January 01, 2012
Bryan Braman of the Houston Texans is an undrafted rookie free agent special teams player. I'm assuming he's aware of the ongoing discussion of the dangers of helmet-to-helmet hits. I'm also assuming, based on what you're about to see below, that he just doesn't care.
That's not a helmet-to-helmet hit, that's a player intentionally ramming his head, unprotected by a helmet, into another player's helmet. I'm not a physician or anything, but if a helmet-to-helmet hit is a dangerous, I think we can infer that a noggin-to-helmet hit is also pretty dangerous.
There's an instinct to applaud the man for his hustle, and his willingness to sacrifice himself to make a play. This is something that belongs on Jack Lambert's highlight reel.
But if we're trying to protect players and trying to get them to understand the long-term dangers of repeated blows to the head, shouldn't we also discourage something like this?
I mean, I don't know what we're supposed to tell the guy. It is, after all, his instinct as a player (not to mention as a guy who has no guarantee of a football career of any substantial length) to go make that tackle. But I can't help but be concerned for the guy's well-being when I see that. One good hit from a helmeted head to a non-helmeted head could literally crush a man's skull. I feel like this is a little bit awesome, and a whole lot disturbing.
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