I was watching a football game the other day. One of the players that was on my fantasy team got knocked out of the game early. I was bummed. Then I got what I thought was a brilliant idea. Why can’t they get some of those accelerometers that they use in cell phones and put them in helmets? The thinking is basically this: load the helmets full of accelerometers and connect them to a CPU with some LED lights that are installed on the top. When a player is hit (or hits) hard, the light goes from green to yellow. Yellow players must sit a “down” before they can return to action. If the hit is even harder (on the impact scale) then the red light goes on and the player has to sit out the rest of his team’s possession. If it’s a very dramatic hit then all the lights start to flash. The player is done for the game and automatically has to undergo the concussion protocol. By using the technology in the helmets, players are dis-incentivized from turning themselves into missiles and instead tackle with their arms.
I thought I was so smart. Then I went to the Internet to see if anybody had also thought of that. Of course they did. The NFL begin experiments with accelerometers in football helmets years ago. Apparently it’s easy to judge the force of an impact but not always whether that impact translates into a brain injury. Still, something needs to be done. In the years since the publicity began of former players committing suicide, youth football participation is down ten percent. While football is still widely popular, this is still a concerning trend if you’re an owner of a team in the league or a fan of the game. In time, if there isn’t a fix for the concussion problem, no parent will allow their child to play football. And that would be bad for all of us with fantasy teams.