The Dangers of Football–And How They’re Being Fixed

Angie Reyes

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It’s common knowledge that football isn’t a gentle sport. However, the injuries players are sustaining have been found to be even more dangerous than we think. One repercussion of football is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. This condition forms after multiple blows to the head, a common occurrence in football. CTE can lead to depression and dementia, which is most often in the form of Alzheimer’s. One effect is difficulty doing the simplest of tasks, like eating. Depression can also lead to some very serious health issues. Suicide is the biggest one of all.  In just a year, there has been near 44,000 suicide-related deaths in the United States, and depression is the criminal behind it.  But it doesn’t end there. Besides being mentally dangerous, football can also damage the head in physical ways. Every year, there are more and more deaths that are linked to football. All together, the risks in the game football are becoming dangerous. This is all because of unsuitable gear and helmets. But a non-profit organization called VICIS Foundation wants to change that.


The VICIS ZERO1 is a revolutionary helmet that has been engineered specifically to reduce impact on players’ heads. 3 years and 20 million dollars has been put into the helmet, as well as the hard work of athletes, neurosurgeons, and engineers. The multiple layers inside the helmet all have special jobs to cushion blows. The first is “The Lode Shell'”. Simulating a car bumper, the top layer uses local deformation to absorb impact. The VICIS ZERO1 is the first helmet to use this type of engineering, but it’s proven to be useful. The following layer is the “RFLX”, which use it’s columnar structure to reduce linear and rotational forces that may threaten a player’s head.  The final layer is the one engineered for comfort, because a helmet that doesn’t fit right isn’t really a helmet at all. The “Form Liner” uses special foams and waterproof textiles to conform to the player’s head topography and apply even pressure around the head. On the topic of the helmet’s look, it comes with 12 different facemask colors and face styles, as well as either a high gloss, molded shell, matte, or metallic helmet, all coming in more than 9 or more colors depending on the type. The helmet only comes in size A, B, or C. Unfortunately, the helmet is only designed for a High School Players and people over 150 pounds, so you won’t see any 10 years olds sporting them yet. Of course, this futuristic helmet comes at a high price. Just to reserve a ZERO1, it costs $100. That makes your total for the VICIS ZERO1  $1,600, but it is to be expected when you see everything that goes into making just one helmet. For now, we’ll just have to wait for a future where an athlete’s safety is less than the amount they’ll have to pay if they do get hurt.




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The Dangers of Football–And How They’re Being Fixed