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Friday, January 26, 2018

Now it's getting serious

There is growing evidence that we hit Peak NFL back in 2015. This proposed law is almost certainly only the first of many that will be adopted across the country in the coming years.
Organized tackle football would be banned for Illinois children younger than 12 years old under a bill to be unveiled on Thursday. The Dave Duerson Act to Prevent CTE is named for the Chicago Bears defensive back who was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy after he killed himself at the age of 50. Duerson shot himself in the chest so his brain could be studied for signs of the disease that has been linked to concussions or repeated head trauma.

"When my father tragically took his own life, he donated his brain to science in hopes of being part of the solution," said Tregg Duerson, who like his father played football at Notre Dame.

"Thanks to increased attention and research on brain trauma, we know that part of the solution is to guard young children's developing brains from the risks of tackle football," Tregg Duerson said in a statement, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press in advance of the announcement. "This bill honors my family's hopes and my father's legacy to protect future athletes and the future of football."

State Rep. Carol Sente, a Democrat from Vernon Hills, announced the proposal at a news conference Thursday along with Chris Nowinski, the head of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. Also expected to attend were former Bears players Mike Adamle and Otis Wilson — a teammate of Dave Duerson's on the 1985 championship team — and Liz Nicholson, the wife of former Cleveland Brown Gerry Sullivan, who has sued the NFL over its handling of concussions.
While I played football for three years, from six until nine, I think this is probably a good idea. The basic skills simply are not there, and it appears that the problem with CTE involves the mild head-banging on the line more than the big shots in the open field that lead to concussions.

As to whether this will cause fewer people to follow football, who knows. But that's really not relevant. Besides, playing flag football until high school will probably prepare the boys better for the strategic elements of the game as well as balancing the playing field a little between the early developers and the late developers.

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88 Comments:

Blogger R Doom January 26, 2018 4:05 PM  

Something like 90% of college football players have permanent brain damage...so I'm all for this sport being scaled back. http://professorconfess.blogspot.com/2017/10/game-of-thrones-and-college-football.html

Blogger Nate January 26, 2018 4:05 PM  

I've always thought Pop Warner was a spectacularly bad idea.

Blogger Nate January 26, 2018 4:06 PM  

I say again... the best thing they could do for player safety is take the pads and helmets off.

Anonymous The Watcher of the Skies January 26, 2018 4:06 PM  

dodgeball anyone?

Blogger JACIII January 26, 2018 4:06 PM  

No helmets. Problem solved.
Watch the rugby guys turtle their heads as they prepare for contact.

Blogger RC January 26, 2018 4:11 PM  

I loved playing football and enjoy watching it, but I know of no other game that costs so much in long-term injury and life-long pain. Former NFL linemen at 50 often struggle with climbing stairs more than your average octogenarian.

I kept my sons out of the game.

Blogger pyrrhus January 26, 2018 4:16 PM  

I agree with the law, and also think that heading the ball in soccer is doubtful at these young ages...I'm not even sure that tackle football is a good idea in high school. I have several friends who suffered life long injuries playing HS football...My brother suffered a bad knee injury...

Blogger Wyndie January 26, 2018 4:19 PM  

Does heading the ball in soccer lead to brain damage?

Anonymous WinstonWebb January 26, 2018 4:23 PM  

Buncha pussies.
I played football from Pop Warner through HS and there's nothing wrong with my socks or the way that my words smell.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 26, 2018 4:31 PM  

I have several friends who suffered life long injuries playing HS football...My brother suffered a bad knee injury...

Mine tore his shoulder apart. Yeah, I love watching it too, but it has evolved into far too destructive a sport, especially for kids. I agree with Nate about both Pop Warner and pads/helmets.

Interestingly, pro sports may be trying to shore up their crumbling viewing audience by turning to gambling. The NFL isn't on board yet, but the NBA is apparently leading an effort to get sports betting declared legal at the federal level provided the league get's a 1% cut. It's gotten responses from the betting community ranging from Vegas being completely opposed (as expected), to advocates in other states saying yes, but we need to negotiate your vig down a bit...

Blogger S1AL January 26, 2018 4:44 PM  

Yeah, either downgrade the pads or go full-body stuff so they can Juggernaut each other. Actually... that sounds pretty cool.

Anonymous kfg January 26, 2018 4:47 PM  

Football helmets, by their very nature, protect against abrasions and lacerations, but can do little to nothing to mitigate brain trauma. For that they have to be made like a motorcycle helmet, which is dead after one shot.

A brain helmet is not armor. It'a a brake. The liner which does the braking must deform plastically, or the elastic recovery is effectively another hit from the other direction.

Blogger Zerk J January 26, 2018 4:49 PM  

https://youtu.be/sj7v5bLmWlQ

Blogger beerme January 26, 2018 5:00 PM  

The kiwis have the right idea with how they introduce kids to rugby. Focus on skills > contact with touch rugby at early ages and only later introducing kids to contact against similarly developed kids to avoid the early developers (islanders) injuring the slower developing european kids and turning them off of the game.

Why are New Zealand so good at rugby?

Anonymous Northern Observer January 26, 2018 5:02 PM  

#5 "No helmets. Problem solved.
Watch the rugby guys turtle their heads as they prepare for contact."


And not just helmets.

If their protective equipment was all scaled back, say by 50%, there would be a lot more blood and broken bones, and a lot less brain injuries.

Anonymous 2106 Things I hate January 26, 2018 5:05 PM  

"A brain helmet is not armor. It'a a brake. The liner which does the braking"

Newer, visco-elastic strain-hardening materials (Rodgers Poron) can make this work, but the basic shape of the helmet would also need a re-design, most likely.

The basic problem with much of the gear is it allows supra-physiological performance in some areaa, while shifting the failures (and damage) to other areas.

Blogger dienw January 26, 2018 5:09 PM  

@ Zerk J
Rugby as a European sport is mostly played by a homogeneous population though I did see some lighter shades of black. It was one black guy who ground his tacklees' heads into the dirt after he tackled him; this led me to suspect that in the United States rugby would become a violent thug sport soon after its introduction as a professional sport.

Anonymous kfg January 26, 2018 5:22 PM  

" . . . it allows supra-physiological performance in some areaa, while shifting the failures (and damage) to other areas."

Improvements in motorsports helmets reduced the number of broken brains, but increased the number of broken necks. You can wear a HANS device in a car, but not on a football field.

The head is a multifunction device and all of its functions are critical. It is already optimized, tested against death for many, many generations, to perform all of its functions to keep you alive and kicking.

We do things these days that we didn't used to do, like travel at 200 mph in giant tin cans, or walk in space, so the idea of special conditions helmets certainly isn't invalid, if they truly are special conditions.

The conditions of football are violent, but not really all that special. The head is about as good as you're going to get.

Blogger DonReynolds January 26, 2018 5:33 PM  

Under 12 is elementary school and when I was coming up, there was no football in elementary school. The first football was junior high school and in North Carolina, that was the 8th grade. There was no peewee football in those days.

I would have no problem with banning football for the little boys under 12. Some start playing football as soon as they start school these days. That is too young.

In my case, I achieved my adult size by the time I was 13 years old. I gained some weight after that (ten pounds between 8th grade and 12th) but I did not get any taller (5'11"). I started playing football in the 8th grade as the biggest or second biggest kid on the team. (My kid brother was the same way.) But by the time we got into high school football on different winning teams, we were no longer the biggest players. Everyone else had grown past us and we were moved from tackle to linebacker. Our offensive line averaged 240 pounds and at the time I was only 140.

Blogger Desdichado January 26, 2018 5:41 PM  

In semi related news, Vince McMahon announced today that he's going to restart the XFL... As a political free game.

Anonymous JAG January 26, 2018 5:45 PM  

Desdichado wrote:In semi related news, Vince McMahon announced today that he's going to restart the XFL... As a political free game.

His first rule is that if you don't stand for the anthem you get thrown out. He's been paying attention, that's for sure.

Blogger Nate73 January 26, 2018 5:47 PM  

VD, what sports do you recommend people around 30 play who never got to compete in any meaningful way in sports before that point?

Anonymous Trimegistus January 26, 2018 5:48 PM  

It doesn't matter if it's a good idea or not. The state of Illinois should not be in the business of regulating children's games. That's simply not something government should do.

Blogger LonestarWhacko January 26, 2018 5:49 PM  

Well, that's what whistling past the graveyard sounds like. CTE is real. Think about it....White Parents aren't going to fool around. We'll end up seeing. Lot of other sports rise up. Young Black players will lose out..... because the White players went elsewhere. Darwinian, straight up.

Blogger SemiSpook37 January 26, 2018 5:52 PM  

You know, I never really had a desire to play when I was younger. My grandfather, who had helped get a team together at the parochial school when my dad and his brother were about the age discussed here, always gave me crap for it.

If I had to do it over again, I'd be learning how to skate and playing ice hockey. Sure, there's definitely a concussion issue in that sport, but more often than not, they're keeping an eye out for goons taking head shots.

Blogger SemiSpook37 January 26, 2018 5:56 PM  

Desdichado wrote:In semi related news, Vince McMahon announced today that he's going to restart the XFL... As a political free game.

It's even better than that. This time he's putting up the cash for it and not relying on a major media conglomerate (looking at you Comcast-NBCUniversal) for much of the backing. I think that was one of the major reasons the original XFL failed, as NBC used that to leverage getting the Sunday Night Football package from ESPN.

Of course, that move has since subjected us to Cris Collinsworthless again...

Anonymous Bob January 26, 2018 5:56 PM  

@21...

Golf.

You ain't as rugged and tough as you think you are at 30+.
Just sayin....

Anonymous The Original Arrogant Steelers Fan January 26, 2018 5:58 PM  

"McMahon announced today that he's going to restart the XFL... As a political free game."

Speaking of brain damage... Anyone watch that WWE 25th anniversary shit show? McMahon has lost his marbles.

Blogger Verne January 26, 2018 6:08 PM  

Truthfully the junior tackle football leagues never have been very good at producing anything other than running backs. And sometimes not even then. The guys best suited to becoming linemen are never very athletic at those ages. They have too much more growing to do. Flag and touch football is a far better training ground at those ages. That said I think you are right, football has seen its best days. Americans have small families now and we are very protective of our one or two children

Anonymous patrick kely January 26, 2018 6:08 PM  

Flag football until 14 would be fine with me. Some places in TX had tackle football teams in the elementary schools back in the 80's. I don't know if that's still true. I don't think so here around the ATX area, not even Pop Warner as far as I can tell. I do see signs up for youth flag-football leagues.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 26, 2018 6:12 PM  

Bob wrote:@21...

Golf.

You ain't as rugged and tough as you think you are at 30+.

Just sayin....


Heh, tell me about it. I tried to get back into working out and sports after staying away since early 20's. What a rude awakening. Have managed to keep an exercise routine now.

Above is first time I've ever typo'd the name for my post. Getting old.

Anonymous kfg January 26, 2018 6:14 PM  

@21:

Cycling. It can be performed as a mass start race, or solo against the clock (and compete over the Internet. See Strava). You can do it as you like and it even has practical value.

And if you learn not to fall on your head you don't even need to be rugged. It doesn't tear up joints like running can.

It doesn't even have a specific favored body type like most sports. If you're an "elf" you have an advantage in long hill climb events. If you're a big muscular guy you have an advantage in short, flat events.

Blogger Zeke OF Confettii January 26, 2018 6:19 PM  

It's because they always wear black.

Anonymous Pitchfork Rebel January 26, 2018 6:30 PM  

@ 11

"Football helmets, by their very nature, protect against abrasions and lacerations, but can do little to nothing to mitigate brain trauma. For that they have to be made like a motorcycle helmet, which is dead after one shot.

Not exactly.

The brain is surrounded by a thin layer of fluid and the skull. A great "hit" is sudden deceleration with the resultant change in kinetic energy that is dictated by the square of the change in velocity. E = 1/2 mass times V(squared). No helmet can stop the the contact between the brain and the skull.

That we've gotten better at making players faster through resistance training and plyometrics is obviously problematic.

At a certain point, we just have to understand football is like smoking.


Blogger Gordon Scott January 26, 2018 6:38 PM  

There is a story in the Star Tribune today about a top researcher in the field saying that the problem is not as bad as some have claimed. But it is bad enough. Former Vikings QB Joe Kapp thinks we need soft helmets, no face masks and no "launching."

I would like to see some of my former coaches. The ones who told us that that expensive helmet and face mask were a weapon. Hey, about that? Exactly backwards, huh?

Blogger Johnny January 26, 2018 7:18 PM  

What about boxing. Get all down on football when the purpose of the boxing sport is to jar the brain.

Anonymous kfg January 26, 2018 7:25 PM  

"No helmet can stop the the contact between the brain and the skull."

Which is why I didn't say anything like that. Brain trauma can be mitigated by reducing v. Of course to do that to any great degree you'd need a helmet of impractical diameter.

And then there are the rotational issues, which can't be avoided in a game like football.

And don't get me started on the dangerous scam of bicycle helmets. The manufacturer's reps are actually telling people that catastrophic brittle fracture absorbs energy and so protects the brain.

That's criminal.

Anonymous kfg January 26, 2018 7:27 PM  

"Former Vikings QB Joe Kapp thinks we need soft helmets . . ."

Then he doesn't understand the problem.

Blogger Nate January 26, 2018 7:37 PM  

'What about boxing. Get all down on football when the purpose of the boxing sport is to jar the brain.'

You can fix boxing the same way. Take the gloves off. Without the gloves you can't take those huge looping hooks at the temple. You'll break your hand if you do. And those shots to the temple are where most of the damage comes.

Blogger Nate January 26, 2018 7:45 PM  

"Then he doesn't understand the problem."

Slower deceleration would reduce the impact of the brain and the skull. wouldn't stop it.

Blogger bob kek mando January 26, 2018 7:45 PM  

23. Trimegistus January 26, 2018 5:48 PM
It doesn't matter if it's a good idea or not. The state of Illinois should not be in the business of regulating children's games.



holy CRAP, are you behind the curve.

i take it you've already successfully repealed all of your bicycle helmet and child safety seat laws?

how about motorcycle helmets. you know most of those are for adults, yes?

Blogger OGRE January 26, 2018 7:46 PM  

I absolutely agree with kids not playing full contact football until Junior High/Middle School at least. I grew up in a football family, my grandfather was a successful and beloved High School coach who won a state championship and never had a losing season, hes in the state sports hall of fame, he was good friends with Bobby Bowden and Lou Holtz...and he said for as long as I can remember that young boys should not be playing football. This from a man who took every high schooler who wanted to play onto the team, often fielding squads of 150+.

There are several reasons why boys shouldn't play full contact, some of which have been touched on here. But from what I've seen the men coaching those boys are not qualified to do so. Rarely do I see any fundamentals being taught and utilized. The boys don't know how to hit and how to tackle, and the coaches don't know how to teach them to. At least around here the coaches are all just some player's dad, a volunteer who probably just played in high school. These men barely understand basic offenses; they have no knowledge of physiology or physical fitness. They aren't qualified to teach a spin class; they most certainly should not be tasked with training young boys to play full contact football. A single improper hit--lowering the head toward the numbers for instance--and a boy can be paralyzed for life. We shouldn't be placing our boys health and well being in the hands of Randy from Jiffy-lube just because he played 2nd string wideout back in high school.

Blogger bob kek mando January 26, 2018 7:51 PM  

38. kfg January 26, 2018 7:27 PM
Then he doesn't understand the problem.



no, YOU don't understand the problem.

American Football players often use their heads as weapons precisely because of how effective the existing helmets / facemasks are against superficial damage.

this means many more hits to and around the head AT MUCH HIGHER VELOCITIES.

go back to the old leather caps, so you had to worry about your teeth getting knocked out or what have you, and most of these players would develop a lot of restraint and circumspection on the field.

Blogger pyrrhus January 26, 2018 7:53 PM  

@8 Does heading the ball in soccer lead to brain damage?

Probably not in adults, but I have seen kids look dazed after doing it...

Anonymous kfg January 26, 2018 8:06 PM  

"Slower deceleration would reduce the impact of the brain"

Right, that's the point. Reduce a, which is done over d. Diameter and the rate of compression of the liner are the critical factors. The principle function of the shell is to protect the liner material and maintain its structural integrity.

Bicycle helmets fracture because they have no structural integrity. They're full of holes and the shell is just plastic bubble packaging material. The whole thing splits instead of compressing. Worthless.

Anonymous kfg January 26, 2018 8:12 PM  

"American Football players often use their heads as weapons precisely because of how effective the existing helmets / facemasks are against superficial damage."

I understand that just fine. Soft helmets are not a solution. They're just as good at protecting against superficial damage as hard shells.

Getting rid of the face masks might induce more caution, or induce broken noses.

Blogger Bobiojimbo January 26, 2018 8:15 PM  

@Nate73 Golf is definitely great and can be played well into old age. Golf is more about you versus the course than an opponent. VD would probably say soccer - his sport. I would recommend shooting - skeet, 2 gun, 3 gun, target pistol, target rifle, or the various pistol competitions. While some shooting sports are more physical than others, all of them benefit from exercise. Even yoga could potentially improve your game as you would learn breath control, to hold a pose, and become more limber.

Anonymous kfg January 26, 2018 8:16 PM  

Addendum:

Soft leather caps are great. They mitigate abrasion and keep your ears from coming off. They should be allowed to those players who don't want to go bare headed.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 26, 2018 8:16 PM  

XFL is going to crash and burn again for the same reason it did last time. For the same reason the USFL augered in.

The genetic cocktail required to make a world class quarterback is freaking rare.

Any game without that highly specialized mutant is going to be a running game and they are just plain dull.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr January 26, 2018 8:24 PM  

Shooting. If you look at the Olympic Games, the oldest medalist was a rifle shooter. He was 73. And it's routine for the oldest competitor at any given Games to be a rifle or pistol competitor.

I won't even mention the black powder side of the game. They don't have the big money subsidies, so they run even older.

Anonymous kfg January 26, 2018 8:34 PM  

And then there's sailing. Experience counts the most. Sir Francis Chichester set out to circumnavigate the world solo when he was 65. He broke the clipper ship record.

You're 30, not dead. You can do shit.

Blogger cheesie_67 January 26, 2018 9:01 PM  

Hopefully baseball can make its way back to the top.

Blogger Lazarus January 26, 2018 9:24 PM  

8. Wyndie January 26, 2018 4:19 PM

Does heading the ball in soccer lead to brain damage?


Well, strikers are often considered eccentric and volatile.

Is that not correct, Supreme Dark Lord?

Blogger Gordon Scott January 26, 2018 9:38 PM  

What happened to the Patriots player--the murderer--has to do with his aggressive head spearing style of play. A quarterback might get seven good smacks. This guy was getting 20 or more per game. But put him in a soft helmet and he will be tackling with his shoulders, not his face.

Anonymous kfg January 26, 2018 9:55 PM  

" . . . put him in a soft helmet . . ."

Why a helmet? What function does it serve?

Anonymous Cerebrum, Medulla oblongotta, rib and bone preservation society. January 26, 2018 9:59 PM  

One coach alluded to something about 20 years ago. He was reacting to an injury that one of his players suffered.... He was saying at the time that in the past he felt that players made an effort NOT to seriously hurt each other.... Im not aware of how bad or not that bad the problem is but the observation of the nfl coach struck me as right on. ...it seems to me that a few, not all, and not a majority of defensive players at some point in the evolution of the nfl became preoccupied with the intimidation factor. Why not try to go for interceptions more that would help their team more and also reduce injuries. Also go for just batting down the ball with your hand instead of the -BANG KAPOW!!!- also i see lots of players tackle in such a way as to be very effective but not unecessarily hurting the offensive players. For eg i thought that Lawrence Taylor used to tackle very effectively and agressively but not unnecesarily damage players. Once hecwas involved in a play that broke a bone in Redskin qb Joe Theisman's leg in a Monday night game in 1985, but it looked like an unfortunate accident to me and its extremely cool how after the play u see LT waving his hands for medical staff to get there quickly to help Joe Theisman...so i think u can be very aggressive and ferocious and still not hurt people. And not -take the football out of football-

Blogger John (not the pope) January 26, 2018 10:11 PM  

I'll second all the "take away the helmets & padded armour" motions here.
Rugby but with passing.

Anonymous Elder Son January 26, 2018 10:14 PM  

If there had been a law against climbing tree's, I never would have had my first concussion. And those damn half sphere monkey bars when I broke my shoulder-blade. And the bloody nose playing dodge-ball. And those damn red rider wagons are not exactly for riding downhill on asphalt. And those damn mini bike jumps. And skateboards and broken wrist and fingers! Can't we just put kids in a platic bubble until they turn 18? Or maybe just put a VR on them until 18 and they can fake it?

Blogger Nakota Publishing January 26, 2018 10:58 PM  

I've never played tackle football, but I'm always skeptical of any media-driven "crisis" that promises to make big bucks for lawyers. And that doctor that broke the story, wasn't he Nigerian? From the home of all the world's most outrageous scams? The kind of competitive, driven people that pro sports attracts are the same sort who end up leading excessive lifestyles in music and other pursuits. Who's to say that's not the cause of some of these issues with depression?

Anonymous roo_ster January 26, 2018 11:03 PM  

Boys need risk and challenge to become men. Tackle football is one of the few venues where boys can face challenges that have a pain and guts component. Soccer and croquet are not going to cut it.

Blogger bobby January 26, 2018 11:14 PM  

1. My theory is that a game/sport will be popular in a measure directly proportional to the number of people who have played that game/sport as they grew up.

2. Can't compare motorcycle helmets to football helmets. MC helmets create a crush zone to buffer catastrophic impacts. It's all in the shell. FB helmets are primarily built on suspension, to spread out (relatively) minor impacts. As someone who played FB seriously for 15 years, I can attest that even older designs made smashing headfirst into someone's body parts, hard or soft, into a painless experience. If your neck could take it.

3. Given that FB teams under college age normally consist of many kids sitting on a bench waiting their turn while 11 or 22 play for ten or fifteen minutes of action per game, FB maybe should die out as a pre-college game. So many better ways to teach the same values and strengths and fitness concepts to kids.

Blogger DaDZ January 26, 2018 11:37 PM  

Nate73
Crossfit, powerlifting, soccer, baseball/softball

Blogger Ransom Smith January 26, 2018 11:42 PM  

Does heading the ball in soccer lead to brain damage?
Tricky thing there is discerning the difference between heading the ball and head bumps in the penalty box. Not to mention kicks, hitting ground, etc.
The actual ball to head contact is only one part so it's essentially impossible to truly ascertain the cause.

Anonymous kfg January 26, 2018 11:52 PM  

"Can't compare motorcycle helmets to football helmets."

Engineering form follows function. If they have the same function they have the same form. If they have different form, they will function differently.

A motorcycle helmet is designed to protect your brain when your moving head gets rammed into an effectively immoveable object.

A hard hat, which uses a suspension system, is designed to protect your skull (and skull failure can lead to brain injury) from a small moving object that falls on it.

And so it has a different form from the motorcycle helmet.

"It's all in the shell."

No, in a motorcycle helmet it's all in the crushable liner. The shell protects the liner, maintains its integrity and secures it in place. It has the secondary function of offering some protection against penetration wounds.

"FB helmets are primarily built on suspension, to spread out (relatively) minor impacts. As someone who played FB seriously for 15 years, I can attest that even older designs made smashing headfirst into someone's body parts, hard or soft, into a painless experience."

Right, that's how a football helmet functions, because that's what it's form dictates. But . . . is that the function of a football helmet?

I mean if you ask the coach, "Coach, why do I have to wear this thing?" does he say, "So you can ram the shit out of people," or does he say something else?

What is the bloody thing there for?

Blogger bobby January 26, 2018 11:53 PM  

"Does heading the ball in soccer lead to brain damage?"

Yes. Many medical studies done complete with crash-test dummies, accelerometers, balls at differing speeds, et cetera, most of which establish that a headed soccer ball (from high up) does impart enough force to cause contrecoup brain injuries.

Blogger bobby January 27, 2018 12:18 AM  

"No, in a motorcycle helmet it's all in the crushable liner."

In the studies, there are two components - the suspension system, and the "shell", which includes the crush zone materials. So we're saying the same thing.

Form does follow function. The function of the MC helmet is to protect, to the extent possible, from the smack of a head on a concrete curb at 40mph, which it accomplishes throug single-use destructive sacrifice. A FB helmet does something very different - it just spreads out force to avoid acute impact, but still transmits the force to your head. The suspension of a FB helmet would be destroyed in a typical MC-helmet impact.

I've tested both personally - several concussions in Junior High-High School football, and three destroyed MC helmets, and they all worked, and I have never . . . . I have never . . . what were we talking about? Hey, a squirrel . . . !

Blogger Thot January 27, 2018 12:28 AM  

Was never into 'sports ball'. Fencing ,fly fishing and martial arts were choices of physical activity

Anonymous kfg January 27, 2018 12:33 AM  

Yeah, I have my collection of used helmets too, and I can tell you from experience that vomiting from concussion with a broken collarbone, and no pain killers, is not something you want to do for fun.

My question stands, but now that I think about it, given the coaches I've known they'd probably just answer, "Well, ya know, 'cause ya have to. They won't let you play without it."

So, go find the people who are responsible for saying you can't play without it and ask them why. Why do I have to wear this thing? What is the reasoning behind it? What.Is.Its.Function.

I really want to know that answer.

Anonymous GodEmperorMemes January 27, 2018 1:23 AM  

My Grandfather once told me about when he visited Pearl Harbor with the Royal New Zealand Navy during WW2. Some of the sailors from his ship, HMNZS Leander, were playing rugby to kill time, and one of the American sailors watching commented, "Gee, you guys are tough!" Grandad replied, "Your game looks tough, too..." and the American said, "Yeah, but we wear pads!"

Anonymous Homesteader January 27, 2018 2:19 AM  

From a physiological standpoint, helmets do nothing AT ALL to mitigate coup/countercoup injuries, which are also known as acceleration/ deceleration injuries. Upon impact, the helmet protects the exterior of the head, but the brain inside the skull just keeps on flying- until the skull stops it.

Naturally, the 3-4 lb. brain hits with considerable force, bounces back, and hits the back of the skull.CSF and Dura Mater mitigate the impact somewhat, but not that much.

E= 1/2 mv2 ( Athough I think the impact formula is different.)

As a decent analogy, picture the human brain as a baby. No matter how big your body may be, nor how strong your physique- your brain is a baby, in a brttle carseat, with no safety strap.
Would you take your infant child out on the football field?

Act accordingly.




Blogger Quilp January 27, 2018 2:26 AM  

Pushed a blocking sled with fat coaches standing on it from age 12 - 15. I was burned out by the time HS rolled around, and fell in love with soccer. I loved paying linebacker, but they held that over my head and forced me to play tackle as well. The game itself was rough enough, but when I think back to what was considered normal behavior by some of the coaches, it makes me just how soft todays snowflakes have become.

Anonymous JAG January 27, 2018 4:46 AM  

Quilp wrote:Pushed a blocking sled with fat coaches standing on it from age 12 - 15. I was burned out by the time HS rolled around, and fell in love with soccer. I loved paying linebacker, but they held that over my head and forced me to play tackle as well. The game itself was rough enough, but when I think back to what was considered normal behavior by some of the coaches, it makes me just how soft todays snowflakes have become.

I have to concur with your last sentence. My coaches would have done jail time today. My first year of varsity football was 1986. We got one water break during 2 hour practices even if it was 100+ degrees. We hit pad on pad more days per week than NFL teams do today. We survived.

Blogger Akulkis January 27, 2018 5:24 AM  

"Right, that's how a football helmet functions, because that's what it's form dictates. But . . . is that the function of a football helmet?

I mean if you ask the coach, "Coach, why do I have to wear this thing?" does he say, "So you can ram the shit out of people," or does he say something else?

What is the bloody thing there for?"

To display the team logo. DUH!


/snark off

Anonymous JAMES January 27, 2018 7:14 AM  

Rugby would solve all your problems yanks.

It's non stop so it requires more endurance than your game which means certain ethnic groups with a preponderance of fast twitch muscles don't predominate.

There's a reason beyond cultural preference that the South African teams (still some of the best in the world) remain majority white even with the government "encouragement" to find more dark faces.

The Polynesians are pretty damn scary though. Once they pick up momentum running in a certain direction you don't really want to be the thing that stops them, at least not on your own.

Blogger Duke Norfolk January 27, 2018 8:14 AM  

Wyndie wrote:Does heading the ball in soccer lead to brain damage?

There are many different levels of impact involved. There's a huge difference between heading a field-long goal kick, or a cross-field corner kick that changes the direction 180 deg, and redirecting the ball subtly (i.e. a glancing blow). The former should be discouraged (or outright banned; especially the goal kick scenario). The latter is rather benign.

Of course with kids just developing their skills it's tougg

Blogger VD January 27, 2018 8:26 AM  

"Does heading the ball in soccer lead to brain damage?"

I think defenders have it worse. They are often heading back long, high balls in the direction from whence they came. I've seen defenders look stunned or in pain after one of those. I very much doubt that the redirected flicks that attackers usually do are capable of causing any harm.

Anonymous Ghost Who Walks January 27, 2018 8:56 AM  

Try bicycling for endurance, martial arts for physical strategy and competitiveness, and chess -- or better still, Nine Man's Morris, for mental strategy and understanding the universe.

Anonymous Baseball Savant January 27, 2018 10:48 AM  

Hopefully baseball can make its way back to the top.

Amen brother!!!!!!

Anonymous Baseball Savant January 27, 2018 10:54 AM  

Boys need risk and challenge to become men. Tackle football is one of the few venues where boys can face challenges that have a pain and guts component. Soccer and croquet are not going to cut it.

never played soccer. don't like the sport. with that said, I played D1 baseball and was around the other athletes at our university quite a bit. i didn't know our soccer players that well, but knew enough that they were some tough sonsabitches. I think there was quite a bit of pain/guts associated with those guys.

Blogger Owen January 27, 2018 11:55 AM  

Good for you! There's so many other sports that aren't dangerous

Blogger Gordon Scott January 27, 2018 12:03 PM  

JAG: "We got one water break during 2 hour practices even if it was 100+ degrees."

100 degrees? Pshaw, we loved practicing in 100 degrees! That felt like air conditioning to us! The only water we got was the sweat dripping off our noses, and you had to be able to flip your head just right to get that!

On a more serious note, 1974, three-a-day fall practices in heat that often was 100 or more, and we usually got to share a bucket of ice, 2/3 of the way through. I would stand in the shower room with the hot water off and just gulp the water coming down. We got the half-tshirt to wear under the shoulder pads, washed every other day. After the first practice, when hung on the hook, it dried in that shape and would stand on its own. Aaahhhrrrr, we wuz manly men....

Did I mention we started each practice running a mile with a tire on our shoulders? That was a little painful for the no-pad practices. Yeah, that would get the coaches arrested today.

If you can find a copy, read Meat on the Hoof by Gary Shaw. He talks about playing at Texas in the Darryl Royal days of the 1960s. Now those practices were seriously sadistic, especially if Coach Royal decided that he wanted your scholarship. They had a charming little practice off to the side called, "Shit Drills." Absolutely designed to make you quit.

Blogger Owen January 27, 2018 12:05 PM  

Plus, it's just a helluva lotta fun. It's like being a kid again!

Anonymous BBGKB January 27, 2018 12:51 PM  

My grandfather told me not to play football, because if you get too many blows to the face you will become punch drunk. Given that 3rdworlders physically mature faster than Whites/Asians it's an even better idea.

Crossfit, powerlifting, soccer, baseball/softball

What about guillotine bowling (._.) ( l: ) ( .-. ) ( :l ) (._.) ( l: ) ( .-. ) ( :l )

PS. I don't think anyone mentioned that motorcycle helmets are only designed for one crash/impact!

Anonymous kfg January 27, 2018 12:57 PM  

@BBGKB:

In the very comment in which I introduced motorcycle helmets into the discussion. That was the point.

Blogger Gordon Scott January 27, 2018 1:21 PM  

baseball savant: " i didn't know our soccer players that well, but knew enough that they were some tough sonsabitches. I think there was quite a bit of pain/guts associated with those guys."

Well, yeah. You can get some wicked bruises or rug burns if you fake a fall on artificial turf, and if you roll the wrong way, or hang up a nail while clutching a leg, there's potential for injury.

Anonymous The Popcorn Tape January 27, 2018 6:05 PM  

Ghost Who Walks wrote:Try bicycling for endurance, martial arts for physical strategy and competitiveness, and chess -- or better still, Nine Man's Morris, for mental strategy and understanding the universe.

Um, you know Nine Men's Morris is a solved game, right?

Anonymous Baseball Savant January 27, 2018 6:54 PM  

Well, yeah. You can get some wicked bruises or rug burns if you fake a fall on artificial turf, and if you roll the wrong way, or hang up a nail while clutching a leg, there's potential for injury.

Touche!

Blogger Stephen Wyndham January 27, 2018 7:56 PM  

My father played college football from 1948-1951 (All-South LB/BB). He told me if they would go back to limited substitution there would not be many, if any, players over 250 lbs.

The guys that are still living that played with him are in their mid to late 80s. None of them have any signs of dementia. My Dad lost teeth and hearing due to lousy helmets and another has a bad knee, but heart attacks are what is taking them out.

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