Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Today in Sports...

I just wanted to pass along this link at Shutdown Corner, a football site, on the demise of the single bar facemask. Mine is the last generation of gridiron fans who will be able to remember these guys -- punters, mostly -- who took the field with a but single bar to protect their radio-ready visages.


Scott Player (upper left) is the last of the breed. Apparently he brought his 'mask with him from team to team, as equipment companies stopped making them. Even that has now been outlawed.
Every once and a while I get tweaked by friends who favor European sports or Aussie rules or some such about all the equipment our boys wear. Now, don't get me wrong: I love rugby. But think of it this way: Imagine legendary All-Black Jonah Lomu or Wales' blindside flanker Colin Charvis.(Or just check out these helpful photos.) Now, imagine a couple of important rules changes: You don't need to wrap up. You don't need to play the ball. You don't need to return the player safely to the pitch. You may (and in fact are often encouraged to) leave your feet to make the hit. Finally, give every player on the pitch an eight-pound (or 128 ounces, or 3.6 kg) weapon to wear on his head.
Anyway, here's the money quote from Shutdown Corner:
If Nick Lowery was still in the league, he'd never stand for this. He'd march right into Roger Goodell's office, slam his single-barred helmet down on his desk, point to his full and lustrous moustache, and he'd scream, "THIS IS MY SECOND BAR, YOU PANSY." And that would be that.

2 comments:

Grung_e_Gene said...

The up armoring of football players is one of the reasons more and more serious injuries occur in American Feetball. The players are so large and fast they can generate tons of force (Big Newtons!) and with the feeling the are invincible they have no problem launching their huge frames at their opponents. Take away the fully encapsulated Great Helms Feetball players are moving towards and they might be a bit more hesitant to jam their heads into such conflagrations.

Jim said...

Mmm-mmm. Big newtons...

More seriously, violence sells. You want Feetball w/o serious padding, you can watch Rugby League (as opposed to Union). Inevitably, that's where we'd get to, as no self-respecting defensive back could resist the temptation to completely pulverize an un-armored receiver on a crossing route. Coupla deaths later, and the rules would reflect the new reality. Upshot would be the Rugby League with the forward pass.