Iowa To Become First Team In Nation To Wear Special Helmets
Concussions are a very scary aspect of football that seems very difficult to stop. This fall, the Iowa Hawkeyes will be the first football team in the United States wearing new custom helmets designed to help prevent them. Not just college football, either. No NFL teams are even wearing these helmets yet.
All 80-plus upperclassmen on the Iowa football team will be wearing special helmets made by Riddell. Each helmet, customized for a specific player, will cost more than $1,000. The helmets will have eight pads designed to better absorb the impact players endure during games. Iowa has had some players wearing the helmets for the past two seasons, with success.
Iowa's equipment manager, Greg Morris, told KWWL:
In our two years with them, our 15 guys that have worn them, we've had no problems, no concussions, no comfort issues, no sizing issues...so because of all those factors that's how we made our decision to go with custom for everybody.
If we can start to eliminate that opportunity for a concussion we are doing our job, we are being proactive versus reactive. If we get something custom made to fit your head, we've got a better chance of keeping you healthy.
Even the players say they wouldn't go back to the old style helmet. (They told Morris) 'I wouldn't put anything else on my head as long as I am playing football.'
The only thing that troubles me is that Iowa's freshmen won't be able to wear the helmets for their initial season. Why? They simply can't be fitted for them in time, because they're not yet on campus. Their helmets are expected to arrive in December.
If these customized helmets have the ability to protect players health now, and in the future, we also need to get them on the heads of the freshmen. After a player has signed a national letter of intent, could he be measured for the helmet at his high school? It's just one possibility.
Here's hoping these helmets prove effective for the entire Iowa football team. If they do, somehow, someway, everyone who plays football needs to wear them. At more than $1,000 per helmet, that's a costly, but essential venture. Kudos to Iowa for being the first team in the nation to outfit its players.