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 NFL Can Learn From Racing

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PostSubject: NFL Can Learn From Racing   Mon May 14, 2012 1:40 pm

Racers' Message: Embrace Safety

Quote :
"I must have heard a hundred people screaming about not wanting people to mess with the games, about football becoming too soft," said Bobby Allison, the NASCAR champion who had his legendary career cut short in 1988 by a series of frightening injuries. "All I could think was, man, all this sure does sound like all of us in racing not so long ago."

Allison is talking about the turn of the century, a mere dozen years ago. That's when all forms of motor sports were startled awake by a series of tragedies that in retrospect could have been avoided or at least lessened had the participants swallowed their pride and taken advantage of the tools already available to them.

"Nobody is more macho than a racer (Editorial Note: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) or a football player," said John Force, the all-time wins leader in NHRA drag racing and a former junior college quarterback. "But you hear these football guys saying, 'I'm going to tackle with my head, man, because that's how Dick Butkus did it. And I'm not going to wear some new crazy helmet because I don't want to look like a nerd.' Well, guess what? They sound like us. They sound like racers. And we waited too late to do the stuff we're doing now. That was stupid. I love football. But those guys, they can't be like we were."

In 2012, the idea of a racetrack not having its concrete retaining walls covered with SAFER energy-absorbing "soft walls" isn't just laughable, it creates outrage. Today, any racers who climbed into the cockpit without a head and neck support (HANS) device attached to their helmet would feel exposed. They would feel just as naked if they weren't sitting in a custom-fitted carbon fiber driver's seat, or strapped in with multiple-point harnesses, or if they looked around them and saw that some of the steel roll bars around that cockpit were missing.

But all of those safety changes were initially rejected. Primarily for no reason other than hubris.

From 1996 to 2001, 10 drivers were killed across the major American racing series. It culminated with four NASCAR deaths in nine months, including Dale Earnhardt's fatal accident in the Daytona 500. That proved to be the final straw. Almost overnight, racers across all series softened their resistance to safety regulations. In the decade-plus since, no one has died on a NASCAR racetrack, despite multiple collisions that through "black box" measurements have registered at 50-plus on the g-force scale.

"The first time I wore a HANS was after Dale died," recalled Terry Labonte, the two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion who began his big league racing career in 1978. "I knew some guys had looked into it and a couple were wearing it. But the word got out that it was too uncomfortable, so most people just ignored it. But after Dale got killed all the sudden we were all trying them on. All kinds of stuff."


Wallace108: Jon, how the hell do you expect any of us to ever follow your posts? You always set the bar awfully high.  

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PostSubject: Re: NFL Can Learn From Racing   Mon May 14, 2012 5:07 pm

What new safety equipment does the NFL have for player protection?
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PostSubject: Re: NFL Can Learn From Racing   Mon May 14, 2012 5:15 pm

@effyou515 wrote:

What new safety equipment does the NFL have for player protection?

They are combining Suh and Harrison's wallet's to pad the fall.


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