Before you ask: No, it’s not particularly cold right now in New Jersey, where the New York Giants are holding their training camp. Those big blue shells around certain helmets aren’t the nice warm overcoats for the shivering headdress of the poor. These are the “Guardian caps,” which the NFL now requires all linemen, tight ends, and linebackers to wear in all training until their teams’ second preliminaries.
Now that you know that Guardian hats are not comfortable jackets, you may have concluded that they are anti-head injury helmet technology. The NFL website does not refer to any peer-reviewed sources or any other genre but with very bold looking text, and claims…
When worn, Guardian Cap yields no less than 10% off In the severity of the effect if one of the players wears it, and at least a 20% off In effect if worn by two players.
I don’t want to rule out any potential benefit that could be gained by a 10 or 20 percent reduction in the intensity of the impact between two heads hitting each other at the speeds of a soccer player. The effect between heads is not ideal; heads should not affect each other; When they affect each other, it is probably best if they do so at a lower intensity. It’s perfectly reasonable to me to imagine a pair of crash test dummies being bumped at highway speeds with and without Guardian hats while lab-coated scientists observe and scribble on whiteboards, somehow measuring the intensity scale. To what extent Ferrero Rocher’s seemingly big helmet helmets do what the bold text says they do is, well, it’s all too easy to picture this as an impeccable good (or at least, uh, not bad).
Except, right? Here it is important to remember that the concussion effect under repetitive concussion is at least as great a general danger to footballers’ brains as the rare jacked-up hits that catch the audience’s attention: this makes for a less dangerous effect. It does not improve overall safety, if it also increases the number of effects. Here’s what New York Jets coach Robert Saleh had to say about it (emphasis added):
“I guess because of the soft hit, it’s kind of Lend players to use their heads a bit more. I think the first time they take it off — anyone who’s played soccer knows that the first time you take your helmet off or bump into or hit your helmet, there’s a shock. I think if you wait until the first match for that shock to happen… I don’t know, time will tell. It’s very interesting with Guardian Caps and what exactly are we trying to achieve.”
It is the precarious balance of football padding and safety equipment that has been – and has often failed – since the sport’s early days: what reduces the pain and impact of collision in a sport rooted in intentional collisions may necessarily lead to reckless behavior by players. , who have every incentive to seek out every physical advantage available in every game, and besides having no incentives to prioritize their long-term well-being. If the Guardian Cap’s biggest benefit turns out to be a way to blame players for the dangers of football –Hey, don’t look at us, we gave them safer helmets and they decided to play more risky –It will have in common with a few previous technological developments.
This means that the first thing to know about safety helmet technology in football is that it is nothing short of a straightforward scam at best. It is suitable for synthetic football for the relationship between full contact football and brain damage – a complex and potentially intractable problem that is effectively inseparable from the sport itself – to persist in the public imagination as a problem Can They are slightly improved with superficial changes to what happens in the outside The skulls of its players when they collide with each other. Solo players and their individual brains come and go; Turning the sports you participate in into encephalopathy scales is nothing but a danger in industry So much so that people in general – fans, players, players’ families and/or lawyers – know about it, see the sport as insufficiently safe because of it, and hold industry leaders responsible for it. The next funny-looking, smart-branding iteration of supposedly safe helmet technology could solve 100 percent of Industry The problem is just by creating the appearance that we are taking this issue seriously and investing in forward-looking solutions to it, even if it has done absolutely nothing to prevent football from turning any player’s gray matter into a slurpee.
To get smart, here’s a sentence from the official NFL website blog about Guardian Caps:
It is the latest example of the league’s ongoing work to advance innovation that leads to better and safer protective gear for players.
This is it. These are the purposes.
The primary characteristic of Guardian Cap, in this sense, is that it look Silly, like anything anyone could wear unless it was useful to them. If anything happened to solve the players’ problem – that playing contact football damages their brains – no one would complain. But if it doesn’t, and events and/or science (I guess) get it to prove it, industrial soccer will allow for next training camp images, and even absurdly larger headdresses, enough to satisfy a happy crowd of anyone. Sorry for not changing anything in your consumption habits.
I must be honest, as a fan of the absurd and also the kind of dumb guy who doesn’t have much patience for mastery of metaphors, I like the idea that football helmets are constantly getting bigger and dumb looking more elaborately, as a visual representation of the impossibility of the full-contact model technology of the sport consistent with Brain health. Give me a 20-yard pool to make room for the hoodie. Give me a quarterback leaning too far, balanced, upside down, sacked from his giant helmet, his legs flailing helplessly in the air. Give me the sharp rushes looming over the sky like a death star, misty in the distance, outlined by a streak of fluffy clouds, a short, terrifying darkness as the outer noon casts out from the sun.