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One of the main sounds you hear on a football field when the ball is snapped is the crashing of the pads and helmets of the offensive and defensive lines smacking together.

But in the interest of making the game safer, could that familiar noise be reduced to a nostalgia trip?

One only had to watch the Super Bowl this year and see Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman running around wobbly after a helmet-to-helmet hit to see that there is still much work to be done in putting players' health first.

That concern over head injuries is the driving force behind Jones' article, who describes his own football experience to illustrate the danger in using a helmet improperly on the field.

But I don't buy that it would take the toughness out of football.

Rugby players don't wear helmets, and having played with the English club Blackheath as part of my Travel Channel show, I can vouch that rugby is a tough and bloody sport.

The idea is that if you take the helmet out of the game, players are less likely to lead with their heads when tackling or use their helmet as a weapon, thus reducing the grossly high concussion rate in football.


Yes, removing plastic helmets would change how the game is played.

In addition to potentially vastly reducing head injuries, it would allow NFL players to play without the cloak of anonymity that their helmets and facemasks provide, thereby creating more marketing opportunities for its star players. As the league continues to study how to improve the game, it will be interesting to see if they give Jones' idea short shrift or real consideration.



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