We're going to switch gears and step away from the automotive realm for a minute and talk about football. It's one of America's favorite sports, with pro and college teams duking it out on the gridiron every fall and on into winter. It's inherent danger, though, has been making news the last few years due to the sport's alarming number of concussions.

Concussion-related brain injuries, like chronic traumatic encephalopathy, are becoming more common in retired players. Former National Football League star Junior Seau's 2012 suicide has been blamed on CTE. Other players have come forward, with a group filing suit against the NFL (sports-culture website Deadspin has an excellent interview series with players affected by a career of concussions). While doctors and engineers work to develop helmets that will better protect the brains of players, one famous name from the world of motorsport is getting involved - Bill Simpson, of Simpson Performance Products.

We first reported on the work Simpson had been doing in the realm of football helmets last year, and we've now found this in-depth interview with the man on NBC's Motor Sports Talk blog. Click thru to hear how Simpson's crusade to help kids kicked off, in his own words.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      Mike Pulsifer
      • 8 Months Ago
      "It's inherent danger..." Its inherent danger... Come on. Stop apostrophe abuse.
      Jim R
      • 8 Months Ago
      I have a better idea. Get rid of the helmet and pads altogether. These players go out wearing full body armor and they think they're invincible, so they take more risks. Leave them vulnerable and they'll play a lot more carefully.
      groingo
      • 8 Months Ago
      It's going to take a lot more that a brain bucket to reduce concussions.
      cygnusx8
      • 8 Months Ago
      No helmet can be made to prevent concussions. Concussion is when the brain hits the side of a person's skull INSIDE of it. How can any helmet prevent that? Either this guy is clueless or, and this is far more likely, he recognizes an opportunity to cash in.
        Nemebean
        • 8 Months Ago
        @cygnusx8
        Wow, the lack of understanding of physics in this comment is astounding. The reason helmets are padded and not just rigid shells is precisely so they can absorb some of the impact of a blow and not allow all of that force to transfer directly to your head, which, yes, reduces the chance of your brain striking your skull. It's the same principle as crumple zones in cars - they compress and absorb the energy of the accident so your body doesn't. This post is so wrong (and got upvoted, no less) that I'm wondering if I just got trolled. :-/
        Mobis21
        • 8 Months Ago
        @cygnusx8
        Did you read the article in its entirety? Or did you just skim? Sure sounds like it by your ill timed comments. Because nothing in the article suggested concussions were not possible but it did point out that wearers of this helmet design made it less likely to occur.
          cygnusx8
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Mobis21
          I read it but I don't automatically believe everything I read. Helmets were never intended to prevent concussions. Their purpose is to prevent skull injuries not brain injuries. Brain is suspended in cerebrospinal fluid inside a skull and if an impact is of greater force than that fluid can absorb the helmet, no matter how technologically advanced, is useless. Take an egg and wrap it in the softest, most energy absorbing material you can find and then shake it real hard. The egg won't break but the yolk inside won't be the same.
      charles
      • 8 Months Ago
      Is this the same Simpson that made Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s seat belts & helmet?
        vizcarmb
        • 8 Months Ago
        @charles
        It's the same simpson that the Stig wears and many other pro racers that wear the brand
          Chris O.
          • 8 Months Ago
          @vizcarmb
          Technically, it's now just the company that Simpson started... he hasn't been a part of Simpson racing for over a decade.
        rtkewley
        • 8 Months Ago
        @charles
        Earnhardt died because NASCAR didn't mandate HANS devices at the time, he choose not to wear one, and his neck snapped. Please educate all of us as to how any helmet and seat belts could have prevented that...
        Chris O.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @charles
        It's the same Simpson that was paid a settlement by NASCAR for withdrawing their defamation suit...
        rtkewley
        • 8 Months Ago
        @charles
        Earnhardt died because NASCAR didn't mandate HANS devices at the time, he choose not to wear one, and his neck snapped. Please educate all of us as to how any helmet and seat belts could have prevented that...
      • 8 Months Ago
      [blocked]
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