Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stone on Stone: Tech's New Helmet Outshines Research

It's not made of stone, thought what it covers may well be.
I hate to sound like an old grump, but when a football helmet gets more press than people working on causes of addiction, the major changes in old people's brains, innovative technologies, food and nutrition for the future, new forms of energy,  ...

You get the drift. All that research is happening at Virginia Tech, but what the football team will wear against Georgia Tech Thursday night in its ESPN game seems to have captured far more attention than all the previous studying and investigating put together. Tech's study about football helmet design--a legit scientific examination of how and why football players suffer head injuries--gets much less coverage than why quarterback Logan Thomas (by all accounts a nice and intelligent young man) is having a crappy year.

I have interviewed a number of scientists at the awe-inspiring Virginia Tech-Carilion Research Institute, as well as at Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus in many disciplines, and I can state without reservation that these people are far--FAR--more impressive than the best football players and best football teams ever to come out of there or anywhere else.

They are also far more important, as well. But you have to dig to find out anything about them and they certainly don't have an entire series of television networks floating around campus all day and night looking for stories that will "bring them to the people." These should be our children's role models, not people who wear plastic helmets that look like stones.

The helmet may have the most appropriate design ever, in any case. Stone over stone. What could be more perfect?

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