New NFL helmet design...
Hmmm, I didn't notice Ram's Hodgins wearing this new hat at the SB. :nerd:
NFL players to be offered Revolution-ary helmet
March 4, 2002
By Jay Glazer / SportsLine.com Senior Writer
INDIANAPOLIS -- NFL players will soon have the option of taking on a different look that might start an entirely new "Revolution."
A new, racecar-type helmet called the "Revolution" has recently been introduced to NFL teams as an alternative to the current helmet. In fact, the new model will offer the first significant structural changes in an NFL player's headgear in nearly 25 years.
"I'm glad to see that they are making advancements because nobody has made a change in the helmet 20-something years," said NFL Players Union executive director Gene Upshaw, who says he supports the latest version. "We have to take it to the players now and see what they think. It looks like it might be a better product, but we'll have to see."
Rams FB James Hodgins unveiled the new aerodynamic Riddell helmet in the Super Bowl.
The new model, manufactured by athletic apparel company Riddell, was developed based on recent findings in head trauma research funded by the NFL. The scientists have theorized that shots to the side of the head have more significance in causing concussions and head trauma than shots taken on the top.
"According to the scientists' research funded by the NFL, the current helmets underprotected the side of the head," said Jets team doctor Elliott Pellman, who heads up the NFL's committee on head trauma. "The standard drop tests really didn't do any tests to the side of the head, so the (current) helmets were never really protected there. Riddell went to the scientists who did this research and integrated it into their own findings."
According to those who have seen the new head protection, it's a slightly more futuristic version of the current model with some similarities to a racing helmet; it looks like something that could be described as Rollerball meets the NFL. While it's not a complete change from the current model, there are noticeable differences in size, areas of protection and a slightly more streamlined look.
The major difference is the side, which drops down closer to the chin to provide better protection to the side of the head and the jaw. In addition, the holes on the top are shaped like tear drops and appear to add to the aerodynamic look, and the back protrudes to offer better padding. The helmet looks bigger than the current model but might not be any heavier.
"This helmet also gives you better peripheral vision," Upshaw said. "Plus, it has an added piece to provide better protection for your jaw. They added more padding that can inflate to adjust better to your face. The current model has a piece that snaps in there, but it doesn't come in too many sizes. I think it's a little lighter than the old model. They can probably make it lighter, too, by changing the facemask."
Two years ago, athletic apparel manufacturer Bike developed a helmet that gave players a much-lighter option. But it didn't add to the protection on the side of the head.
The NFL gives players options, but they are not required to wear one model over another. They will be allowed to wear the more futuristic Revolution if they choose. It was offered to the Patriots and Rams for Super Bowl XXXVI, and one player, Rams fullback James Hodgins, wore it in the game.
The rest of the league will soon have that choice. According to an NFL memo sent out to team presidents and general managers last Friday, all teams will soon be introduced to the new design for the 2002 season:
"Riddell's promotional material states that the helmet reflects a new design on 'extensive study of human tolerances and the type of impact that cause (concussions). ...' Riddell claims the new helmet's design will provide better protection for NFL players based on this new medical research.
"Early next week, Riddell will also send you a sample of the new helmet, along with literature describing its design features and particular quality. As you know, each player is entitled to wear the helmet of his choice, and players will not be required to wear the new Riddell helmet."
Head trauma became a larger issue two years ago when the careers of quarterbacks Steve Young and Troy Aikman were cut short because of multiple concussions. At the time, the NFLPA was at odds with the league over the availability of the results of their studies. But both sides appear to be on the same page with the new look.
"Our people looked at it and our consultant on head trauma looked at it, and it met all of his standards," Upshaw said. "If it's safer for the players, of course that's something we're interested in."