I love TMQ. He's a stat guy--and makes a whole lot of sense. Here's what he states about concussions:
"Concussion Watch: TMQ often expresses dismay about the slow pace of progress in football helmet (and chipstrap and mouthguard) safety. One reason given by the NFL for not mandating advanced helmets is the desire to avoid requiring players who like their current helmets to change. Why not, readers have asked, grandfather current players and require advanced helmets for everyone entering the NFL?
Michael Porritt of Montreal writes, "In 1979, the NHL, where helmet use was once optional, mandated helmets for all new players. Current players were encouraged but could be grandfathered into going helmetless if they signed waivers. In 1997, Craig MacTavish became the last player to skate in the NHL sans helmet. Gradually the NHL has tightened standards for the helmets. The NHL could certainly do more about head shots in general, but the helmet issue has been much more openly discussed, while support for improved helmets is close to universal. You can't even go public skating in a city arena in Canada without a helmet now."
Head safety in ice hockey has improved -- and hockey is still plenty exciting. The NFL could accelerate progress on head safety, and football would remain plenty exciting.
When Michael Vick accidentally was hit hard in the face by one of his teammates in week 2, he sustained a concussion, plus injury to his tongue. One reason was that Vick was not wearing a mouthguard. Mouthguards not only protect teeth but reduce concussion risk, by absorbing some impact rather than allowing the jaws to slam against each other. High schools and the NCAA require mouthguards -- amazingly, the NFL does not. Most NFL players do wear mouthguards. All New England Patriots wear the best kind, "Type III" mouthguards fitted to the individual by a dentist. But if you don't want to wear a mouthguard in the NFL, you don't have to. Vick returned to action in Week 3, without a mouthguard.
NFL players are highly paid adults, if they're foolish enough not to wear mouthguards, that's their problem. Still, the NFL sets a bad example by presenting to young players, on national television, images of professionals not taking a basic step for concussion protection. The NFL also does not require four-point chinstraps, which reduce concussion risk. The National Federation of High Schools has required four-point chinstraps since 2009. Once again, high school football is the leader institution and professional football is lagging behind."
WTF? Yo Michael Vick--how dumb are you? You have a "mild concussion" one week--but refuse to wear a mouthguard that absorbs impact from the jaws crunching together? I knew you were stupid--but come'on here.
The NFL is partly at fault here. They should place rules on players for safety reasons like Mr. Easterbrook here says--by changing the helmet and requiring mouthpieces of the highest standards.
Sorry NFL Players--but we pay to see you on the field. Being stupid about your own safety is no excuse. I wonder how many of these concussions could be avoided by simply wearing a type III mouthpiece?
"So he got fired? Big deal. It's happened to the best of us. So he got kicked out of his house by his 400 lb'ed wife?!?!? That's probably better for him anyways."-OldSchooler on ChrisMBHater's absence