March 15, 2013

Commentary by photography, from Drudge.

Pithily visual:



Here are the links:
NFL TO BACKS: NO MORE LOWERING HELMET...
Emmitt Smith: New Safety Rule Means NFL Has 'Lost Its Mind'...
Rubio mocks: 'Take on tackler with chest? #c'monman'...
League Drug-Tests Redskins QB At Grandmother's Home...

43 comments:

Scott M said...

I agree with Emmitt Smith, the NFL's record-breaking rusher. It's almost, if not impossible, to not put your head down when you're about to take a hit. Further, it will add to an already huge workload for the refs.

It will take 24 of the 36 owners to vote for it. Here's hoping it fails.

Shouting Thomas said...

Next up, Althouse explains how gay marriage benefits NFL running backs.

Mitchell the Bat said...

They should bring back the helmets with the big spike on top.

gk1 said...

i just figured it was because the democrat pussies are in charge in washington they are making this change. Now onward to making men sit down to pee in public restrooms.

Paddy O said...

They should also lower the speed limit to 25, because at that speed only 3% of linebackers are killed.

Aridog said...

Yawn. Emmit Smith is right of course, a man with vast experience...so why should the bureaucrats listen to him? If the owners vote for this they deserve the Nancy-dancing they get as a result.

edutcher said...

And a little child shall lead them...

Shouting Thomas said...

Next up, Althouse explains how gay marriage benefits NFL running backs.

Something to do with tight ends...

Mitchell the Bat said...

They should bring back the helmets with the big spike on top.

Der pickelhaube

jacksonjay said...


i just figured it was because the democrat pussies are in charge in washington they are making this change. Now onward to making men sit down to pee in public restrooms

We discussed this yesterday in regards to the messy POTUS1

Aridog said...

gk1 sez ...

Now onward to making men sit down to pee in public restrooms.

That's going to take one hell of a of cops (weenie watchers?) to enforce. Otherwise, men will just stand there and pee all over the stool seat and fixtures. Forest Gump's momma had it right.

bpm4532 said...

No helmets and very few pads. That will stop injuries.

The interesting thing is the perception of safety provided by helmets and pads actually increases the level of violence and the incidence and severity of injury. It's known as the Peltzman Effect.

We see it in bike riders with helmets and drivers with SUVs. They take greater risks via an overestimate of increased safety.

fivewheels said...

The NFL is facing a billion-dollar lawsuit over head injuries. Blame this decision not on the nannies but the lawyers. They can't do what they want, which is to let adult men make their own choices, assess their own risks and rewards, and then accept both.

bpm4532 said...

Make them all play in those Sumo suits.

Michael said...

I think bpm4532 is on it. If we went back to leather helmets without face masks but with the dinky pads of the 1930s we would have a better game with less whining from players and fans. But go back to the metal cleats that could be sharpened.

bpm4532 said...

fivewheels: Don't you know we live in a society where everything is or should be risk free?

I think the truly intelligent football players once they got their bell rung a few times in their younger days, self-selected out.

garage mahal said...

Pretty hard to take seriously a league that though scab refs from the Lingerie League didn't jeopardize players safety.

SteveR said...

There are a couple issues which work against the NFL in regard to this. Head trauma has been an issue for awhile and with considerably larger players than 30-40 years ago, physics is not in your favor. I don't know for sure but I don't think helmet technology has kept up. Lawsuits and the ability of the NFL to mount a defense, much less get any kind of liability insurance, means they have to at least pretend to try.

Oh yeah, the Troy Polumalu effect where every player feels they have drive through every single play with maximum speed and effort.

Scott M said...

Oh yeah, the Troy Polumalu effect where every player feels they have drive through every single play with maximum speed and effort.

I'm obviously not sportsgeek enough to know the reference, but football players are trained from the first day they ever put on pads, whether that's junior leagues or high school, that you play every single second with maximum effort. Why would you not?

Roger J. said...

its gladiatorial combat--some get nets and tridents; some get swords and some get spears--let the best man win

Chef Mojo said...

Does anyone know if rugby players have a higher rate of head injuries than football players?

Tim said...

"I don't know for sure but I don't think helmet technology has kept up. Lawsuits and the ability of the NFL to mount a defense, much less get any kind of liability insurance, means they have to at least pretend to try."

I'm not an expert on concussions, but from what I understand, helmet technology probably can't keep up, in that concussions generally result from the brain bruising itself against the skull when it bounces around from impact. The brain isn't snug against the skull - their is fluid between the skull and the brain's membrane - and no helmet is ever likely to solve that problem.

I believe part of the "solution" (if there ever can be one) is early tracking and testing of players for HGH; football players have grown in size much faster than the general population, and I have a hard time believing it is all attributable to aggressive weight-lifting and nutrition programs. Physics is the real culprit here, and no legislation can fix the laws of physics.

traditionalguy said...

It is the size and speed of today's athletes which has out run safety for moving brains inside hard skulls that are stopped suddenly.

So the rule needs only to be applied to the players over 6 feet tall and/or weighing more than 200 lbs. The abnormal guys can wear black jersies. Is that racist? Ok then, Green and Yellow Duck Feathered ones like Jaquiz Rogers wore in college.


Problem solved. But the Gladiators killing each other is a great circus.

madAsHell said...

Things have come a long way....

When you suffered a concussion, they would ask how many fingers am I showing?? If you could answer the question, you were back in the game.

If you couldn't answer the question, then you were held out for a couple of plays.

Mitchell the Bat said...

They need to keep the padding the way it is now.

Women watch football largely because they think the players really look like that.

It's got something to do with butts and the female preference for men in blue jeans.

The phenomenon has some evolutionary explanation, probably.

LarsPorsena said...

No more lowering the helmet?
Begging for a forearm to the face.

SteveR said...

@ScottM You are correct but in the last ten years its gone beyond what was expected in years past. And here's the problem, Mr Polumalu has a method of playing the position of safety which is extremely aggressive but which he appears to be well able to play. But its flashy and popular and now you see players at all levels emulating it. There's risk beyond what may be necessary to make a solid play in order to maintain a posture.

AllenS said...

Make the helmets five times bigger.

AllenS said...

Make the helmets the size of Smart cars.

Blair said...

Does anyone know if rugby players have a higher rate of head injuries than football players?

That's the irony of it all. The helmets and padding actually make American football more dangerous, because players think they can use their padded parts as weapons. Rugby players generally only wear mouthguards, to stop their teeth from being knocked out, and no other padding. Tackling around the head is also a penalty offence in rugby, so head contact is not a common occurence.

Rugby players do suffer a lot of back injuries, and sometimes even paralysis, but this is mostly because of the scrums.

American football should do away with the protective gear altogether. It would force players to be more creative with how they play, and, I think, reduce injuries. It would also make the game more interesting, watchable, and a bit less gay.

Bryan C said...

I strongly suspect that the dangers of minor head trauma (typical sporting incidents) are being vastly exaggerated by lawyers and doctors of dubious ethical standards. The lawyers will make their money, the medical studies will quietly disappear from the headlines as their flaws become apparent, and everyone will move on to the next dubious cash-cow health crisis.

Except for the infantalized adults and the terrified parents who wrap little Johnny in another layer of bubble wrap and wonder why he's fat.

wyo sis said...

Or, put them all in smart cars and make the field twice as big.

mark said...

Bryan C said...
I strongly suspect that the dangers of minor head trauma (typical sporting incidents) are being vastly exaggerated by lawyers and doctors of dubious ethical standards.

Maybe. The term that is being used is subconcussive head trauma. And there are already good studies showing that it has a measurable effect on voluntary motor control. One actually used tablets to perform the measurement.

Which is a good start for studies. Once you get a physical measure you can then use that on a wide variety of people and occupations. And then follow through ages, types impacts, and statistically measurable group differences (brain disorders, depression, etc.)

I don't know if the NFL should be responding to this so early in the studies. But, parents should really watch and consider. What would you want to do (as a parent) if a heading a soccer ball regularly or playing tackle football had a measurable effect on brain function?

Current studies already show decreases in voluntary motor control. And the current worries from NFL deaths are possible increases in depression and impaired cognitive function.


Nomennovum said...

This is not surprising, coming from a nation of pussies.

Jeff Teal said...

Used to play a version of football/rugby called murderball.No pads ,no helmets and full tackle.Tough game.Tougher than football which I also used to play.Bring vack the Leatherheads.

Col Mustard said...

A good way to cut down all injuries would be a change in substitution rules.

Something as simple as requiring all players to remain on the field during the entire length of a drive - if someone comes out, he's out for, say, 10 minutes.

300 lb players would be history.

Alex said...

Honestly I think the gladiatorial games were better. More honest.

Bryan C said...

"Current studies already show decreases in voluntary motor control. And the current worries from NFL deaths are possible increases in depression and impaired cognitive function."

One of the danger signs of sloppy science are claims which are vague, bordering on unfalsifiable. How does one measure and quantify "increases in depression and impaired cognitive function" in any meaningful way? Assuming they're real and related to trauma, how long do they last? And how have these crippling effects from everyday injuries gone unnoticed for so long?

I am not a doctor, but health scares come and go. Codifying early studies on any topic into laws and regulations is always a bad idea. Always.


mikeski said...

Col Mustard said: "Something as simple as requiring all players to remain on the field during the entire length of a drive - if someone comes out, he's out for, say, 10 minutes.

300 lb players would be history."

...except that the 300-pounders are already the ones who never leave the field. (Which team swaps its center, other than for injury?) Linemen play every down.

It's the "small" quick guys (250-275 pounders) that change out every other play (wide receivers, running backs).

Also, wouldn't this hurt the American Dream? Little kids want to grow up to be sports stars. If we stop football players from wearing themselves out by the age of 28, fewer people will get to play! Clearly, the US Gov't should step in and prevent any rule changes that improve player safety, for just that reason.

Scott M said...

What would you want to do (as a parent) if a heading a soccer ball regularly or playing tackle football had a measurable effect on brain function?

It's worse than that. All you have to do is like soccer and I guarantee impaired cognitive skills will have something to do with it.

Andrew said...

The head injury problem isn't that the sport is more violent than in the past. Rule changes since the 60s have actually made the game less violent. Nor is it the equipment giving players a false sense of safety, it's the increased size and speed of the players over the decades.
Another problem is that no one really knows if there is an increase in head injuries or only increased diagnoses. In the past a player had to be knocked out cold before anyone was concerned.

Methadras said...

Aridog said...

Yawn. Emmit Smith is right of course, a man with vast experience...so why should the bureaucrats listen to him? If the owners vote for this they deserve the Nancy-dancing they get as a result.


No owner in his right mind would put up with this. Whoever the fuck proposed this new rule should be outed and shamed for the fucking piece of shit pussy he or she is.

Methadras said...

fivewheels said...

The NFL is facing a billion-dollar lawsuit over head injuries. Blame this decision not on the nannies but the lawyers. They can't do what they want, which is to let adult men make their own choices, assess their own risks and rewards, and then accept both


The Seau family is wrong in this regard. The shyster who got his meat hooks into their grief as a function of this lawsuit is an example of the horrendous nature of tort in this country. It doesn't matter that he had CTE, he knew the risks, he killed himself years after his retirement. The two are not corollary at all. It's bullshit. Just because you have CTE doesn't mean it makes you suicidal.

McTriumph said...

Anyone that ever played a contact sport or been in a fist fight or hit their head has CTE damage, it only takes one hit.

khesanh0802 said...

Watch any NFL game, on any Sunday, and you will see illegal hits with the helmet - particularly by defensive backs on receivers -go uncalled. The referees are not strict enough calling this infraction. If they were, most of the problem would go away in a couple of weeks after a team was penalized 60 or perhaps 90 yards for illegal hits.

The helmet is not a weapon, but many coaches have coached otherwise. When I played ( admittedly the dark ages) the object was to slide your head to the side and tackle with your shoulder (I am sure that's what Rugby players still do). The majority of tackles made within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage are still made this way. It is the too high down-field tackles made by smaller backs thinking they can protect themselves that are the problem. If it were a penalty to hit above the shoulder you would eliminate a lot of the problem.

Emmet wants to use his helmet to spear and intimidate defensive players. He's wrong. The helmet is not a weapon!