Do We Just Change the Helmets?
Taking helmets out of football is a very counterintuitive idea itself. It may seem as if this will hurt the players, but in fact it will help protect the players. Helmets will keep players from taking risky, hard hits, and cause them to have more caution when playing the game. They all will be protected from severe concussions, spinal cord injuries, and developing CTE later in life. There is however, some opposition to this counterintuitive idea. Many people feel as if there would be no change to the amount of head injuries sustained in a football game. They feel as if players will still hit hard, and make risky plays.
Today’s football helmets are extremely evolved from the old leather helmets. Before advanced helmets, concussions were really no worry at all. Players were taught to tackle with your shoulder instead of your head. Then when the helmet came into play, the number of head and spinal injuries, and deaths increased dramatically. This is because after 1954, players were taught to hit head first. This was influenced by the new advancement of the helmet. Players felt safer and would hit harder. Today’s helmets have extra padding and facemasks now a day. We have been researching ever since the mid 1900’s and have developed the most advanced helmets. The advancement in helmets has been a leading factor in the reason that concussions are more common than ever. Players are feeling safer and safer, and are making more riskier hits. Since 2014, there has been a 58% rise in the frequency of concussions. However, recently a helmet has been created that will be different from all the other helmets. According Wired. Com, that helmet is the new Zero 1 helmet. The Zero 1 is created by a company in Seattle called Vicis. The new helmet is suppost to flex on impact, instead of a traditional helmet. The Zero 1 is like a car bumper, it flexes and absorbs the force. A traditional helmet is like hitting a metal trashcan, the outside of the can absorbs the force, but rattles everything inside. In this case your brain is being rattled when a player gets hit. The new Vicis Zero 1 helmet features a 4-layer system to absorbing shock. These include a lode shell, a core layer, an arch shell, and a form liner. The lode shell is an outer layer that makes contact with other helmets, it consists of bendable plastics. The core layer is made up of hundreds of flexible columns that act like shock absorbers. his layer is the heart of the Vicis helmet, and was developed with the help of Per Reinhall, head of the University of Washington’s mechanical engineering department and a co-founder of Vicis. The columns vary in length and thickness depending on their position in the helmet. They are made up of a resistant polymer that bends in any given direction when bent. It is kind of like a knee or elbow joint. When you jump, your knees absorb the force when you land by bending. In the helmet the polymer bends, absorbing the shock. Under the core layer is the arch shell and form liner. The arch shell is the base of the polymers, while the form liner fits custom to the persons head, adding more protection. The Zero 1 has gone through many test to see if it is safe for our player. These include a drop test where a dummy head in dropped onto an anvil, and a rotation test, where a moving pendulum strikes the helmet form the side. Both tests concluded that the Zero 1 helmet reduced the force of impact from 20-50 percent compared to traditional helmets. With a helmet like this, the NFL is a lot safer, chances of head trauma are reduced significantly and player’s minds can rest at ease.
With the increasing protectiveness of the NFL helmet, injuries are surely going to occur. Risk compensation is going to play a huge role, as helmets become more protective, players will become more injured. Players will hit harder, and make risky tackles because of the new Zero 1 helmet. It does not help anything.
President Trump took many shots at the NFL at his Alabama campaign rally. He slammed players for kneeling during the national anthem, but he said a particularly disturbing comment. The president suggested that the NFL is being ruined now that they are addressing brain injuries. His exact words were “Because you know, today if you hit too hard — 15 yards! Throw him out of the game. They had that last week, I watched for a coupled of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom! 15 yards. The referee goes on television, his wife’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game.” He basically said that efforts to make players safe ruins the game.
President Trump’s comments were very disturbing at his rally. These players are human beings, they are the same as you and me. We all are humans, we get sick, we all are susceptible to injuries. The president basically is saying that efforts to protect players from early CTE related deaths makes his game watching experience unenjoyable. There are probably many people out there that feel this way, but do not have the means, nor the courage to say comments like this. That is fine, it is their opinion. Here is a way we can all enjoy the game, and our players are 100 percent safe. Take away these weapons, let players not be prompted to take those dangerous hits. Helmets need to be put on the sidelines.
Helmets may be evolving, but as they evolve, they hurt our beloved players. The advancements of Vicis’ Zero 1 helmet only sets player safety 3 steps back. Players are going to act more violent, causing more and more injuries, it is simple logic. Players are still going to make those concussion causing hits, only harder. And with harder hits comes more severe concussions, which leads to a rise in the number of players who acquire CTE later in life, cutting their life expectancy by a significant amount of years. Taking helmets out of football with significantly reduce the number of concussions NFL players experience. This in turn will cause a chain reaction, reducing the amount of CTE in retired players, reducing the number of early deaths in individuals.
Stinson, Elizabeth. “This Flexible Football Helmet Wants to Save Your Brain.” Wired, Conde Nast, 3 June 2017,
Hagel, Brent. “Risk Compensation: A.” Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, July 2004,
Loria, Kevin. “Trump Suggested the NFL Is Being Ruined Now That It’s Addressing Brain Injuries – Here’s What Collisions Do to Players.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 26 Sept. 2017,
Vinton, Nathaniel. “Concussions up 58% This Season in NFL Regular Season Games.” NY Daily News, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 29 Jan. 2016,