Fixing football

This is a repost of an article that originally appeared at The Paltry Sapien on 10 August 2012.

American football. Not proper football. We already fixed that once. We call it rugby.

Speaking of which, we were at a dinner party when the subject of my rugby career was brought up (not by me). A discussion about surviving a full contact sport without padding (don’t hit with your head and hit with forces below the physiological limits of the human body) transitioned into a discussion of how to reduce debilitating injuries in American football.

In the presence of a rugger, people like to suggest getting rid of the helmets and pads. It is the pads that allow American football to be so violent1. You could reduce the violence and, therefore, the injuries by getting rid of pads; but that’s not going to happen. American football is a violent sport. The fans like the violence. The players like the violence.

And, helmets and pads are necessary for the single most important element of modern American football: the forward pass.

Continue reading “Fixing football”