Helmets: Good or Bad?

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This year, the players in the National Football League are being hit with something new. Now, not only are they penalized for illegal helmet to helmet hits, but also fined for up to $50,000. Suspensions are also being discussed. Can this safety issue be fixed without negatively affecting the beloved game of football? Author Tim Scocca seems to think so.

This article, “Getting Rid of Helmets Could Make Football Better,” addresses the issue of the illegal hits in the NFL. And it is about just that. With all the illegal helmet to helmet hits, more players are getting head and neck injuries. Players fling their bodies head first at the ball carrier.

Yes, helmets are made for protection, but they aren’t working that way.

Without helmets, football players would play smarter in order to protect themselves; this would result in less upper body injuries. When players go to make tackles, they don’t just try to bring the opponent down, they are looking to make the biggest hit possible.

Ray Lewis, one of the best linebackers of all time, said “a linebacker’s job is to knock out running backs, to knock out receivers.” To be good, you have to hurt people. Lewis is not right. A linebacker’s job is to make tackles and be in charge of the defense. Good linebackers will confuse the offense mentally. But their job is not to physically injure the opponent.

As Scocca said, players are getting bigger. And as a result, they are also faster and stronger. If a muscular defensive back hits a receiver head to head at full speed, rather than wrapping up and tackling, there is a greater chance of injury. Without a helmet, the defender would have to defend his own head. Without helmets, defenders wouldn’t want to make head to head contact. To protect both offensive and defensive players, the NFL should go back to not using helmets.

Scocca offers one solid solution to the safety issue in the National Football League: without helmets, the NFL would be safer, and therefore better. And he’s right. A smarter football game means a safer football game; a safer football game means a better football game.





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