Football for quite a few years now has supposedly been trying to make the game safer, especially with head injuries. With lawsuits that former players put forth against the National Football League, the league has taken measures to at least give the appearance that they are trying to make the game safer. But there are still concussions, still players in the league who shouldn’t be playing, still players who play way too soon after getting a head injury, and there are still head injuries. Also, much of the physicality of the game is being sacrificed. Head injuries are going to happen; you can’t prevent them. They are just a part of the game. What you can do is properly treat and nurse them though. Perhaps football leagues at all levels can put rules in place where players have to miss 1 or more games depending on the severity of their head injury just as a precaution. Perhaps Wes Welker should not be allowed to play in another NFL game and there should be a rule against that to protect him from himself and financial compensation for him not being able to finish his contract. Players are always going to want to play.
But we still should try to prevent head injuries. And the best way to do that is to TAKE THE HEAD OUT OF THE TACKLE. At all levels of football players are taught that it is okay to use their head in a tackle. I am a rugby player. In rugby, we don’t have helmets, so we would never dream of thinking that it would be okay to use our head in a tackle. We tackle with our shoulder. Football players are mainly taught to lead with their shoulder but because they wear helmets they think it’s okay to lead with their heads. One of the reasons rugby doesn’t use heavy pads and a helmet is because some people think it would give players a false sense of security and lead to reckless play, and perhaps there is some truth to this. Also, in football, everyone wears pads and helmets, so everyone who has pads and helmets for protection gets hit by that much more force because the other person is wearing all that weight from pads and a helmet. There needs to be a complete overhaul in the way that players are taught to play defense and to tackle in football at every level. The sport might become a dying sport in a few years because many parents are too afraid to let their kids play it, including some former professional football players. Luckily, there is a team that has made an effort to do this. And there could not be a better messenger. The Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks turned to rugby to help create a safe but highly effective and physical way of tackling for their Legion of Boom defense where they have taken the head out of tackling. And they made a video for it. I am going to post the link here and let the video explain the rest. Anyone who is a football coach at any level or who has kids who play football or who plays football or who knows a football coach at any level please watch this or pass it along to them. This could start an initiative that could save and revolutionize America’s true pasttime: http://www.rugbytoday.com/elite/super-bowl-champs-are-turning-rugby-improve-tackling.