October 20th, 2010 at 8:54 PM ^

sensible suggestion that JoePa have made in decades.  Less protection, decrease rate of head injuries because players does not want to lead with their exposed head.  It does sound counterintutitive but there are studies that said that less protection would result a player being more careful of launching themselves to a player.

Blue Bunny Friday

October 21st, 2010 at 11:52 AM ^

Links please?

There have been studies done on concussion rates in both rugby and football. Take a guess at who ends up with more concussions?

  1. HS Rugby Concussion Rates: 3.8 per 1000 athlete-exposures (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0–5.7).
  2. HS Football Concussion Rate: 0.48 per 1000 A-E
  • College Football: 0.61 per 1000 A-E

Now, I realize it's just 2 studies, done by different researchers (OSU and UNC), with some different methods, but the numbers are easy to compare. The only thing that approaches that overall rugby rate (3.8) is the the in competition CFB rate (3.02).

The reseaerchers in the rugby study make mention that their rates came out significantly higher than most other studies from around the world. They have a lot of potential explanations for this (e.g. there's a 3wk mandatory removal from competition --> underreporting), but one they bring up is style of play. Americans may have a "body checking" style.


October 20th, 2010 at 9:07 PM ^

Pshh, why wear helmets at all?  C'mon JoePa, you're coming across as a softy.  For that matter, if players are permitted to wear any rendition of the cup, it will only entice dong punches.  Basically, football should be played in the nude, the way the Greeks intended.


October 20th, 2010 at 9:26 PM ^

I agree with JoePa and have been suggesting the same thing for a while.  It would increase broken noses and busted teeth, but significantly reduce head and neck injuries, imo.


October 20th, 2010 at 9:37 PM ^

I can see how this might work. Face shielding is one of the reasons players feel protected enough to  deliver bone crunching hits. If America is ready for a more old-school/rugby style of game, then why not? You might see better tackling and more technique, a return to more disciplined defensive play... wow the more I think about it, the more I'm starting to like it...


October 20th, 2010 at 9:49 PM ^

I seem to remember hearing somewhere (probably around these parts) that Red Berenson has voiced his opinion that college hockey players should wear half-shields, thus preventing players waving their sticks around with reckless abandon, to better protect against sticks to the head. Sounds like similar logic here.


October 20th, 2010 at 9:53 PM ^

I say take away all "protective" equipment except knee pads and cups, because neither can be used as a weapon under the rules.  Shoulder pads and helmets are used as weapons, and cleats give leverage to cause even more damage with them. 

If players want to whine about toughness being taken out of the game, then let them play like rugby players do.  If they want to hit hard, let them do it with only themselves as weapons.   Since it is becoming obvious that most contermporary players are sustaining brain damage that drastically lessens their quality of life when they get to the age where they should be enjoying a "victory lap," something has to be done.

I think getting rid of the equipment is the only way to reduce violent collisions without taking away from the nature of the game.  A player is a lot less likely to drive his head or shoulder into someone in a gratuitously violent manner if he knows that he could get a concussion or a shoulder seperation.  A "hard hitter" will still be respected, but the definition of a "hard hit" will naturally change as players adjust.

Besides, players will eventually like it because their faces will be more visable, and it will make it easier for them to "grow their brand."


October 20th, 2010 at 11:14 PM ^

... you'd have to start it at the Pee Wee league level so that players grow accustom to it.  it would be pretty dangerous to change the gear at the highest (and fastest) levels, without players being experienced in the new environment.


October 21st, 2010 at 1:13 AM ^

They were invented for a reason, and they would come back as soon as players started losing eyes on national television.  Players nowadays are bigger, stronger,and faster, and the design of football makes it much more explosive than rugby.  All of this leads to bigger collisions than we had in the past.  Also, do you think an insane monster like Ray Lewis will slow down just because his facemask has been removed?  Players are meaner and faster today; it would not have the same results as players in the '30's playing with leather shell helmets.  Not to mention, no facemasks would just look stupid, and Americans are all about looking mean and stylish.