Concussion Safety and Leather Helmets

Bring back leather helmets? A recent study on helmet safety isn’t going that far, saying modern helmets provide better protection against major injuries like skull fractures and brain bleeds. But the study did contain a surprise.

Erik Brady, USA Today:

Century-old leather helmets are as good as and sometimes better than modern helmets at protecting against concussion from routine football hits, according to a study published Friday by the Journal of Neurosurgery.

A quick look at some other stories around the Web:

1) Have you ever wanted to see “All 22″ film, the full-field view coaches get? Sorry, you’re not worthy.
Reed Albergotti, Wall Street Journal:

If you ask the league to see the footage that was taken from on high to show the entire field and what all 22 players did on every play, the response will be emphatic. “NO ONE gets that,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email.

2)  Pro-Football-Reference.com will continue as before, but its blog has breathed its last. Chase Stuart will now be contributing to SmartFootball.com. He recently wrote on the evolution of the wide receiver position and the implications for voting on receivers for the Hall of Fame. Should Lynn Swann have gone into the Hall?

Swann’s career numbers are incredibly underwhelming, on the surface: 336 catches, 5,462 yards and 51 touchdowns. It’s easy to see why people question his legacy, and there’s no doubt that he’s one of the weaker selections in recent history. But as with every player, his place in history must be put in proper context.

3) An undefeated high school football team in Central New York had its playoff hopes end in a courtroom.
A former Syracuse all-American who went on to play for the Atlanta Falcons was accused of recruiting players from out of the district:

John O’Brien, The Post-Standard:

Skaneateles, NY — Tim Green, the novelist, lawyer, TV host, All-American and ex-NFL player, resigned today as coach of the Skaneateles High School football team in the midst of a court battle to keep the team’s undefeated season alive.

4) The Giants’ Brandon Jacobs hasn’t been bashful about saying that he wants more carries. Ahmad Bradshaw’s foot injury will almost certainly give him that chance, at least in the short run. The Onion poked some fun:

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs was reportedly furious with coaches following a team meeting Tuesday, loudly expressing his displeasure and demanding more yards per carry.

Extra point The reason given by some for restricting access to “All 22″ film seems lame: “Charley Casserly, a former general manager who was a member of the NFL’s competition committee, says he voted against releasing All-22 footage because he worried that if fans had access, it would open players and teams up to a level of criticism far beyond the current hum of talk radio.” It’s not on the level of, say,  the Supreme Court denying citizens the ability to view its proceedings, but would you like to see the N.F.L. become more transparent and allow fans to view the kind of film that insiders say tells all?

Extra point II One benefit of a less-is-more approach to  helmets is that there would be less head-against-head cracking. For decades, players  felt safe launching into each other’s skulls because they believed in their helmets’ safety. But it seems clear that football helmets need to be improved or reimagined.

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