Canadian Football League: helmets flying off, other

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ilha formosa
Canadian Football League: helmets flying off, other

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ilha formosa

Watching CFL highlights from overseas, I have noticed a helmet coming off almost once every set of highlights that I watch. So I presume it happens much more often than I see (there's less than 10 minutes of playing time per highlights). Toronto QB Cleo Lemon was apparently injured because his helmet was inadequately secured. I didn't notice this problem on last season's highlights, it looks like an epidemic now.

Something seems obviously wrong with the equipment. My honest guess is it's because something is being made in China. I'm not just slamming China; the quality of many goods from the global sweatshop (made by wage-slaves with no incentive to put their heart and pride into their work) does have a reputation for being sub-par. Like my Sony VAIO laptop.

In any case, this is also an open letter to CFL brass to look into this problem. Look at the statistics, and don't blame Harper budget cuts for not doing so. Delve into the problem. Make a rule saying a player without a helmet is automatically out of play, that he can't touch anyone or be touched by anyone, and give a penalty if the rule is violated. Do this now, call a special meeting and do this now.

This is serious. Someone is liable to get critically, maybe even fatally injured. Also, pro sport being a model and indicator of what is happening at lower levels, if there is a helmet problem, it goes down the ranks to junior, university, high school, bantam. So people's young children are involved.

The helmet is an integral part of contact in the modern game, it would be insane, nearly criminally negligent, not to look into this. CFL, you are responsible.

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

ilha formosa wrote:

Something seems obviously wrong with the equipment. My honest guess is it's because something is being made in China. I'm not just slamming China; the quality of many goods from the global sweatshop (made by wage-slaves with no incentive to put their heart and pride into their work) does have a reputation for being sub-par. Like my Sony VAIO laptop.

No you are just slamming China and it sure sounds like racist shit to me.

I think the players need to cinch up their helmets better.  They look like the straps are loose for comfort.  The league needs to start giving them penalites like they do in minor football if you don't wear a mouthguard and do up your helmet.

Here is a non China bashing viewpoint on the subject that makes a lot of sense from what I have observed.

Quote:

Apparently, the CFL head offices noticed as well. The league sent out a memo to teams and players after Week 1, to ensure that all four straps are securing done up on the helmet to ensure it is adequately attached to the head. How much that memo helped (it is likely pinned up on the board next to the memo reminding to clean the microwave in the meeting room after every use) is questionable. In last nights game between the Stampeders and Bombers we saw multiple helmets on the field.

The most troubling instances are when helmets are dislodged in the middle of plays, when players are running around attempting to get that big hit. Or when there is a pile up and every is jumping on but you see that helmet squirt out of the pile as it occurs. The risk of a severe injury is multiplied tremendously. The last thing the league, and we as fans, want to see a helmet-less player down on the field seriously hurt because his helmet came off before being hit.

There has been talk that there are players in the league that are swapping out the straps that come from the helmet manufacturer, with straps from another helmet brand that the players must ‘prefer’. If that is the case, that is a big no-no that needs to be taken care of.  As with any safety product in any industry, you can not swap out parts and modify that safety product, otherwise voiding its effectiveness.

Another problem area may lie in improper fitting helmets, I suspect. The ease with which some players slide their helmets off and on is troubling. Those helmets are meant to fit snug and tight around a players skull and it should require a significant ‘tug’ to get the helmet on and off ones head. I would think that the speed these helmets pop off during play, it would be rather painful having it taken off that quickly.

http://www.canadianfootballtalk.com/the-cfl-has-a-helmet-problem/

 

Tommy_Paine

Actually, I've had a snug fitting helmet knocked off my head when, as a rookie deffensive lineman in Sr. high school football, I got in the back field and took a split second to admire my accomplishment.  The full back grabbed my attention in a helmet knocking off kind of way.   And you know?  It came off rather fast and rather painlessly.   Pride, however, was severly broken and concussed.

It may be that some players have perfected a technique in hitting that removes the helmet from the other player.

Thing is, football would be altogether safer if there were no helmets or shoulder pads.  Those aren't for protection. They're weapons.

ilha formosa

Is it still racist shit if I myself am of Chinese descent? I'm curious to know.

Thanks Northern Shoveler for that info, I'm glad to see the league has noticed.

And: Was I slamming China, or the reputation of poor quality produced by the way that many things are made there?

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

For your information the helmets are produced in Ohio.  But then America now rivals China in its treatment of workers.

I can't tell what race you and I said your words sounded racist.   Tell me what to you think of the Taiwanese sweat shops?  

ilha formosa

Northern Shoveler wrote:

For your information the helmets are produced in Ohio.  But then America now rivals China in its treatment of workers.

I see, thanks for the info once again.

I meant to slam the practices common in a place, while not attributing those practices to a race, religion, creed, etc..  Are you referring to domestic (in Taiwan) or foreign (Taiwan owned but not in Taiwan) sweatshops?

The latter are worse of course. Foxconn (manufacturers of iPads, among other products) is a good example, like any multinational that puts the financial bottom line above human livelihoods and the environment, they simply go where regulations are most lax.

Domestic Taiwan sweatshops? The worst of them (like RCA) are in the past, since they've moved mostly to China. Effects from RCA practices are still felt in the present though.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Your opening post jumped to a conclusion that was unfounded and biased.  You didn't suggest that they could be made in Honduras, Equator, Haiti, Bangladesh or any of the other Western IMF controlled economies.  I now get that your biases are not racial but political. 

ilha formosa

Sure, it was biased, based on the mere impression that "everything" is made in China these days, and fuelled a bit by my frustration with the quality of my laptop, which was made in China. I'm not in N. Am. now so I don't see labels of products there. 

If it was politically biased, it's because I'm living next to a country (China) that I think can do better, in the way it treats its citizens, and in making the world a better place.

ilha formosa

Northern Shoveler wrote:

You didn't suggest that they could be made in Honduras, Equator, Haiti, Bangladesh or any of the other Western IMF controlled economies.

Compared to other exploited "labor pools," China's is the world's largest under one regime, which is useful for rapidly changing cheap labor demands of the global manufacturing chain.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

ilha formosa wrote:

Sure, it was biased, based on the mere impression that "everything" is made in China these days, and fuelled a bit by my frustration with the quality of my laptop, which was made in China. I'm not in N. Am. now so I don't see labels of products there. 

If it was politically biased, it's because I'm living next to a country (China) that I think can do better, in the way it treats its citizens, and in making the world a better place.

Are you posting from Taiwan, by any chance?  I thought your posting name might be a hint about that.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Just another right wing China basher.  In BC we get them on the CBC all the time. China has many problems but unlike the countries I named above and the Great Satin to our South they are going in the right direction. The USA and its IMF bullies are forcing workers everywhere they can to take less and less.  The protection for Chinese workers is inadequate on many levels but they are making progress not going backwards into the 19th century like the social democratic governments of Greece and Spain are trying to force their citizens to do.

It is my understanding that the worst of the labour abuses are in fact done by multi-national companies who are breaching the Chinese labour laws. There is definitely an enforcement problem.  In BC we have no enforcement per se of our Employment Standards Act and the employers here ignore them and treat young people like indentured servants.  When I can convince my government to actually protect our workers then I might be persuaded that any of us have the moral authority to condemn the Chinese government. 

 

ilha formosa

Ken Burch wrote:

Are you posting from Taiwan, by any chance?  I thought your posting name might be a hint about that.

Yes. I've introduced myself in the introductions section. I don't consider myself a "right-wing China basher" though.

ilha formosa

Northern Shoveler wrote:
The protection for Chinese workers is inadequate on many levels but they are making progress not going backwards into the 19th century like the social democratic governments of Greece and Spain are trying to force their citizens to do.

from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tankman/view/

Quote:
Almost two decades later, the educated elite who led the protests of 1989 have benefited handsomely from China's rapid economic growth, but many Chinese workers still face brutal working conditions and low wages. "A lot of factories do not even have one day off," says labor expert Dr. Anita Chan who has been researching working conditions inside China for 15 years. "That means seven days a week, 13 hours a day." In fact, some experts see the emergence of two Chinas: one modern, wealthy and urban; the other rural, poor and disenfranchised. There is evidence that unrest among workers and peasants is growing; in 2005, there were more than 87,000 "civil disturbances" in the country.

 

 

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

The links are to a four year old documentary with a distinct anti-Communist bias.  Anything newer or less biased to offer?  Maybe something not from the American empire itself. 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

I figure if the foreign capitalists are complaining about the new laws they must be having some effect.  Oh by the way the article above is from 2007 and the Chinese introduced major labor reforms in 2008. Below is a whining article from 2011. imagine the audacity of workers representatives on boards of Directors. After all the MBA's have all the answers.  Especially troubling, from some peoples perspective, is the joint actions that workers are taking against companies with coordinated strikes.  

Quote:

Conflicts certainly seem to have risen. In older, perhaps more naive days in China, going on strike was tantamount to “interfering with a company’s financial well-being” and could be considered a criminal offense. Up until, in fact, two years ago, strikes in China were very rare. Now, these are relatively common, well-organized and specifically designed to force management’s hand – such as the parallel strikes organized at various factories of the same company to ensure production would be crippled on a national basis. This occurred despite the original dispute arising in just one location.

The use of labor tribunals and incidents of the union being called in to mediate have also risen dramatically. On one hand, it could be said that the new law is working perfectly well, and the rise merely suggests a growing awareness of workers’ rights and how naughty employers had previously been. On the other, one could argue a rise in labor disputes is unhealthy and is symptomatic of a badly designed set of regulations. As my firm deals with labor issues on occasion (we’re accountants, and money always comes into it somewhere), we’ve seen a huge rise in such cases. Often, however, the law meant to prevent abuse of workers is now being used to abuse the employers. It’s unbalanced, and in its implementation, unfair.

Cue, for example, the recent proposals to allow workers to negotiate pay rises and welfare and to provide them with seats on the board. The management of a company is (usually) qualified to be there because it has a suitable business educational background. In many instances, they may well have committed their own financial investment. Pare up then the MBA-holding manager who has to listen to a Bolshevik-styled worker rant on. The methods of communication and debate are totally different, and this can lead to breakdowns and frustrations on the parts of both. It can also lead to the dissemination of information about the company that should remain privy only to the directors and shareholders. In my view, a seat on the board has to be earned. China is about to pass laws that will provide a workers’ representative with such an office. I doubt the understanding of fiducial responsibilities have risen so far.

http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2011/03/16/chinas-labor-laws-need-a-r...

 

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I must agree that alot of the goods being produced from China are incredibly low grade.

Most products are produced by sweat shop workers earning about 25 cents an hour and some of these workers are kids.

BUT,as the old saying goes,you get what you pay for.

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Some more links to current Chinese law.  As I said it is not great yet but it is heading in the right direction.  In the meantime the US Congress is dominated by assholes that think Medicade and Social Security are entitlements that need to end.  Some of the worst abusers of Chinese mainland workers are corrupt companies from Taiwan.  

http://www.mondaq.com/x/138268/Insurance/Chinas+labour+revolution+contin...

http://www.hr-china.com/2011/07/01/the-labour-law-challenge/

http://www.financialexpress.com/news/New-Chinese-labour-law-gives-employ...

Sineed

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Thing is, football would be altogether safer if there were no helmets or shoulder pads.  Those aren't for protection. They're weapons.

I have thought that too, Tommy. People can't hit as hard if they aren't wearing all that padding. Do we see the same number of concussions in rugby?

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Sineed wrote:

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Thing is, football would be altogether safer if there were no helmets or shoulder pads.  Those aren't for protection. They're weapons.

I have thought that too, Tommy. People can't hit as hard if they aren't wearing all that padding. Do we see the same number of concussions in rugby?

I came back from an Olympic protest with bruises up and down my arms from the police.  They wear arm pads etc that are solid and when they lean into a person they are a weapon.  We stopped where they had requested and then about a half hour later they started trying to push the crowd back even though we hadn't moved forward.  It was obvious their body armour was intended to be a weapon.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

ilha formosa wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Are you posting from Taiwan, by any chance?  I thought your posting name might be a hint about that.

Yes. I've introduced myself in the introductions section. I don't consider myself a "right-wing China basher" though.

Well, your status as a Taiwanese citizen does put your insistence on pointing out that the defective helmets were made in the PRC into a somewhat different light.  Is there any reason that we should assume those helmets would automatically be of better quality were they made in Taiwan?  After all, Taiwanese-made goods, for many years after 1949, had a reputation for shoddiness.

BTW, I'm not an apologist for the PRC either(I've probably started more threads about Tienenman Square and Chinese human rights issues than any other Babbler), but it's hard to see any reason to pick out that country as an exemplar of either shoddy goods OR repression.  There are many other countries in the world that have just as much of those qualities as the PRC does(including, until the 1980's, Taiwan itself, whose "Nationalist" rulers in that period suppressed all dissent and persecuted workers who tried to form trade unions, as well as repressing the native Taiwanese and forcing them to live in an attitude ot submission to the exiles from the mainland.  So the old phrase about glass houses and stones applies in this case.

ilha formosa

I'm not a Taiwan citizen, just working here. Thanks for the debate upthread. There is a lot of middle ground between preconceived ideas of "right-wing China basher" and "left-wing China apologist."I do not intend to be an apologist for poor Taiwan practices either, yes definitely there are Taiwan businesses taking advantage of the cheap labor in China.

One thing that's readily apparent from this short thread alone: people jump to a lot of conclusions about other people based on a few comments made. I suggest talking about the ideas/evidence rather than slapping labels on others so quickly. Yes that goes for me too. (OK, so the crappy helmets, which are still flying off quite regularly, are made in Ohio.)

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

ilha formosa wrote:

I suggest talking about the ideas/evidence rather than slapping labels on others so quickly. Yes that goes for me too. (OK, so the crappy helmets, which are still flying off quite regularly, are made in Ohio.)

ilha formosa wrote:

Something seems obviously wrong with the equipment. My honest guess is it's because something is being made in China.

You started this thread with a unsupported presumption and you think we should talk about evidence and ideas?  Geez you were the start of the problem but you now want to try and claim the moral high ground?  Nice try.  By the way it took me less than a couple of minutes to find who actually made the helmets. 

So if you are serious I suggest you do some research before you start threads with nasty innuendos.

ilha formosa

Fair enough, point taken.

ilha formosa

In 7 minutes of highlights of the "Banjo Bowl" (Sask @ Wpg), 3 helmets came flying off during play. Including times when it should be on a player's head to protect it from impact with the ground (QB sack). I seriously have never seen helmets coming off like this before.

http://www.cfl.ca/video/index/id/20501?autostart=true

ilha formosa

I think it's the padding, not the chinstraps. The new padding should pretty much hurt when you first put the helmet on, and stay snug against the skull. It should last at least a season.

Just want to state for the record, I think the CFL commissioner will be liable for any serious injuries or even fatalities resulting from substandard helmets, as he would have failed to recognize this as a problem and act on it. It's happening in the NFL too (I don't watch that league but there was one photo, in the Globe and Mail of a helmet-less player in action). I have NEVER seen helmets come off like this until this season. (One more in the Touchdown Atlantic highlights.) Only a matter of time before a player pays for this oversight.

And it's insane how players are allowed to remain in play after losing a helmet.

If it's a manufacturing problem, it may go down all the levels: university, junior, high school, right to bantam. These are people's kids we're talking about.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It may also be a question of not necessarily going with the low bidder. for the helmet contract  The less you pay for a product, the less assurances you have of the quality of that product...this is pretty much universal.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I saw the thread title and just had to comment. In the final two years of public school ('62 - '64) we played touch football without helmets. I think helmets were mandated in high school the following year as tackles were the norm.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

I noticed many of the players have a new style of head covering that they are wearing under their helmets.  As I was watching BC destroy the Riders I thought about this thread and noticed the black stocking like cap many of the guys seem to be wearing.