It seems like a lot of NFL veterans don’t like the new helmet rule with Tom Brady the latest to let his feeling be known about the issue.
Tom Brady Does Not Like New Helmet Rule
The new helmet rule in the NFL is getting a lot of attention these days. Of course the highest profile case would be Antonio Brown of the Oakland Raiders. He is essentially threatening to retire from football if he can’t wear his old helmet. Tom Brady is the latest to express his feelings about the new helmet rule.
To be clear, this issue might seem like a lot of fuss about nothing but players are very superstitious. The perfect example of that is the fact that Brady has worn the same helmet in the last four Super Bowls. That goes beyond superstition. It’s about being comfortable while playing one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Brady commented on his feelings in regards to the new helmet:
With that being said, there’s a big difference between Tom Brady and Antonio Brown. There’s no way Brady would allow something like this to affect him as much as Brown has. He did however get an extension to wear the helmet for one more season last year so it is important to him.
What’s Wrong with the Old Helmet?
This is where this story gets a little more complicated. The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) is responsible for approving athletic equipment for safe play. They do this by researching and testing the equipment for safety standards. It’s not just the NFL that uses NOCSAE standards, college football does as well.
The problem some have with the ruling is that NOCSAE did not find evidence that the old helmets in question were unsafe. The reason for the change is that NOCSAE concluded that the helmets were just too old.
The helmet that Brady used to wear is called the Riddell VSR-4 and it has not been approved for this season. NOCSAE does not clear equipment that is older than 10 years old. According to the NFL, players will not be allowed to practice or play until they wear an approved helmet.
Another veteran dealing with this issue is Jason Witten who came out of retirement to play for the Dallas Cowboys again. His old helmet was called the Air Advantage but he has had to make the change just like everyone else. He seems to have accepted the ruling saying he’s known for a long time this would happen:
“It’s been a long time coming, so I knew like anybody, the rules are the rules so you’ve got to evolve with them.”-Jason Witten
Antonio Brown Might Really Not Play Again
We can’t put anything past Antonio Brown after what we’ve seen from him in the last twelve months. Just when it seemed like the circus was over, he’s threatening to retire over a new helmet rule. To understand his frustration, we should try to look at it from his point of view.
He has been wearing the same helmet since 2009 (his rookie season) in the NFL. If he genuinely feels like he can’t perform with different equipment, that’s an issue. Brown has even gone as far saying he will hold the NFL liable should he get hurt wearing the new helmet. It’s unlikely that he would win that in a court of law but it shows you that this is more than him being a diva. If he were to retire over the new helmet rule, it would easily be one of the strangest stories in NFL history.