Players safety becoming pricey endeavor


Nick Manzo

Athletic Equipment Manager Derwin (DC) Coleman is holding up Schutt F7

Head injuries are very common and inevitable in football; that’s why companies compete to make the safest helmets possible. Companies like Riddell and Schutt tweak and adjust their helmets often in order to make their helmets safer. Athletic Equipment Manager, Derwin (DC) Coleman stated “Each year they try and improve because of the players that are on the field, and because of the safety issues,”.

Our football team uses many different helmet models, one of them is the Schutt F7. This helmet is one of the best on the market, and is the best testing helmet in history. The Schutt F7 uses TPU (thermoplastic urethane) cushioning that can absorb powerful impact. The TPU cushioning is design so when a player gets hit, air is released, and absorbs the impact. Also, tectonic plates are placed in the most impactful areas of the helmet making it stronger against rotational forces. 

Riddell SpeedFlex is another great model that our team uses. The speedflex has 5 inflation points that guarantees the helmet has a great fit. Flexibility is specifically set up in the helmets shell, facemask, and facemask attachment insuring that it will absorb contact. This makes the speedflex unique compared to all the other helmets on the market.

The invention of the first football helmet dates all the way back to 1891. The man who created basketball, James Naismith, is also credited for creating the first football helmet when he played for the YMCA International Training College football team. The helmet however, was crafted with leather, so the helmet hardly had any protection to impact. It wasn’t until 1939, that John T. Riddell invented the first ever plastic football helmet, and in 1956, the first facemask was created by Paul Brown. These inventions have created the foundation for all football helmets today.

Although most players in today’s game hardly ever complain about football helmets, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown is refusing to comply with the NFLPA regulations. Brown uses the Schutt Air Advantage, a helmet that is prohibited from the NFL. Schutt released a response stating that the helmet’s technology is outdated. The air advantage features traditional padding, unlike the TPU cushing that is featured in the newer models. Essentially, the Schutt Air Advantage offers less padding, resulting in less protection to impact.

Our school pays a large amount of money to acquire the most advanced helmets, with each helmet costing up to a thousand dollars. The best helmet models tend to use expensive material such as polycarbonate and titanium. Although the up to date helmets are expensive, it improves the players safety. Our football team understands the risks of playing football and makes it a priority to have the most up to date helmets.