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.

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