Friday, April 24, 2015
Heads Up Football
What is the most detrimental word in the world of football today? Concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that results from a blow to the head that alters the way the brain functions. The NFL has been under extreme scrutiny for its lack of concussion regulation, and they have been trying to right their wrongs for the past five years or so. One way that the NFL and USA Football have been trying to help make the game more safe has been the implementation of Heads Up Football.
Heads Up Football is a certification program that is striving to make football a more safe game by “keeping your head out of it”. “The program uses a three-step plan to ensure safer play. USA Football is training player safety to coaches, who then will teach coaches at their leagues and educate parents and players on the proper way of tackling to avoid injuries. Their motto could be "Get your head out of it.”1 These coaches will also teach all of those who are involved in youth football about concussion awareness and proper use of equipment.
Heads Up Football sounds like a great idea that was created to help the health of America’s youth, right? Some would say that this is all a money making scheme to help with the declining participation in youth football. “Nate Jackson, who played six seasons as a tight end and special teams player for the Denver Broncos, described Heads Up as "a product that the NFL is selling" to "create the illusion that the game is safe or can be made safe."2 With the number of recorded concussions being under such scrutiny lately; the number of kids playing youth football is on the decline. Heads Up Football used one of the largest youth football leagues to help push the program. “As popular as Katy Youth Football is, participation has dropped more than 20 percent since 2008, when the league had 88 teams, said Anthony Biello, the KYF president. Biello attributed the decline to concerns about concussions.”3 Decreased participation in football takes away kids interest in football, which then takes away money from the NFL. Less money equal more unhappy owners and NFL executives.
With no scientific evidence currently available showing that Heads Up Football can make the game more safe, there is no way to know if this is a scheme to make money or if it is actually beneficial. Heads Up Football is taking the youth football nation by storm and only time will tell what their intentions really are.
1 Press, A. (2012, August 15). Heads Up Football Launched. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
2 Fainaru, S., & Fainaru-Wada, M. (2014, January 13). Questions About Heads Up Tackling. Retrieved April 20, 2015.