I really don’t know where to begin with this story, so I will start at here.
I love football. I have always loved the game of football. I became a fan of football in 1974 watching Chuck Foreman running for the Minnesota Vikings. I later became a fan of the Dallas Cowboys because of Tony Dorset and Robert new house.
My 1st son was born in 1999. My 2nd son was born in 2001. I had hoped that 1 day they would enjoy playing the game of football as I did as a young kid. Bing a fan of the game for nearly 40 years I was well aware of all of the injuries that were possible playing the game. The 2 that stuck out to me the most were torn acl and concussions.
As a father of 2 young boys I began to become concerned about the safety of football. I wondered if the sports leagues are football from the youth leagues through high school and college were doing enough to ensure safety of the players. This was around 2002.
In anticipation of my children playing I began to study the equipment. I focused on the helmets but I looked at everything from the helmets and shoulder pads to gloves, pants, cleats, everything.
Not being satisfied with the current state of helmet design back in the early 2000s I decided to design my own helmet. I took the then current designs from Shuttle, Bike, Nike and Ridell and started to study those. I searched online and found some independent designers with some early designs of their own from the eighties to study as well. From there I developed my own ideas of what a newer generation safer helmet would look like and one that would eliminate concussions and neck injuries from the game.
I contacted Ridell and I actually got as far as their product development representative but I could not get them to give me a meeting. I also contacted Under Armour as they were from my home state. By the year 2007 it was clear that my children were not going to play the game of football beyond youth leagues so I gave up my quest to try to design a safer football helmet.
A few years sometime between 2010 and 2015 there was a company that came out with the helmet called the X1. I studied that helmet and was encouraged to see that they were headed in the right direction and I tried to rekindle my own interest. However life’s demands took my attention elsewhere and so I no longer focused on trying to design a football helmet.
Fast forward to the year 2021. On a Sunday afternoon I take a ride out on my motorcycle. When I return it’s about 6:40 in the evening. As I walk into my bedroom the television is already turned on and there’s a new segment which I think is on NBC with an anchor person named Kate snow. Lo and behold Kate snow is doing an interview with Mr. Jeff Miller of the NFL and they’re talking about helmet safety. In the segment Jeff Miller is describing a program which started I think he said 5 years ago where the NFL contacted engineers across the nation to get input as to how to design a safer football helmet. I was shocked and stunned and probably a little hurt. I had been looking for an opportunity such as this for a long time but not having an engineering background I don’t know if I would have been included but certainly would like the opportunity to share my design of a football helmet with the NFL, NCAA, the high school coaches football coaches association, anyone who would listen because I certainly believe that my design has some benefit and value.
The program or the initiative that Mr. Jeff Miller of the NFL put together basically chose 3 winners from the group of engineers and those 3 winners would get an opportunity to work on designing the new football helmet. Each of those 3 winners would receive $500000 to assist in designing the helmet and I think that’s a great idea for the NFL. I studied the helmets of the 3 winners and I saw the designs and they are extremely encouraging. As a matter of fact one of the helmets had a very very similar to design idea I had come up with almost 20 years ago. This got me thinking that maybe I was on the right track and that I should rekindle my idea and restart the process of trying to design my own helmet.
To that point I am going to reach out to anyone who will listen to just give me an opportunity to share my design ideas with them about how to design not only a safer football helmet but football equipment across-the-board. I have ideas and designs for shoulder pads, for rib pads, elbow pads, gloves and hand protection, football pants, socks and cleets. All I ask is for anyone, someone please just give me an opportunity to share my design. The 3 new designs are very encouraging but they still don’t offer the level of protection and security that the design that I have come up with will. According to my research the helmets that the 3 current winners of Mr. Jeff Miller’s program are probably about 20 years behind what we can actually come up with using modern technology, modern equipment and manufacturing processes to build the safest helmet possible for today’s athletes and beyond.