OT - NFL Helmets as a Weapons - Crowder

Submitted by gobluesasquatch on October 21st, 2010 at 12:55 AM

Just saw this article on ESPN with Channing Crowder of the Miami Dolphins. The summary is, "You give me a helmet to use, I'm going to use it to hit people."  http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5708701&campaign=rss&source…

Instantly reminded me of an article the WSJ did on concussions and the role of the helmet in the NFL. It was posted a while back on mgoblog because WSJ interviewed Jake Long about it, and Chad Henne as well (though I could be mistaken). Does anyone have the link to that article to repost it?

Maybe it's time to take a second look at the idea. I'm all for big hits in football, but leading with the helmet and attacking another player's head with your head just seems stupid. 



October 21st, 2010 at 1:18 AM ^

Why give people equipment if they aren't supposed to use it? The NFL is too fast for people to worry about how they are getting the opposing player on the ground. It seems riduclous to tell defensive players not to go full force into offensive players when guys like Adrian Peterson can blow people over with no consequences. I understand when they fine guys for purposely going helmet to helmet but hits like the one James Harrison had on Massaquoi were just good football hits. Take those away and you might as well call it soccer, or just play flag football.


October 21st, 2010 at 2:43 AM ^

I think there are a few issues to consider:

1. They don't give players helmets so that they can blast other players with them. You could easily sustain a blow to the head doing any number of other things on the field besides trying to rock another player. Helmets are there to protect the head during every play on the field, not to give players an excuse to be reckless.

2. Few things are as frustrating, as a fan, than watching a defensive player blow a tackle by trying to knock someone over with a big hit rather than wrapping them up. I don't think you need to hit players like that in order to be a successful football player. Plenty of people (e.g. coaches, analysts, players, etc) have complained about the lack of tackling ability in the league. Not only is the hit-someone-to-knock-them-out strategy not safe, but it's not any more effective (and I would argue it's less effective) than knowing how to tackle properly.

3. And on a personal note, I just don't buy this whole "football without huge, bone-crushing, head-trauma inducing hits isn't football" idea. Football can still be football without players (and coaches and announcers and fans) approaching the game with the mentality that just because they can injury people they should.


October 21st, 2010 at 11:53 AM ^

a New York Times article: As Injuries Rise, Scant Oversight of Helmet Safety.

It's a pretty thorough discussion of the state of the technology. The only standard in place dates to the 1970s -- one designed to prevent high-impact skull fractures, not concussions. So Crowder can use his helmet the way he does because it is designed to do that -- to keep him from splitting his head open -- but it's not designed to protect him from concussions.

One key point:

"... helmet designers say they face a trade-off: make helmets stiff enough to withstand high impacts and allow less violent forces to cause concussions, or more softly cushion against concussive-type forces while allowing large impacts to crack the skull. ..."

Supposedly they can't do both because the helmets become too heavy, but surely there is some way to overcome that problem.