An Innovative Approach To Safety For The NFL
The verbal damage inflicted by ESPN veteran anchor Robert Flores upon Nick Young and Iggy Azalea is to be contrasted with improving the physical damage football players must endure. Remodeling and improving helmets worn by players at all levels has become a topic of discussion. Safety is a genuine concern for players and families throughout the nation.
Stats And Public Figures
NFL officials have prioritized concussion prevention in hopes of decreasing the opportunity for injury. We have already seen an array of rule changes, such as moving the kickoff (which is deemed the most dangerous play in football) 5 yards forward to induce more touchbacks and encourage less kick returns. The league has also introduced a rule in which players are no longer allowed to hit an opposing player with the crown of his helmet, and if there is “helmet-to-helmet” contact is, the offending team is subject to a 15 yard personal foul penalty.
According to a PBS article from 2012 titled, Inside The Numbers: Counting Concussions In The NFL, the NFL averaged 5.4 concussions per week in 2009, 7.6 in 2010, and 8.4 in 2011. With such alarming figures set to increase every single year, it’s no wonder why role models such as Barack Obama and LeBron James have publicly stated that they wouldn’t permit their sons to play football. But help to stem the tide of apprehension may be on the way.
An Innovative Approach to Safety: Magnets In Helmets?
Ever rub two negative sides of a magnet together and notice its repelling force? Well, that’s exactly what helped the light bulb pop into the head of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine’s Raymond Colello. After watching a Denver Broncos game, in which veteran wide-out Wes Welker received his 2nd career concussion, Colello went to grab a beer and then noticed the magnets on his refrigerator. He thought, “What if the repulsive force of magnets could put a brake on an impact before it even occurs?” The result of extensive research concluded that the magnets could reduce the amount of G-forces an impact would receive by almost half. The only way for this to work is for everyone (obviously) to be wearing helmets that obtain these magnets. Currently, they are in the labs for extensive testing at Virginia Tech University.
Overall, considering these helmets are only effective at full capacity they still will not completely eliminate on-field concussions from happening. The hope is to dramatically decrease the number of concussions per season. We can only hope, because I don’t know about you guys, but I’d love to see LeBron’s kids playing wide-out some day.