One of the main arguments that the author of the final section of the series, Al Saracevic, made was that the game must evolve, explaining, “I believe a move toward a more wide-open game, played with more skill, less people and less equipment, is the path to the future.”
I share the same concerns about football’s future and agree that a more open, skilled game with less equipment is ultimately the solution, so let’s take things a step further. What do proponents of drastic reform in the sport mean exactly when we say “less equipment?”
To some, it means helmets with improved designs or lighter pads, but to me, it’s about doing away with helmets and pads all together. It’s a radical proposal, but if the game is to truly evolve into a safer version of its current self, then this is one of the surest ways it could be accomplished.
Simply put, helmets and pads make an intrinsically violent sport more brutal and less safe.