Why Antonio Brown Needs His Helmet – Deadspin
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Why Antonio Brown Needs His Helmet – Deadspin

Illustration for article titled Why Antonio Brown Needs His Helmet
Illustration: Jim Cooke (G/O Media)

Antonio Brown is mainly the most prolific large receiver in soccer over the closing eight seasons (or so), even while being a smaller and fewer imposing physical specimen than almost about every “No. 1” receiver in the NFL. How does he enact it?

His dominance starts alongside with his feet. Antonio Brown has essentially the most attention-grabbing feet in the NFL. His route running is masterful. His skill to replace instructions is unmatched. Coaches veteran to always expose us to make an effort to raise on the line of scrimmage, however for most NFL receivers, the inner clock moves too hasty to consume a form of time there. The direct within is screaming GO! Assemble into your route!, so you hardly ever appreciate a receiver with out a doubt work the line of scrimmage to come by his cornerback off-balance or out of plan. But Antonio Brown makes a college of it. He will wait until the ball is snapped, pull out a plan, unroll it, level to exactly where he wants you to command he’s going, roll it up, build it back in his pocket, then speed to 1 extra space moral as the ball arrives in his hands.

But Brown isn’t very moral a runt man with correct feet. On account of he’s so a success, so “controversial,” and so paid, he has a target on his back. A huge one. He attracts double-groups from defenses then gets smothered on Twitter. Specific coverages neutralize him while Stephen A. Smith excoriates him. All of that weight, plus an ailing-timed time out to the cryotherapy chamber, has resulted in his feet being compromised, which I’m definite has him already feeling a excellent method.

And now they need his helmet.

The American Football Helmet is a flowery share of equipment; it’s every a shield and a sword, and it suits your head esteem a gantlet. Ought to you journey it on, you are at work. You know that it’s moral you in the market, enclosed in a bubble. The vogue by which you behold your head—as soon as treasured, to be exact, weak to cracking—changes. It would possibly well hang to stand up to punishment. It is a fortress. It is a weapon.

Light changes in that bubble. Awareness changes. Sound changes. It is nonetheless in there. But then gets very loud if you hit any individual. You are esteem a crustacean deep below the skin of a violent ocean, and the sharks are always circling.

You became one thing else in that bubble. For essentially the most attention-grabbing on this planet, altering that perception en fight is a expansive threat.

But many hang attacked Brown for this stance, as if switching helmets were as easy as switching brands of coffee—despite the fact that I’m not definite any of you will quit your Starbucks, even supposing your boss demanded it.

Illustration for article titled Why Antonio Brown Needs His Helmet
Characterize: AP

If Antonio had the time or inclination to sit down down and write things down for us, I imagine it’d be a mash-up of the next aspects: the unusual helmet doesn’t fit upright; it affords him a headache; the chinstrap feels irregular; he can’t appreciate his periphery (which makes him more weak to very huge hits and fewer probably to trace the ball in the air); the league’s “health and security” initiative is bogus and moral an strive and restrict liability; there’s no such factor as a “exact helmet”; NOCSAE is a political organization; “helmet expertise” is a PR stunt; and we’re all going to die anyway. All of this stuff are fully correct.

Truth is, there’s a WARNING sticky label on every and every helmet, including the unusual and improved NOCSAE-certified units. It reads: “No helmet can prevent severe head or neck trouble a player would possibly well well to find playing soccer.” No helmet.

The “helmet expertise” enhance adopted the invention of CTE and the following concussion terror. Next came structural “innovations” prototyped by myriad commence-up corporations claiming to be on the cusp of a “concussion-proof helmet.” Meanwhile, Crack! We’re all nonetheless smacking heads and that WARNING sticky label has yet to be removed. Like they instruct, no helmet can resolve the hasty-deceleration-of-the-brain enviornment that occurs on every soccer hit. Any soccer hit can take you injurious and it doesn’t topic what NOCSAE says—you’re toast.

In this light, Antonio’s affinity for his helmet is understandable. He’s a finely tuned instrument. Throw off one key and your total factor gets retuned. Who’s aware of if it ever sounds the an identical as soon as more?

Most athletes are superstitious relating to equipment—you dance with who brung you. I was a Riddell man after I performed. That was the classic model, and the one all of us veteran. Your head adapts to it and you put out of your mind about it. It turns into an extension of your superego. When the Schutt came alongside, it was touted as lighter and more improved, and no person was . It was completely the guys with concussion problems that were implored to come by the change, and if I be conscious because it would possibly well in point of fact be, it did nothing to prevent a recurrence.

Every unusual helmet draw foisted upon avid gamers has a peculiar form and a peculiar with out a doubt feel. It doesn’t moral substitute the form on the exterior; it changes the form within. It changes the space and with out a doubt feel of the pads which would be touching the head. It changes the stress aspects in your noggin. It changes the neurological response to a extraordinarily explicit tightness in your head. And which ability that of the diversified form, it changes your visual conception, the frame by which the enviornment and all americans on it. This all forces you to command if you hang got no time to command—when taking into consideration will come by you nervousness.

And if you enact hang time to command, in all likelihood because your feet are hamburger meat and you’re not practicing, you will completely be taking into consideration Jesus—why can’t I moral wear my helmet?


Nate Jackson performed six years in the NFL and has written two books, Slack Getting Up and Legend Man. He co-founded Athletes for CARE, a non-profit that advocates for the health and wellness of athletes. He lives in L.A.

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August 14, 2019
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