December 16, 2005
putting the hell back in helmets
Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a proposal that would make it a requirement statewide for children to wear helmets when they play soccer.
If you are like us, you are no doubt wondering why this would be the concern of the state legislature. Clearly this falls under the purview of the federal government as spelled out in the penumbra of our Constitution (“penumbra” is Latin for “anything we say it is”).
Opponents considered pointing out that children are probably at greater risk of head injury during the drive to the soccer game, but were afraid that the legislature would move to require minivan helmets as well (integrated juice box holders included of course).
Keep in mind that we are talking about an age group that engages in such activities as seeing who can break the largest plank of wood over their head. The winner wins the respect of his peers, a complimentary trip to the trauma ward, and a future in the Constitution Party.
Proponents of the legislation cite studies such as the one conducted in 1992 in Norway which found that 35% of active soccer players had abnormal brain scans. While not conclusive, this does strongly suggest that people who enjoy soccer are abnormal. (We always suspected.)
An early version of the legislation had banned “heading” completely. Heading is such an integral part of soccer it would be like banning bats in baseball or bouts of unspeakable boredom at javelin meets.
If the proposal passes it could open the door to additional measures designed to protect the vulnerable brains of young children, including bans on wrestling and prohibitions against watching President Bush attempt to speak without a script.
Or Senator John Kerry with one.
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Clearly you're not from Massachusetts. It's for the children! Mock it at your peril.
Posted by: Michael | Dec 16, 2005 9:04:28 PM
Mkay, how about some useful legislature, like for instance, banning use of cellphones in moving vehicles, or mandatory forfeiture of car keys in bars (on-the-door metal detectors might be useful here), or even (shock horror!) having the kids play a real sport like rugby or even cricket?
Posted by: Jim | Dec 17, 2005 8:01:45 AM
The Americans want to turn Soccer to American Football!
Basketballers need helmets more than Soccer players.
Posted by: Orikinla Osinachi | Dec 17, 2005 9:48:03 AM
Parents are so concerned about injury to thier poor little children that they want soccer helmets, and you want them to switch to *rugby*?
Posted by: Kevin | Dec 17, 2005 2:25:53 PM
I'm a parent, and I'm not so concerned about my kid's head that I'd make him wear a helmet to play soccer. I've seen my oldest son take a header onto a concrete floor from three feet up. Before I could get over there to even kiss his boo-boo, he'd gotten up and walked away. Kids are made of titanium.
Posted by: Wacky Hermit | Dec 18, 2005 10:15:39 AM
Coming from the country which took a British girl's game (rounders) and after re-naming it baseball, set it right up there with Mom and Apple Pie, this is just a little bit rich! Football is organised mayhem, within fairly tight limits, and as such no helmets are required, as most of the damage is done to the participants' legs, ankles, etc. Rugby football, where much more bodily contact is both permitted and expected, still does not require the use of helmets, in Britain at least! Only in America, where the bastardized version which you have adopted requires full body armour, is the expectancy of serious injury so high that to go on without all that protection would be to invite the opposing team to carry out 'target practice' on the unfortunate player!
Helmets for football; you'll be expecting Democratic government next! Just bow to our Sovereign lady, and give over!
Posted by: genghis | Dec 20, 2005 6:40:37 AM