October 21, 2010

Discussion - Helmet-to-Helmet Hits, Concussions and more!

Hey guys and gal, I think it is time we had a bit of a discussion on this topic of Concussions and helmet hits as it is a big story right now. So jump into the discussion and provide your perspective and we will debate away this issuse as we lead up to the Broncos Vs Raiders game on Sunday. ~ Aussie.


  1. My view:
    Having been involved in some helmet to helmet hits and being concussed I think it is about time something should be done. The muscles in my neck and shoulder are screwed to say the least. But I keep on playing the game I love haha, no pain no gain right.

    But I understand that something should be done. I think the NFL as the leading body of NFL needs to make a stand and doing something for the younger leagues. Because what you see on Sunday the kids at home try and do that the next weekend in their games. This really isn't just about protecting players in the NFL to keep them on the field to get people to watch. This is about setting a standard of player saftely throughout the world for players that play this game. Whether that be kids or overseas leagues like the one I play in.

    Here in my league there is a thing going on about spearing and leading with the helmet that has been a big focus, so if the NFL took a stand and set the standard for this type of play hopeful it will (it should) fliter down to the smaller leagues.

    Well that is my view on this discussion what is yours?

  2. I agree a lot with what you said Aussie. I'm really on the fence about this one. I've never gotten the chance to play football like you or these guys in the NFL but I have caused injuries, serious injuries for other people in soccer for instance. Two totally different sports, yes, but concussions can happen in any sport. That's all besides the point.

    I think the NFL is doing the right thing by taking this seriously. I mean look at all the injuries in the league right now... some more serious than others but point is, we won't have an NFL full of players if guys like Harrison from the Steelers "doesn't care" if he injures other players. I think he's taking his $75K fine WAY too far. How can you not care if you end a guys career. If he does that to all the players he's up against, there won't be anyone left! Okay, maybe not that dramatic but (hopefully) you get the picture.

    On the other hand, I understand some of the frustration with all the rules (emphasis on some). The NFL used to have almost no rules on stuff like this. A hard-hitting league praised by all. That's what made it an attractive sport to so many. Those hits make a man look tough... hence all the egos. lol The thing I will never understand is the transition from the very beginning of this league to today's NFL. If any of you have seen the movie Leatherheads, it tells a pretty good story of the beginning of the NFL. The hard hits & silly leather helmets. Now, I know there were injuries then but not as many as players do today and the part that doesn't make sense is that players today have all the protection they can get. You would think with the 21st century helmets players have, we wouldn't have so many problems like these, but it's like we have a bigger issue with it now than they did at the beginning. Am I the only one who has noticed this? Me just being me. lol

  3. This issue does need to be addressed and the NFL is doing what they should be doing. Guys like Harrison will just have to suck it up. If he wants to retire over a rule change, then that's his problem. But I can see his frustration in as a player, these rules are making the league look soft. Every year, we get more rule changes... you can't do this... you can't do that. But when it comes to player safety, I think the NFL is doing the right thing. If someone really loves the game, they'll move past this. Thing is most players grew up learning the game they love with hard hits and looking forward to causing injuries. That last part though is where they send the wrong message. The world's youth is getting more violent every year and it starts with kids, young boys looking up to these guys in the NFL, watching the games, seeing these hits, seeing a guy get carted off the field b/c of a concussion. Depending on the kid, he'll either be scared to death to play a sport or he'll be the one to grow up wanting to put the hits on everyone else. It's a sticky, tricky situation. And basically a no win situation... mothers everywhere probably like the rule change as it makes it more "safe" for players... but that's where players like Harrison disagree. He sees it as part of his job to put hard hits on other players. If this had been the rule a few years ago when we had John Lynch, he would've been fined a time or two. I'll never forget that hit he put on a WR when we played Cincinnati one year. It was a monster hit and pretty sure there was helmet to helmet contact.

    This rule though, it never would've had this settle of a reaction back when we had the Orange Crush defense. Those guys invented the hard hits. Still on the fence about it all. You take away hard hits like this, in a way, football just seems to be getting softer by the second. It's not the gritty, hard-hitting, dirty football that started this league... basically the stuff football is made of that made it fun and exciting to watch. Then again, you let this stuff happen, we have more injuries on our hands, guys probably ending their careers cuz of hits that force them to and young kids seeing all this and wanting to imitate that. No matter what the decision about this, you will have people upset and you will have people happy about it. As for me... I sit on the fence. lol

    And there's my book for the year.

  4. I agree I think Harrison has taken this a little far. I also agree concussions happen, and they do in sports. But they happen more in gridiron and there is a reason for it. And the point of the leather helmets pretty much outlines it. The problem was the NFL gave players hardened plastic for helmets which went from a piece of protection to that of destruction.

    I think there does need to be more player safety to protect player's way of life. These type of injuries ain't just career ending they can be life changing.

    If you take away the helmet to helmet hits, or leading with the head does that mean that hard hits will go? No, I don't think so. The players have shoulders and big ones, hit I guy with that, it will still hurt a heap. It just means that players will have to have better technique to play the game, know how to tackle for a change.

    And I point out that video I showed you about the Rugby League hard hits, well in league you can't hit above the shoulders or it is a plenty and players don't tackle with their heads because well they don't wear helmets. But that video showed that you can still destroy a dude with the rest of your body and not have to hit them in the head.

  5. Here is that link again:


  6. We are on the same page, I just explained my thoughts on everything. I mean I lean more towards agreeing with the NFL on their decision. They are only looking out for everyone's safety in the league. Is it really so bad they do that?? No, of course not, but like I said you will have guys like Harrison who don't see the problem with the hard hits and take the change too far and then you'll have people applauding the move.

    But you're right, the NFL can take away the helmet to helmet hits but that just means defenses will find other ways to make hard hits. And this is where the big issue comes in... the NFL getting soft. Here's what I see happening. The obviously make this change. From there, players will find ways to make hard hits without the helmet to helmet contact. And you clearly make the point that even without the helmet hits, these players have strong broad shoulders that hit with a force, right? Well, it will obviously create new injuries that will become of interest to the league and sooner or later they'll get tough on those hits too. Before long, defensive players will run out of options of how to continue putting hard, gritty hits on other players cuz the NFL has a rule for every one of them. Next thing you know, we have a flag football-like league on our hands.

    Don't get me wrong, I completely understand the severity of the hits and it doesn't have to be helmet to helmet for it to be a hard hit. And the post-football life of each player will be influenced by what happens in their career. The players life is more important than what he does on the field and what happens to the guy's life OFF the field is affected by what happens to him ON the field.

    I can just see the NFL closing in on all hard hits if they start to cause other injuries, not involving helmet to helmet contact. And that is where Harrison's frustration is coming from. He's seeing the league closing in on his "fun". I'm in no way defending him and the way he's reacted to this but when you look back on how the NFL began... the gritty, hard-hitting dirty football that made it so popular... you can't deny it has become a soft league. For good reasons but the hard hits are what made this sport so popular to begin with. Still on that fence, lol.

  7. I agree with what Joe Paterno said about all they have to do is remove the facemask from the helmets and the players would not feel so invincable. There would be no dark shields covering the player. No weapons of destruction because they would dare. Best of all, no facemasking. IMO the worst looking tackles is when the facemask is grabbed and the players head is jerked around. Might be some broken noses, jaws and knocked out teeth, but better than the alternative of not being able to function as well in society because of to many concusions or being a parapalegic. The players would look more like hockey players instead of the pretty boy football players of today. Give me a player willing to get bloody and still play any day. Half the players now are just gym rats who do great in the wieght room.

  8. Well if you take the helmets away you need to take the pads away as well. Maybe change the pads to foam pads only, no hardern plastic. And then maybe foam head gear, which is pretty similar to what we have here in the rugby codes.

  9. Not the whole helmet, just the facemask.

  10. Getting hit in the face with another helmet would hurt, a lot, if there was no face mask. I don't think it is possible to take away one and leave the other, it has to be both. I think the way players are protected needs to be reviewed and a new system put in place, because this is what we have had for what, the last 50 years. It is about time the NFL evolved its gear, maybe?

  11. That's the point Aussie. Players would not dare make the hits they do today with no facemask. They have to have helmets though.

  12. Because they have shoudler pads you need helmets. The problem I see with your idea is that the NFL won't go for it because of the risk of a helmet to face hit. I say get rid of the lot and play it with foam gear. Like these two:



  13. G
    Solid thoughts and I checked out your pads. The shoulder pads would have to go further down past ribs, but adequate I believe. Many players have played with lesser soulder pads because of speed purposes. As for the helmet, I think something like that would also be sufficient as long as it is padded enough in back for if knocked backward and head hits the frozen or just hard turf. Basically it's the same as a helmet without the hradened plastic that is now part of a football helmet. Crazy how using less technology may be the only way to secure the safety of the players. The fines are ridiculous and telling them to change everything they have learned about how to tackle since grade school is also out of the question.

  14. Oh, and I forgot to say, not my idea, Joe Paterno's.