According to an AP article from yesterday, your homeboy, DeSean Jackson, will be donning some fresh new headgear this week. A helmet made by Schutt uses air pockets to add extra cushioning to absorb the impact of blows to the head. In fact, if you do a little Google work, you will discover that almost every major helmet manufacturer is now designing a similar helmet.
Now, here comes the interesting part. The NFL, who in the last few weeks has handed out a few hundred thousand dollars worth of fines to players for "dangerous hits," has not made such headgear mandatory. This is an interesting contradiction if you ask me. It begs the question, is the NFL really concerned with the safety of players, or are they satisfied with the current state of the game so long as they have carte blanche to use any aggressive players as scapegoats when something goes awry?
The league executives can not be blind to the fact that fans are drawn to the bone jarring collisions of pro football. It is pretty clear by their marketing campaigns and comercials that they use this aspect of the game as a promotional tool. They sit there and hand out fines from the ivory tower for the same hits that make them all rich, knowing full well that the technology is out there to keep their cash crop of star players safe.
Even though the league should take the decision out of their hands, the onus really falls on the players. How stupid is this really? Hey, does anybody want a concussion? No? Didn't think so. So why not wear the new helmets?
Ah yes, money.
Players are allowed to wear the Schutt helmet, obviously, but they have to remove any logos from it due to licensing agreements with the league (Riddell, the maker of the more traditional helmet, has a contract with the NFL).
The only other reason players might not be wearing the new helmets is the cool factor. Look at the Mets' David Wright as an example. Nobody wants to look like that. Everybody wants to look cool.
But concussions aren't cool, yo.