How to reform American football

Long piece here.

But as has been pointed out about car seat belts: if we really want people to drive safely then ban seat belts and put a dagger on the steering wheel, aimed at the heart of the driver.

The solution to repeated concussion in football players leading to their being punch drunk is simply to ban helmets.

In fact, might as well go the whole hog and ban anything other than cloth padding.

5 thoughts on “How to reform American football”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    How is that working out for Rugby?

    I seem to recall quite a few head injuries in that game. Or at least I would if I could remember anything at all.

  2. It works out fine for rugby. That’s not to say rugby’s an injury-free sport because it isn’t, obviously. But the head injuries American Football players face are more like those experienced by boxers. Rugby players collect a bit of scar tissue but brain injuries are rarer. It’s not just brain injuries, either. Knee and other joints are damaged to the point where disability is fairly common among men who played football seriously, much more so than with rugby. It’s a more static game so the players can get bigger and heavier and this, coupled with the padding and helmets, makes some of the collisions more like vehicle crashes than tackles.

  3. Peter, spot on.

    I went on a rugby tour to the US many moons ago. Quite a few of our opponents had played American football at high school etc.

    One thing I did notice was the recklessness of their tackling technique. All head first, where we Aussies, Kiwis, Brits etc are taught to get your head out of the way – behind the buttock of your opponent.

    If they did away with the helments, they’d have to rethink technique. A couple of headaches after the game and they’d learn it.

    I did know someone who had played for the Seattle Seahawks. He described playing in the line as like running full pelt into a wall. Seeing the collision up close is something to behold- it is high impact stuff.

  4. Actually, rugby’s been allowing more padding of recent years; I disagree with the trend for the reasons above and have never worn more protective gear than a gumshield. Well, except the time at school I got talked into wearing shinpads to make hooking for the ball against the heas less likely to end in bruised shins, an aberration I am still embarrassed by.

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