August 21, 2023
The NFL is making a big play to reduce the effects of concussion, and the introduction of a mandated Guardian Cap, during preseason training and practise, continues to show promise.
While the league will not ostensibly allow the Guardian Cup to be used when the season commences, it may be on a slippery slope.
There is pushback to the design and visceral imagery that the soft-shell helmet cover provides to spectators and stakeholders.
Football is a very traditional game, and there is nothing wrong with tradition. The thudding sound of smooth helmet to helmet action can be heard from the rafters as clearly as on a Smart TV, and this has embodied the sport for many decades.
While reducing the effects of concussion by 30% the helmet looks like a soundproofing with egg cartons project gone wrong.
The NFL will not easily announce that the reason it would not extend the mandate, or even grant permission in league and playoff play is that the [football] product looks so much better with helmets and logos and colors.
“A player would be prohibited from wearing a Guardian Cap during a game,” Chief NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said recently.
NFL Executive V.P. Jeff Muller was also vocal saying, “What I do think, ultimately, over the next two, or three, or five years is that some of the improvements made to overall helmets will incorporate some benefits of the Guardian Cap.”
The league has dug in its heels, but the question remains; what happens if a player requests to wear one, especially a concussion-prone player, the league says no, and then an unfortunate tragedy, inevitable lawsuit.