The broken clock that is Bret Bielema has brought forth news that should be applauded by all members of the football community. A recent tweet by the Arkansas Razorbacks’ head coach showed a preview of the new Riddell Speedflex helmets that his team will be donning this upcoming season.
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) March 21, 2014
I’m gonna get kinda equipment geeky here for a second, so bear with me. Riddell’s initial offering was the Revolution and Revolution Speed helmets. Looking much different than the standard smooth shells that’d been seen for years, the things were made fun of pretty often.
That was before people found out about the whole “attempt to prevent concussions” thing. These helmets evolved into the Riddell 360 version which was a serious upgrade in terms of protection.
The Speedflex is the 360 edition on steroids. Not only is there better technology to reduce trauma, software in the helmet actually shoots info back to the sideline.
What does this have to do with the Huskers? Nebraska football equipment upgrades almost instantaneously when new technology like the Speedflex comes out.
Not only that, but the University of Nebraska’s Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior (a.k.a. CB3) is working on a special project that may reduce concussion damage even further.
The idea is for a suspect player to slip on a simple cap and have a diagnosis within mere minutes about whether concussion symptoms show up. Thanks to the combination of the Speedflex helmet and the CB3’s research, a new era of concussion prevention may be ushered in.
These new introductions by Riddell couldn’t have come at a better time. The debates on whether or not parents would let their children play peewee, let alone college football have been raging for several months.
Huskers quarterback Zack Darlington is a perfect example of a player who could benefit from such science. He’s sustained multiple concussions in the past. While he feels ready to go, with any luck, we’ll know if he is with far more accuracy.
Long story short: Expect a batch of Speedflexes with white shells headed to North Stadium sometime soon.