU football team extended a verbal offer Thomas Schutt, a defensive tackle from Illinois. Schutt’s family founded Schutt helmet but I believe they have since sold the company (hopefully, at least, since the company just declared bankruptcy as the result of losing a patent infringement case brought by Riddell).

Wow, the New Yorker has a great piece this week that looks at this issue: Does Football have a Future?: The NFL and the Concussion Crisis.

Yep.

Good article. I’ve been thinking NFL football has become too violent for years. Hopefully no one has to die on the field before they figure out a way to greatly reduce the number of head injuries without completely watering down the sport.

I’ve always wondered why they don’t try adding some padding to the outside of helmets and shoulder pads. Or perhaps make them of a softer shell. I’ve always thought that most of the problem is that they are trying to make it safer to get hit with rock-hard objects, without ever pondering the possibility of softening the rock.

I still have a lump of scar tissue from a bone chip on the back of my hand that was caught between two helmets back in 1987. And I was even wearing padded linesmen gloves.

The problem with having padding on the outside of the helmet is that it will cause the impact to stick. The hard surface causes the helmets to slide upon impact thus lessening the force. It could also lead to more neck injuries for the same reason.

One thing that I’ve considered is having a shell that cracks or shatters to help dissipate the impact. Obviously, the problem with this would be the cost of replacing helmet shells and missed plays to get a new shell. From a health safety standpoint it would create a very obvious signal that a sideline concussion test should be performed before allowing re-entry to a game.

You would have to put too much padding on the helmets to really do anything, IMO. I’ts like jumping off a high bridge into a river - no matter how “soft” the water is, it’s going to feel like cement if your body is traveling fast enough. You kind of answered it yourself with your final comment about inuring your hand pretty badly even with padded gloves on - the padded gloves couldn’t do enough to protect you when your body and/or the oponents body is moving fast enough.

As for having a softer shell - again, what would that help? The two (or more) objects are moving fast enough that a collision is a collision, a softer shell would just make the head more perceptible to taking the shock of the collision and have a greater impact on the brain.

the padded gloves didn’t work because they were caught between two rock hard objects.

I don’t see football’s growth slowing. If anything we are moving towards more dangerous activities. Look at the popularity of MMA.

I watched a show on TV called Mantracker. In this show two people are given an objective, a map and compass, and a time limit to reach a point. They are persued by two trackers that have no information other than a starting flare. This is getting close to Running Man.

I only see football continuing to grow in popularity.

What does that have to do with sports/TV becoming more violent? Did they beat up the person if they found them or something? I’m not getting what you are trying to say with that.

[quote="Still in State College, post:17, topic:1822"]I watched a show on TV called Mantracker. In this show two people are given an objective, a map and compass, and a time limit to reach a point. They are persued by two trackers that have no information other than a starting flare. This is getting close to Running Man.[/quote] What does that have to do with sports/TV becoming more violent? Did they beat up the person if they found them or something? I'm not getting what you are trying to say with that.

loser gets eaten?

[quote="manatree, post:13, topic:1822"]I've always wondered why they don't try adding some padding to the outside of helmets and shoulder pads.[/quote] You would have to put too much padding on the helmets to really do anything, IMO. I'ts like jumping off a high bridge into a river - no matter how "soft" the water is, it's going to feel like cement if your body is traveling fast enough. You kind of answered it yourself with your final comment about inuring your hand pretty badly even with padded gloves on - the padded gloves couldn't do enough to protect you when your body and/or the oponents body is moving fast enough.

As for having a softer shell - again, what would that help? The two (or more) objects are moving fast enough that a collision is a collision, a softer shell would just make the head more perceptible to taking the shock of the collision and have a greater impact on the brain.

Jakk has it right. It’s the friction between the padding which would cause twisting neck injuries.