Author Topic: The War on Football  (Read 530 times)

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famousdayandyear

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The War on Football
« on: September 21, 2013, 06:37:46 PM »
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 10:34:35 PM by famousdayandyear »

Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: The War on Football
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 10:01:36 PM »
Meanwhile, about 40 miles west of where I sit right now, another high school player died from a hit to the helmet just last weekend. This is the second such incident in upstate New York in as many years; another kid died from it last year.

Do you want to know why they construe football as safer than bicycling, skateboarding, etc.? Because in any given game, half of a typical roster spends the vast majority of time riding the pine doing nothing, skewing the results to be less than individual sports that only count when you're actually participating.

Let's not pretend that we don't have a problem here. There is one, and denying it only makes the threat greater that those who want to go too far and abolish the sport will marginalize the opinions of those who want to save it (ask the supporters of traditional marriage how easy that is).

However, this is not an unsolvable crisis. The problem, of course, is hits to the helmet. Consider that the football helmet of today is made of hard plastic. Basic physics tells us that the harder a substance is, the more energy that is going to be transferred to it when something strikes it; the softer a substance, the more energy that will be lost, usually to heat. The hard-plastic helmet was invented in the 1950s not as a safety measure, but as a preservation method: because leather had a tendency to wear, the hard-plastic helmet lasted longer. Of course, it only took a few years before people started getting seriously hurt, but instead of going back to the soft helmets, they decided to just add face masks, as if that would fix things.

With polymers having improved greatly over the second half of the 20th century and the start of the 21st, perhaps it is high time that we explore a return to soft-shell football helmets. At the very least, there are football companies that are testing soft-shell overlays of padding over the hard-plastic helmets in college football as we speak. Mark Kelso was famous for his foam shell over his Buffalo Bills helmet, making him look like the Great Gazoo.

Let's not kid ourselves: this is a problem. However, let's also not throw the baby out with the bathwater when trying to fix it.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 10:02:27 PM by jmyrlefuller »
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famousdayandyear

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Re: The War on Football
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 10:35:52 PM »
Myrle:  thoughtful discussion.  Like your point about hard plastic helmets.

Online mountaineer

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Re: The War on Football
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2013, 07:41:46 AM »
I suspect today's player feels more indestructible with his state-of-the-art helmet. Did players spear or make head-to-head hits 60 years ago they way even high school and Pop Warner players do today?
“Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.” - Ryan T Anderson

famousdayandyear

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Re: The War on Football
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2013, 08:43:26 AM »
I suspect today's player feels more indestructible with his state-of-the-art helmet. Did players spear or make head-to-head hits 60 years ago they way even high school and Pop Warner players do today?

Years ago players wore the leather helmets as a very simple protection from turf landings.  They were not coached to use the head as a blocking/tackling/hitting tool; that happened as a result of advent of the hard plastic one in use today.


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