The Super Bowl is over, which means that’s it time for (GUHHHHHHHHH) the NFL offseason, which means we’re in for another seven months of people debating the very existence of football, without any real football on TV to help distract me from the argument. I may have to take up reading instead, which is a terrifying prospect.
Football is, undeniably, a brutal collision sport that takes a heavy toll on the body and mind. And the NFL has spent the better part of this decade enacting new ad campaigns and rule changes and safety programs and equipment innovations all in the name of convincing you that A) The game can be safe, if played “correctly,” and B) They’re already making football safer for you and your little ones.
These are lies, of course. You can fine and eject big hitters. You can make pee wee players watch a million boring instructional videos. You can make the helmet lining out of cotton candy. None of it will change the fundamental dangers of the sport.
EXCEPT… The pads and helmets.
Pads and helmets make football dangerous. I am far from the first person to suggest this, and I won’t be the last. There are colleges that practice without helmets now. There’s a 7-on-7 league in Jersey that uses no pads or helmets at all.