Thursday, January 5, 2012

At what price?

While I was visiting with my parents last weekend, we were watching the Tennessee Titans play the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon when I saw this happen:

I was stunned. I can understand that sometimes adrenaline takes over and the body acts out of shear impulse and instinct. But, to go in for a helmet-to-helmet hit without a helmet seems idiotic and utterly reckless. How important was that tackle (when the runner was already being pushed out of bounds) compared to the safety and well-being of the tackler? He appeared to be completely unaffected, but WE ALL KNOW how head injuries work. With as much research that has been conducted recently involving brain injury and football, new innovation in materials for high tech equipment, and the call for more serious consideration regarding head safety and post-traumatic assessment.....well, this video just feels like a slap in the face to all of us in high-risk sports who fight for action and awareness in terms of enforcing head protection at all times

And, what amazed me more than anything wasn't just the initial tackle, but, did anybody else notice the assistant coaches and trainers on the sidelines who were hugging Braman, chest bumping him, and patting him on the back? Why did they not immediately check him for signs of dizziness or concussion? Yeh, yeh, yeh....I know. It's FOOTBALL. Football players aren't supposed to be sissies, or so I've heard. If that's the case, then why all the fuss about better attention to head injury prevention and detection? If you're going to talk the talk, then you better walk the walk on national television (although, I guess it is possible that a full evaluation of Braman happened off-camera). As someone who always rides in my helmet, who worries about those around me always riding in a helmet, and who has suffered a concussion while wearing a helmet, I guess maybe I'm super sensitive to this topic. Or, perhaps I am not the only one. How does this video make YOU feel about the state of helmet safety in the NFL and other high-impact/high-risk sports? Is it just me who was shocked that this seemed to be treated as......natural and appropriate for the situation at hand? After seeing that hit, I couldn't help feeling a little dismayed, as though man -- who has come so far in terms of evolution throughout the centuries -- may have suddenly taken a step or two backwards toward that proverbial cave. 

"Wear your helmet, people."