Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Thursday, 22 September 2022 20:39
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Posted On Thursday, 22 September 2022 07:56 Written by

"Don’t do that!” With the preseason now out of the way and the 2022 NFL regular season going strong, you hear coaches still screaming to their players to NOT tackle or block leading with the crown of their helmet. Too many players still drop their heads when they prepare to tackle or block. Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula – 33 years in the NFL – always coached his players to “see what you hit.” Helmet-to-helmet contact is often called “targeting” and is subject to disqualification. Runners will often lower their heads when about to be tackled thereby bracing themselves for the impending blow. This makes it difficult for the oncoming tackler to avoid head-to-head contact.

Many players have suffered life-threatening cervical spine injuries with helmet-to-helmet contact.  For many, playing football becomes out of the question. Football at all levels is full of physical — some say brutal — contact. At the NFL level with the size of today’s players, contact between players does make the word brutal come to life. All sports that involve contact have that risk and perhaps risk even disability. The NFL constantly conducts tests to determine how to better protect its players. In 2022 (even earlier behind the scenes) the NFL has put into use a protective headgear that fits inside the helmet to further reduce the physical impact of contact.

I belong to (was inducted into) the NFL Alumni “Order of the Leather Helmet.” That sounds funny today, but I did wear one in high school. Leather helmets didn’t provide much protection from blows to the head. So most players avoided using their heads for contact and thereby tackled and blocked with their shoulders. That’s why “see what you hit” still makes a lotta sense.

Enter Riddell, the maker, and supplier of today’s plastic football helmets. All NFL teams use the Riddell helmet. To Riddell’s credit, they are working feverishly to improve the inside of their helmets to reduce the impact of any blow. I fail to understand why a player slaps his teammate’s head to congratulate him for a touchdown, catch or sack. Every time the head moves the skull inside the head moves, causing the brain to contact the inside of the skull.  That is why the continuous improvement of the inside of the helmet is important. Football is here to stay. Let’s do all we can to reduce injuries.

Will you encourage others to play sports safely and wisely?

Posted On Friday, 23 September 2022 00:00 Written by
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Posted On Tuesday, 20 September 2022 20:51
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