Football is one of the most played in the USA, but at the same time, it can be said that the sport is one of the most brutal and rough. The sport has grown from being played on a small scale to now being the most loved game in the USA. The best thing about football is that for someone to succeed in the sport, they need to combine the tangibles and the intangibles.
The sport requires full attention to ones surrounding as, at any time, there can be someone looking to tackle you from any direction; being spatially aware and being able to think out of mind instantly is a must-have. What is also a must-have is the helmets used by the players because when you think about it, all it takes is a strong hit from someone to rattle the brain and leave the brain frozen for quite a bit.
The protective gear used by football athletes includes helmets and shoulder pads, jock-guard, and more. But as we all understand, the value of football helmets is to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the safety gear worn by an adult football athlete.
Football without a helmet:
They say necessity is the mother of discovery, and it can not be truer than in the invention of football helmets. Prior to the introduction of the helmets, players were being hit constantly, and this would lead to the shortening of the career duration of the players. The players, especially on the offensive line, would regularly get concussed and knocked due to the hard hit they would constantly be taking to protect their quarterback.
Even today, there is a growing concern among parents or guardians of kids who fear that their children would get hit during the game, and this sentiment for a very long had led to the prevention of many talents from entering the arena.
History of Football helmets:
The story of football helmets is nothing short of extraordinary as it has seen things turning from the average to good to decent to very to where we are now. The first helmet used on the football helmet was made in 1891 when two pieces of flannel were glued together, and that sparked the idea that it would revolutionize the football world for the better.
Things were only going to get better, as we saw with the introduction of leather in place of flannel in 1893. Then, in 1896, the idea of placing a strap to prevent the helmet from falling emerged, which helped increase the sport’s pace tenfold.
Now the problem; was that the exposed face was getting cut and kicked; therefore, the need to provide a face mask became a must, and this led to the production of leather-wired helmets, later replaced by stronger material. The final modification came in the form of the installation of air bladders in order to allow the players to breathe properly; finally, the shifting of the building material from plastic to polycarbonate and extra padding on the inside made it both lightweight while retaining the former strength and comfortability when wearing.
Can we expect the game without the helmet?
Few are of the belief that the league has gone soft because of how much safety equipment they put on the players, but will those people themselves ever step on the field without the protective gear? The answer is no; even if they did, it would be a very short night. Such is the physicality of the NFL.
People often cite that helmet does not come in very handy when dealing with a major concussion; while it is true to some degree, claiming that they do not exist to protect at all would be wrong because they do. They may not completely remove these injuries, but they certainly reduce them.
Some pundits say that the helmet can sometimes blur the players’ vision, and the peripheral vision is completely blocked out. Still, the truth is that the newer helmet comes with light modifications, allowing players to move the neck as they will without any hindrance. So the upside of the helmets far overrides the few complaints against these helmets.
How sensitive is the brain:
It is a well-known and revered fact that the head is the most important part of the human body. If not for the head, nothing in the body would function. Therefore, it is much more important for the players to protect themselves. Even in our day-to-day life, a simple hit to the head can cause a problem; now imagine when a 200 lbs man hits you; what would the result be?
The brain going back and forth after a brutal hit leads to chemical reasons in the brain and can cause short-term problems such as nausea, headache, and muscle strain, and at the same time, they could lead to long-term issues like CTE, memory loss, and blurred vision and lightheadedness. The effects of a nasty head injury can be long-lasting, and the worst part is when sometimes the symptoms are delayed; hence when the player gets the treatment, it is already too late.
Why is it important to wear a helmet?
It is important to understand that a helmet does not guarantee the absolute protection of the head or the brain. Then one may ask why to wear a helmet at all. The answer to that question is pretty simple; the helmet helps prevent any external injuries that can cause cuts, abrasion, laceration, and other such damage to the head, including the mouth and face.
Apart from what was mentioned above, there are several other reasons why a helmet is a piece of the necessary equipment to be worn on the football field:
- The helmets are designed with absorbing material on the inside, which takes off sweat and dirt from causing a hindrance to the player wearing it. The interiors are built in a way that they do not overheat and can withstand extreme heat without suffocating the player.
- They are designed to absorb shock and are made from polycarbonate, meaning they typically weigh considerably less relative to their size.
- They are also handy when countering bad weather, and football is an outdoor sport that is not stopped by rain or snow or even if the sun is beating down. The helmets help in giving the players a clearer vision despite the adverse weather and prevent the players from getting impacted by those natural factors.
- The iconic aspect of football helmets can not be forgotten either, and the helmet is one of the first things anyone would notice in a football player. The team logo is embedded on the helmet and is the most important piece of safety equipment on the football field.
It is clear from the reasons mentioned above that there is no denying how much the football game has improved due to the invention of helmets. One of the best ways to look at the situation from the standpoint is that wearing a helmet gives the players a longer playing career, and the fans can enjoy the high level of skills being put on display by the athletes on the field for many years.
How to play safe on the field?
It has already been established that the helmet only plays a part in protecting the players, but to negate the injuries to a greater extent, one has to make sure that safe plays are being played at all times. Being careful of one’s physical attributes is important because causing unnecessary roughness are only damaging to the opposing player but the enforcer.
Many rules are being put in place to smoothen the conduct of the game, but when it is all said and done, the psychic of the players in the field is the most important. Using smart techniques like sliding and safe tackles without going ahead with the head rather than the shoulder is a great strategy to cancel out the probability of serious concussions.
It is safe to say that helmets are an irreplaceable part of adult football; any game played without them is not a possibility, come what may. Realizing the helmet’s value and importance gives the true perspective on how necessary the helmet is for the players and the league.