This Washington Post article has a thought-provoking solution for protecting football players from brain injuries. No, it’s not more rules regarding hits and it’s not some new helmet that absorbs more impact, in fact, it’s the opposite. The article suggests that removing helmets entirely from football would result in less head injuries. The argument is based on the idea that players, when they don’t have the “protection” of a helmet, will be more mindful and cautious of their own safety. “When people think they’re made safe by using condoms at least some of the time, they actually engage in riskier sex.” Same thing occurs in football. Helmet to helmet hits while running full speed at each other; no amount of padding can reduce the impact that has on a player’s brain. Just look at rugby, a sport equal in aggression and violence, but has significantly less head impacting hits and they don’t wear a hint of pads. Not to take anything away from rugby players, those guys are the toughest of the tough, but they aren’t making the reckless hits that occur in football. Instead of focusing on improving the helmet, we need to focus on the behavior in order to make football as cognitively safe as rugby.