The K.C. Chiefs And The New League Year

6 of 9

Safer Helmet Design

This is a bell you’ve heard me ring before. Until enough people call for a safer helmet technology, like many other challenges that arise in our society, it may not come to be.

In September of 2013 the NFL launched a $10M incentive program calling for new technologies in the making of safer helmets.

I’ve often wondered, if we can send a human to the moon… why can’t we design a safe helmet? If we can create a bulletproof vest, why not an injury proof helmet?

I’ve given the helmet some thought myself and wondered why the design can’t include three layers: the inner layer would cushion the skull (as it does now), the mid-layer would be a harder unbreakable but flexible surface and the outer layer would be softer to cushion the blow that does the damage in most cases of a concussion.

Here are some suggested designs from a Popular Science article called “The Helmet Can Save Football,”

1. Xenith X2 Helmet (click on the helmet for more information)

2. SGH Helmet (click on the helmet for more information)

3. Guardian Cap (click on the helmet for more information)

The Guardian Cap comes closest to what I have had in mind only the outer cap would be permanently attached. Plus, I see no reason for the outer shell to be anything but one smooth surface. Besides, teams aren’t going to go for anything that won’t allow their team logos to be easily identifiable.

Each of these helmets offers some aspect which could be incorporated into a safer helmet. The Xenith X2 offers air-filled cylinders that compress upon impact and could act like a car airbag in reverse… instead of beginning by inflating they would simply deflate. The SGH helmet offers the Kevlar and carbon which would act as that stiff buffer from the outside influence of being struck by another’s helmet or the ground.

Safe helmets is a conversation we can not drop the ball on. Does anyone see the popularity of football going away? Right, me either. That’s why we must push, in whatever ways are possible, to make Pro Football responsible for taking the lead in making it happen and not the other way around. Launching an incentive program is a positive step but while waiting for some tinkering genius in a garage located in Somewhere, USA to come up with the answer, a lot of young players lives and health are being threatened by the very game we love so much.

~ ~ ~