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Helmet safety needs out-of-box ideas

As a retired engineer who continues to view the world of sports analytically, I am frustrated to see the evolving destruction of my favorite spectator sport, American football.

I’m a father of two sons and the grandfather of three grandsons. I see with dismay, that my wife and my son’s wives are unanimous in their position that they will not allow their boys to play football — ever.

They cite, and rightly so, the incidence of concussion and eventual brain damage to tackle football players at all levels. They say “it’s just not worth it,” and I agree with them.

This destruction of the most physical and intellectual game known to the world is unnecessary.

The solution requires thinking out of the box (or hard shell), in this case. The solution to concussion caused by impact is to place the padding on the outside of the helmet.

Yes, we need a support and small amount of padding inside where a player’s head contacts the helmet shell. However, what is needed is to place the impact absorbing material on the outside.

I have searched the internet for any evidence that the millions of dollars being spent on helmet design has explored the “outside” option for padding, but so far there is none.

Think about it: Add three or four inches of urethane or similar closed cell foam over a snug shell and top it off with a durable, flexible sheath.

No longer is the helmet a weapon to spear another player with, just a foam pad that will collide with the opponent’s external pad, with no harm to either brain.

Bill Anderson

Tyrone

Solomon worthy of Hollidaysburg honor

Once again I write to the Mirror and the Hollidaysburg Area School District to bring to attention the hidden gem the Golden Tigers have in their sports programs.

That gem is head swim coach Deb Solomon, who this past week recorded her 500th victory.

It is anticipated that the school district would recognize this awesome achievement by some type of special permanent recognition, such as naming the pool after her, as I have suggested in the past.

This would be not only for her 500th victory but the tireless efforts and dedication to her athletes and the school.

Unfortunately, the school district has failed to note the accomplishments of Deb Solomon or her athletes in any meaningful, lasting way.

It is high time that the school board remedy this oversight and recognize Solomon’s accomplishments by placing her name upon the pool where she has worked tirelessly to achieve a standard of excellence both in the pool and the classroom.

David Gorman

Hollidaysburg

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