Riddell is testing out design innovations and racing its competitors to build a safer helmet.

Source: Chicago Tribune

With youth participation waning and football facing increased concerns over head trauma, the future of the game could well come down to the work being done in a windowless room in a generic suburban Chicago office building.

That’s where Riddell, the nation’s largest football equipment manufacturer, is testing out design innovations and racing its competitors to build a safer helmet.

From “Friday Night Lights” to the Super Bowl, football remains the quintessential American sport, with millions of participants and fans. But scientific evidence linking concussions and less-severe head injuries in football players to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease, has accelerated the once sleepy science of helmet technology into a gridiron moonshot.

About the author

Dan Guttenplan