Oct 27, 2009, 12:52 PM EDT
After a rash of collisions with players in recent weeks, the NFL could be making the unprecedented move of protecting the striped ones with headgear.
Although I don’t see how that’s really going to help much: You’ve still got 300-pound, gazelle-fast athletes trampling short, overweight men, and that’s always going to cause damage. Helmets will only make things more comical.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
On Sunday, back judge Richard Reels was injured on Percy Harvin’s 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown late in the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings. Reels was attended to by medical personnel for several minutes, but walked off the field under his own power.
Earlier this season, in a Week 2 game between the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons, umpire Garth DeFelice was knocked down four times in one game.
Ultimately, umpires could be equipped with helmets like the players they try to officiate, or they could be shifted to different areas of the field further away from danger.
If the league opted for helmets for its umpires, they could be like the ones players wear or even an ear-flap baseball helmet.
Just take a look at these.
OK, this one looks like it was on purpose.
My solution: Instead of wearing helmets, NFL refs need to spend a week or two observing rodeo clowns. If you can dodge a 1,000-pound bull, you can dodge a 280-pound linebacker.
Also, jumping into those little barrels might help.
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