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Are modern football helmets any safer than old-school leather ones?

from Smithsonian Magazine

In the past century or so, football helmets have come a long way, evolving from crude "leatherheads" crafted by shoemakers to plastic-and-rubber hybrids that can be customized to fit a player's head and have radios built in. Nevertheless, the sport currently faces a serious and growing problem: brain injuries. A 2011 study found that with many types of impacts, modern helmets were no better than vintage leather ones at protecting players' heads. more

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