On Monday, I posted an info article about a news conference taking place in Pittsburgh on Tuesday where a company by the name of Unequal Technologies was to announce the results of a new form of helmet technology called CRT. Steelers James Harrison and Charlie Batch were on hand to talk about CRT – Harrison as an actual user and Charlie as a upstanding representative of the NFLPA.
During Harrison’s ‘testimony’ he said that it actually works. He admitted to having double digit cases of concussion like symptoms over the course of his career, and that since using this helmet, he’s had no case of ‘[seeing] any spots or had any blackouts.’ He seems to like the new padding in the helmet, even though it adds a few ounces to the overall weight of the helmet. The padding was originally developed for the military to lessen the severity of blows to the head via combat or debris. Neuroscientists were also on hand to discuss the numbers behind the tests.
Overall, it seems like at the very least, this ‘new’ technology could have a long lasting positive affect on the NFL when it comes to protecting the head. That’s one thing Harrison and others have always been critical about when it comes to player safety and how the NFL is dealing with it. They are quick to hand out heft fines, but won’t do any sort of institutionalized upgrade in equipment. If you want improvement, you have to seek it out on your own – like Harrison did shortly after he broke is orbital bone last season.
I don’t think it should have to go to those measures. The NFL should be sinking the real dollars into research and projects like this to improve player safety and longevity. What are your thoughts? You can see Harrison and the rest of the presser here. Can this padding make a difference? Or does the NFL need to take other measures?