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Helmet Evolution


gueman

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In the wake of Kevin Everett?s devastating injury. It got me thinking that helmet safety needs to not only incorporate concussion reduction, but also spinal compression. Now I am not an engineer but perhaps the helmet could be integrated into the shoulder pads through some kind of suspension system that would take the impact and spread it onto the shoulders.

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LMAO! Thats Warhammer 40,000! One of my friends in 7th grade was really into that stuff, lol.

No kidding, jefe.

And not all WH40k players are in 7th Grade, in case anyone is wondering... <_<

But back to the topic at hand, don't blame me when Riddell/Schutt comes out next year with a Shoulder Pad/Helmet combo similar to the Space Marine in question.

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More overreaction to something that happens once every 10 years?

I'm not saying football isn't dangerous and they shouldn't try and make it as safe as possible, but perhaps teaching players to tackle correctly could help some of these concussions and neck injuries. FACEMASK on the ball, not the top of your helmet. I see so many players duck their head down at the last second at every level which is so ridiculously dangerous.

They usually spend 10 minutes every year in HS teaching you the proper way to tackle...and then? Never again.

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More overreaction to something that happens once every 10 years?

I'm not saying football isn't dangerous and they shouldn't try and make it as safe as possible, but perhaps teaching players to tackle correctly could help some of these concussions and neck injuries. FACEMASK on the ball, not the top of your helmet. I see so many players duck their head down at the last second at every level which is so ridiculously dangerous.

They usually spend 10 minutes every year in HS teaching you the proper way to tackle...and then? Never again.

Well it took the death of Dale Earnhardt in the Daytona 500 before the HANS or similar device was made mandatory in NASCAR. Perhaps we should not make any changes until there is a death in the Super Bowl. I don't have the numbers but there are quite a few spinal cord injuries from hight school up to the NFL and CFL.

And I know that when I played football back in the 80's we spent more than...

They usually spend 10 minutes every year in HS teaching you the proper way to tackle...and then? Never again.
I remember running more than my share of gassers and hills because Coach Day couldn't see my eyes when I hit the sled.

But hey I am sure there were plenty who thought the facemask on the helmet in the 50's was overreaction.

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More overreaction to something that happens once every 10 years?

I'm not saying football isn't dangerous and they shouldn't try and make it as safe as possible, but perhaps teaching players to tackle correctly could help some of these concussions and neck injuries. FACEMASK on the ball, not the top of your helmet. I see so many players duck their head down at the last second at every level which is so ridiculously dangerous.

They usually spend 10 minutes every year in HS teaching you the proper way to tackle...and then? Never again.

Seconding....a lot of injuries like this simply could be avoided by merely training players not to lead with the top of the head. Frankly, I'm surprised this hasn't happened to Adam Archuleta yet.

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Actually, a lighter helmet might be better than what we have now. My girlfriend is an RN and she says that the biggest problem with the neck injuries she sees in High School players is that the helmets are so heavy that it makes the neck more susceptible to snapping back etc. From what she says, the bigger the helmet the less protection for the neck and spine. I know the new helmets are all about preventing concussions but ask Kevin Everett or his family if they'd prefer a concussion over this.

I'm not saying that helmets caused his injury. It's just that every time something like this happens the first reaction is to make better helmets. PCGD makes a good point. Very severe neck injuries are pretty rare in the NFL but they still happen. I wonder how many neck and spinal cord injuries occur in High School and College football every year.

Looking at how violent Football is I wonder if the answer lies in less equipment not more. When you put pads and helmets on the best athletes in the world and have them hit each other at full speed their equipment becomes as offensive as it is defensive. It's nothing short of a miracle that this type of injury doesn't happen in every NFL game. I don't know, does this type of stuff happen in Rugby? I am asking because to my limited knowledge of the sport they don't wear helmets and pads.

Just thinking out loud.

Regardless, my prayers are with Kevin Everett and his family. Rare or not, you just hate to see something like this.

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Looking at how violent Football is I wonder if the answer lies in less equipment not more. When you put pads and helmets on the best athletes in the world and have them hit each other at full speed their equipment becomes as offensive as it is defensive. It's nothing short of a miracle that this type of injury doesn't happen in every NFL game. I don't know, does this type of stuff happen in Rugby? I am asking because to my limited knowledge of the sport they don't wear helmets and pads.

Tackling in Rugby (League and Union) is very regulated. The general rule of thumb is that you can only tackle below the shoulders and above the legs, and in doing so you must attempt to wrap your arms around the player.

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Actually, a lighter helmet might be better than what we have now. My girlfriend is an RN and she says that the biggest problem with the neck injuries she sees in High School players is that the helmets are so heavy that it makes the neck more susceptible to snapping back etc. From what she says, the bigger the helmet the less protection for the neck and spine. I know the new helmets are all about preventing concussions but ask Kevin Everett or his family if they'd prefer a concussion over this.

I'm not saying that helmets caused his injury. It's just that every time something like this happens the first reaction is to make better helmets. PCGD makes a good point. Very severe neck injuries are pretty rare in the NFL but they still happen. I wonder how many neck and spinal cord injuries occur in High School and College football every year.

Looking at how violent Football is I wonder if the answer lies in less equipment not more. When you put pads and helmets on the best athletes in the world and have them hit each other at full speed their equipment becomes as offensive as it is defensive. It's nothing short of a miracle that this type of injury doesn't happen in every NFL game. I don't know, does this type of stuff happen in Rugby? I am asking because to my limited knowledge of the sport they don't wear helmets and pads.

Just thinking out loud.

Regardless, my prayers are with Kevin Everett and his family. Rare or not, you just hate to see something like this.

While I don't know about the weight of the helmet issue, it is a very good point. After high school I played rugby for 15 years and you are on to something. I say that rugby, aussie rules and galic all have less severe spinal cord issues. Because you don't feel invincible with that bucket on your coconut. One of the funny things most people don't know about rugby is you can use metal cleats.

Perhaps you are really on to something, if we removed hard plastic from the padding and went to the players using a rugby scrum cap. Less is more..good point!

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One scary part about Everett's injury is to me it looked like a fairly good form tackle, with his head up. Too many times I see defenders diving into players bodies with the crown of their head first, spearing them. It amazes me people dont get injured from this action. Even offensive players do it, headbutting defenders.

That is interesting about the rugby rules, however it looks like the tackling style, how different it is, is why there is a difference in injuries occurring.

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One scary part about Everett's injury is to me it looked like a fairly good form tackle, with his head up. Too many times I see defenders diving into players bodies with the crown of their head first, spearing them. It amazes me people dont get injured from this action. Even offensive players do it, headbutting defenders.

You must have not seen the same angle that I saw. On ESPN it clearly showed the top of his head hitting the top of the shoulder pad, with his face looking at the turf.

Also a headbut involves the front of the head, which results in the spine going back not down, it is the compression of the spine that is the cause of the most severe injury.

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The athletes we see each week are highly trained pros or very professional amateurs. They just make us forget that football is a collision sport and that it can be very dangerous to play it. The NOCSAFE label says it all...

I once had a teammate go down with a bleeding in his head, fortunately he is alright. However, he was in intense care for about two weeks and the only thing that could get my attention was my knee injury that I suffered in the same game. Looking back I am glad that three torn ACLs and a stinger were the worst injuries during my 15 year career...

Back to topic:

I am pretty sure that it is impossible to create equipment that can eliminates the risk of such a devastating injury. All those systems used in racing strap the helmet to something. That something is not there in football. Also, restricting movement of the head does not go well with playing a game.

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I see a day coming where there is a soft shell on top of the hard helmet shell(much like that player I cannot remember right now from the Bills back in the 90's had). Also, a softer layer on top of the shoulder pads would help dissipate the energy of a hit. However, it still stands that these injuries are far, far rarer than injuries to knees and the legs in general. I see a lot of college and HS teams now that require their linemen to have braces on both knees to help prevent the joint from twisting.

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Back to topic:

I am pretty sure that it is impossible to create equipment that can eliminates the risk of such a devastating injury. All those systems used in racing strap the helmet to something. That something is not there in football. Also, restricting movement of the head does not go well with playing a game.

Yea...but suppose there was an attachment strap that kept the head up, and was attached to the shoulder pads. You could still look have a large field of vision but looking down to the ground would be limited.

EatSleepJeep Posted Today, 11:51

I see a day coming where there is a soft shell on top of the hard helmet shell(much like that player I cannot remember right now from the Bills back in the 90's had). Also, a softer layer on top of the shoulder pads would help dissipate the energy of a hit. However, it still stands that these injuries are far, far rarer than injuries to knees and the legs in general. I see a lot of college and HS teams now that require their linemen to have braces on both knees to help prevent the joint from twisting.

Good points...but knee (and other joint) injuries cross all sport strata, but it is good to see those coaches and trainers being proactive. That was the point of this thread, to see if the helmet could become safer in the protection of spinal injuries.

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I see a day coming where there is a soft shell on top of the hard helmet shell(much like that player I cannot remember right now from the Bills back in the 90's had). Also, a softer layer on top of the shoulder pads would help dissipate the energy of a hit. However, it still stands that these injuries are far, far rarer than injuries to knees and the legs in general. I see a lot of college and HS teams now that require their linemen to have braces on both knees to help prevent the joint from twisting.

Mark Kelso

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Back to topic:

I am pretty sure that it is impossible to create equipment that can eliminates the risk of such a devastating injury. All those systems used in racing strap the helmet to something. That something is not there in football. Also, restricting movement of the head does not go well with playing a game.

Yea...but suppose there was an attachment strap that kept the head up, and was attached to the shoulder pads. You could still look have a large field of vision but looking down to the ground would be limited.

what if theres a fumble? Ive never played organized football, but I imagine that would cause problems.

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Back to topic:

I am pretty sure that it is impossible to create equipment that can eliminates the risk of such a devastating injury. All those systems used in racing strap the helmet to something. That something is not there in football. Also, restricting movement of the head does not go well with playing a game.

Yea...but suppose there was an attachment strap that kept the head up, and was attached to the shoulder pads. You could still look have a large field of vision but looking down to the ground would be limited.

what if theres a fumble? Ive never played organized football, but I imagine that would cause problems.

Well it has been more than 20 years for me but I tended to move my eyes to look, I can't remember ever putting my head down unless we lost, or I was tired.

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I see a day coming where there is a soft shell on top of the hard helmet shell(much like that player I cannot remember right now from the Bills back in the 90's had). Also, a softer layer on top of the shoulder pads would help dissipate the energy of a hit. However, it still stands that these injuries are far, far rarer than injuries to knees and the legs in general. I see a lot of college and HS teams now that require their linemen to have braces on both knees to help prevent the joint from twisting.

Mark Kelso

Thank you. Apparently, it's called a ProCap. and 49er lineman Steve Wallace also wore one as detailed recently at www.uniwatchblog.com . They also point out that it doesn't hold up well in game use.

http://static.flickr.com/92/269515923_d0129911b9.jpg?v=0

http://www2.jsonline.com/packer/arc/image/.../helmet0104.jpg

I'm sure that there can be a happy medium between the rock hard shell and a foam cover. A potential drawback it that a softer material is going to have a higher coefficient of friction. Therefore it is more likely to snag or pull the neck of a player after making contact, which may actually increase neck injuries. Without making the players look like spacemen, there must be a way to add a layer of softer foam to the outside with an additional plastic shell to keep the lower friction properties. We'll see what the future holds.

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