Thursday, January 24, 2013

Football Concussions

Why is it that modern football players with their expensive high tech padded helmets are sustaining more debilitating concussions now than back in the days of leather head gear?
The safest helmet ever made.
Actual testing has shown that the leather helmets are just as safe as the gladiator head gear being worn. 

Steroids Cause Concussions
Pump so many performance enhancing drugs into people they begin to resemble prize bulls at the county fair.  Add in chemically induced 'roid rage. Then set them on full speed collision courses and watch the mayhem.

Helmets Cause Concussions
Hit someone wearing a leather helmet in the skull with a hammer and it's going to hurt, a lot. Hit someone wearing a modern helmet with that same hammer hand he probably won't feel a thing (I'm not testing this theory). Making the head impervious to tactile pain does not make it immune to brain sloshing damage.

Prolonged Seasons Make Things Worse
Colleges used to play eight games a year plus one bowl game. The NFL used to play ten games a year with a single playoff game. Now, colleges have twelve game seasons plus bowls. The NFL is up to 16 games a year with up to three play-off games added on. And the NFL is talking about expanding their schedule to 18 games. More impact, less time to recover.

Helmets Are Used As Weapons
Modern football helmets are armored weapons. I'm actually surprised they have resisted the urge to attach spikes to them. Players know to lower their heads and lead with the most threatening weapon they have, the helmet. In every football game you will see several collisions that mostly resemble two rutting rams fighting.

The Owners Don't Give a Fuck
When I say "owners" I also include college presidents. The people who profit from football don't give a rat's ass about the players. They are merely chattel, highly replaceable chattel. There is always another young star on the rise to replace a fallen warrior. The pro owners may officially ban PEDs and they even, rarely, punish a player. The punishment is usually slight and meant to convince him to use more advanced masking agents and not to get him clean. College owners don't even pretend to care about steroid use.

Players Don't Give a Fuck Either
Glory, money, women. Many, maybe most football players, even at the high school level, don't care if their sport is causing permanent injuries to their bodies or brains that will eventually leave them crippled or addled for life. 

I guess I'm supposed to come up with some recommendations here but I can't. I do fully hate college football with it's slave gladiator similarities. But, the fact is I enjoy watching pro football even though it is people dressed like robots facing each other. I would probably enjoy it more if they took the players out of that armor and humanized the sport. Then again, I don't watch rugby so maybe not.

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