The Risk of Professional Football: Do Not Do This At Home

It is scenes like the ones below that we cringe about while watching our favorite sports.  In football they happen relatively frequent; what once was 2-3 times a year a person getting carted off now has become a weekly occurrence.  In the videos below (certain to be pulled by the NFL so see them while you can), you will notice the rotational forces being the problem for both players.  Also both players exhibited the Fencing Response, if you are not intimate with this, I suggest you learn.

First is Darrius Heyward Bey of the Oakland Raiders.  This hit was not penalized by the way even though principle contact was made by the defender with his helmet to the head.  Bey was carted off and went to the hospital for observation.

In this one Nate Irving of the Denver Broncos was blocked into the returner as he was making a tackle and he too made principal contact with his helmet up high.  This time it was the “hammer” getting K.O.’ed due to rotational forces.  Irving was attended to and later walked off the field under his own power.

One more example of hitting with the helmet, but a case of linear forces going to the head and the drastically different outcome.  Also in Denver, Matt Schaub took a shot to the head from a Denver defender.  This time the forces were mainly (if not all) linear and the QB didn’t lose consciousness, but did lose part of his ear lobe.

I provide these videos as a LEARNING TOOL for the audience:

  • Fencing Response
  • Rotational Forces
  • Linear Forces

And I also would like to note this type of tackling behavior should not ever be part of a youth or high school level program.  Launching and or using the crown of the helmet should be penalized, early and often.  So all you non-professionals do not try this at home.

7 thoughts on “The Risk of Professional Football: Do Not Do This At Home

  1. joe bloggs September 24, 2012 / 09:30

    I guess no one got the memo on helmet to helmet contact. Mr. Goodell should start viewing the games so he can see his edicts are ignored. But nah!, we just make rule changes to get people off our backs and go straight back to business as usual.

    Nothing is going to change because of baying for blood. This is disgraceful given what is known.

    The NFL is committing suicide in slow motion.

    Was the QBs helmet strap-on or did he lose part of his ear lobe because of a poor helmet fit?

  2. Jake Benford September 24, 2012 / 09:45

    Insult to injury, they took DHB’s helmet off while on the field and Schaub went back into the game.

    • Monica Steinborn September 24, 2012 / 10:01

      I was preaching to my husband why Schaub should have never been let back into the game. Basically all rules ignored. Also, does Schaub wear an earring? I figured an earring tore from his ear. With Schaub, he’s the second player in professional sports that I have noticed that they automatically rubbed the head from back to front. Whether that means anything or not but found it strange. The first one was the Oakland A pitcher that took the line drive to side of the head.

  3. Educator Mom September 24, 2012 / 12:04

    I saw the Shaub hit and was absolutely shocked that he continued to play. And watching the Sunday night game, I was completely demoralized. It was a rough game with lots of hits that are generally discouraged or not even allowed. And all the commentators could do was crow about how this was great football, “the football of old”. They noted that with the replacement refs in place, the players were pushing the limits and seeing what they could get away with. This kind of reckless play obviously gave the commentators warm fuzzies. I am wondering, however, the damage it is giving to the players.

    • barry125 September 24, 2012 / 16:59

      That Ed Reed helmut to helmut hit on Deon Branch last night seems to me to have at a minimum the need for a side line concussion evaluation written all over it

      • Tommy Dean (@CSolutionsLLC) September 26, 2012 / 08:49

        Saw the Ed Reed hit. I’m not defending him by any means, but I think that that hit was incidental on Ed’s part. Hits like that are unavoidable and always will be as long as the point of the game is to tackle your opponent. My point is this. The end result was Ed Reed and Deon Branch showing sportsmanship and shaking hands (fist bumping) which clearly shows to me that it was an unintentional act on Ed Reed’s part. Does it take away the fact that he almost decapitated Branch? No. Does it mean that Branch should not have been evaluated? No. But I didn’t see such an act of sportsmanship on any of the other hits this weekend. At least not on television.

  4. Dorothy Bedford September 25, 2012 / 20:33

    Just when we thought that the Steelers might do a little bit less damage with James Harrison out temporarily post knee-surgery (although he tweeted that he completed a full practice today). Did Ryan Mundy accept the baton to go after Raiders Bey and Brandon Meyers (concussion on the final drive) ? From fearing the 92 to the 29. Steelers blogger Dave Bryan wrote on Monday that he thought Mundy would be fined for the Bey hit. Good! That would be two fines in two weeks for the Steelers ( after the Timmons hit on Jets QB Sanchez) Despite the injuries, is this actually a glimmer of enforcement?

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