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Memo to the NFL: To Reduce Concussions, Ban Football Helmets

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Forbes contributor John Tamny looks at the role safety equipment changes in the NFL plays in the rate of concussion-related injuries to players. This is a contrarian view of sports that most people don't take. Sports equipment is an interesting dynamic, and its relation to aggressive behavior is something I examined at The Hockey Writers over the course of the last season. Well, This Is Weird: Study Says NHLers Wearing Black Sweaters Are More Aggressive "To examine the color–aggression link, the authors analyzed the last 25 seasons of NHL penalty-minute data (649 seasons from 30 teams collapsed across 52,098 games). When teams wore black jerseys, they were penalized more than when they did not (d = 1.19; Study 1). When teams switched to wearing colored jerseys at home games, they were penalized more than when they wore white jerseys at home games (d = 0.83; Study 2). Collectively, these quasi-experimental findings suggest that black jerseys are associated with more aggression and that white jerseys are associated with less. The authors discuss possible causes for these color-aggression effects." Will New Concussion Detection Technology Improve Treatment and Prevention in the NHL? "So too could new injury analysis help inform the league’s progressively strict stance on head shots and other forms of questionable contact. Generally, new NHL chief disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan is helping to move the league forward in the prevention of brain and other forms of head injury, but a new wave of data analysis could help both the league and the NHLPA better and more consistently define what constitutes dangerous contact that doesn’t belong in the game of hockey." The Problem with Mandatory Visors in the NHL "We provide evidence of the Peltzman effect by tracking the professional path of each hockey player that ended up in the National Hockey League from 2001 to 2006. We take advantage of the fact that visor use has not always been compulsory throughout a player’s career, which allows us to compare the change in behavior of users and non-users of visors when they are forced to use them. We find that whereas the average penalty minutes per game is 0.8, visors cause a substantial increase of 0.2 penalty minutes per game. Players become more aggressive when forced to wear a visor, partially offsetting its protective effect and creating potential spillover effects to other players."

Former Raider's/Niners MLB Ellison talks about Seau

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He says that MLB is a different breed and it "begins at the high school level when a young teenager first experiences the joy of contact football. The fact is that when you receive what I would refer to as a partial but playable concussion, there is a unique feeling of being high, of floating, of being numb to pain and unaware of other distractions. This produces a happy state that translates to a belief of invincibility and a superman complex. In some ways, it acts just like a drug. You become addicted to that feeling and want more of it. And when you get another hit, it feels even better. When mixed together with the newly found testosterone being produced at that age, it is a special and hidden pleasure. Very few young football players are attracted to this kind of behavior. Coaches are mostly unaware unless they had been middle linebackers." Very interesting read - and nicely written. Lots of great stuff in there.

Did Giants Strategically Concuss Kyle Williams?

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When will Goodell hand out fines and suspensions for this one? (HINT: Don't hold your breath.)

JvR Could Return?

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"He skated in a full practice on Wednesday, his third straight day on the ice."

Concussions: the untold story

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Anyone read this article on concussions & players living with post-concussion syndrome? http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/05/19/concussions-the-untold-story/#more-192624 Sad stuff right there.

What? Him? No...

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Mike Milbury doesn't like the Shanahan Suspension Parade. Or pink hats. Or Kevin Dupont of the Boston Globe. I think. Reading his ramblings is like looking at a Sports Blowhard Rorschach test. At least he's not talking about head shots while talking specifically about head shots. (via Puck Daddy)

Austin Collie's new Body Guard

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While googling around I found this article cut from the IBJ about a local automotive company turning it's interests to creating a better NFL helmet. The owner claimed even last year to be able to create a helmet 10 times better than current standards. Austin Collie has said to of been working with this manufacture and has been quoted saying "That's for him to comment." When asked directly about his new helmet he's been wearing in practice. Chip Ganassi racing is rumored to be financing this new helmet according to this article. The two biggest obstacles to getting a new helmet into the NFL is getting it though the red tape of the NFL's Helmet Certifications, and insurance which the Local Manufacture has very extensive experience from the automotive world. Anyway, Take a look at this article. I found it interesting. Best of Luck to AC, We love you man!

What Kind of Helmet does Austin Collie wear?

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Football is a high impact, physical and dangerous sport. With all those bodies flying around like they do, there are going to be some concussions. The football helmet as we know it was designed to reduce the chance of skull fracture not concussions. But this was long before we learned of the long term effect concussions can have on a player later in life. Through the years, technology has advanced and helmets have gotten better. But there are no rules in place that require the players to upgrade their helmets. "Nearly 40 percent of NFL players last season wore a helmet model that got the second-lowest rating for reducing the risk of concussions in a study by Virginia Tech researchers." As a fan I find this unacceptable. When I'm watching my favorite players bolting down the field, the last thing on my mind should be "is this multi-millon dollar athlete wearing sub-standard equipment?" "last year that three helmet models -- two made by Riddell and one by Schutt -- met all three criteria for qualifying as a top-performing helmet when 16 were tested." Three out of 16 are top performers. How about a new rule that requires one of these 3 helmets? I know players are always looking for a competitive advantage. I've read an article at one point that most colts don't even wear half the pads available to be faster on the field. News flash gentlemen, you're not helping your team on the INJURED RESERVE! I would love to know how Austin Collie's helmet ranked last year as he's getting sandwiched running up the seam. Or if Bob Sanders was wearing quarterback pads during the one game he played last year. Man up, suit up, wear your damn helmet! Peace

Bulwark football helmets aim to improve concussion safety without compromising style

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Whenever you talk about concussions, you inevitably end up talking about helmets. The problem, of course, is that most attempts to create a more concussion-proof football helmet have looked impossibly dorky, from the ProCap (almost universally referred to as the "Great Gazoo" helmet) to the more recent Gladiator. Most players would rather get knocked out cold than wear something like those. Ah, but what if a safer helmet could also look totally badass?

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