POSTED: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 5:47pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 8:33am
We all know football is a rough sport.
It's tough on the body, and as an old Houstonian, I was one of those who cheered the heroics of Earl
Campbell, never thinking of where it leads physically.
But it can be far worse than banged up knees.
Former NFL players are now suing the league for essentially covering up the bitter truth about head injuries.
Like the brutal hit on Lasalle University player Preston Plevretes in 2005 that took him from this…to this.
Now, USA Football, the governing body for the amateur sport has introduced a new program called Heads Up.
The goal is to get coaches across the country to teach a safer style of tackling.
“We focus on a skill that really every football player needs to know and that’s how to properly tackle,” says Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck.
And if you’re one of those armchair Pro-Bowlers who think things like this are just sissifying the game, you are in for a surprise.
“And really, what we ended up with,” says Hallenbeck, “is what many NFL and college players suggest is really a 1970’s-1980’s style of tackling which is the old ascending blow, shoulder strike, heads always up and to the side. So that was the technique we all agreed on.”
Because as one doctor said, you can be a tough guy, but no one has a tough brain.
So far in Texas, it appears only youth football leagues in the Houston, Corpus Christi and Austin area have adopted the program.
No high schools or colleges are teaching safer tackling yet, but it will be expanded to that level next year.