Old friend and new reader of this blog (if he's still reading it) Y./TheRivers e-mailed me this WSJ story a few days ago, "Is It Time to Retire the Football Helmet?". He sent it to me because he remembers that I was awarded a worthless patent (the CAD image above is from the patent) years ago for a football helmet-related invention. From the article:
"Some people have advocated for years to take the helmet off, take the face mask off. That'll change the game dramatically," says Fred Mueller, a University of North Carolina professor who studies head injuries. "Maybe that's better than brain damage."
Mueller's right that this is an old idea. 15 years ago I wrote a paper about my invention where I mentioned some expert (it might even have been Mueller, I don't remember) advocating removing the face mask. I do remember that whoever this expert was advocated teams doing so unilaterally, and for coaches to tell their players that this way they'd have a greater field of vision (in my paper, I suggested that those who took this unilateral tack would come to grief and they would be better off using my invention).
I mentioned to Y. via e-mail that I believe there have been for years rubber shields that can be worn over the top of current helmets and that these shields reduce the impact from collisions by, if memory serves, 40%. Why they aren't worn more often, I don't know.