The new NFL rule banning crown-of-the-helmet hits, intended to reduce concussions, will probably do nothing of the sort, suggests KingShamus, considering the enforcement mechanism:
Yes, these very same fallible close-enough-for-government-work referees. So on top of every other judgment call the zebras have to make in the course of a nanosecond Was that a catch? Was that an illegal hold? Was that ball going out of bounds because of a forward pass or a lateral in the final moments of the game while the defenders were being held in the endzone? they’ll now have to discern in the blink of an eye whether or not a ball carrier lowered the top of his helmet and used it as a weapon against another player. That sounds totally easy.
In reality, this new diktat is going to be incredibly difficult to enforce. What we have here is not safety. It’s more like safety rule theater. Much like the Transportation Safety Administration’s airport security theater, the NFL’s attempt to stamp out crown-of-helmet hits has all the trappings of a rule designed to keep players safe, but nothing that actually makes that goal happen.
Memo to NFL commish Roger Goodell: If you’re being compared to the TSA, you’ve already lost the battle.
As for the helmets themselves:
They’re still basically the same amalgamation of hard plastic shell and interior foam padding that they were in the Reagan Administration. In other words, they can still be wielded like a cudgel.
And they still sound nice and weapon-y during the game telecasts assuming those are real noises and not some sideline Foley art.