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Motorsports safety icon Bill Simpson hits the gridiron to fight concussions

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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