The video clip from ESPN Sport Science focuses on concussions in football, especially the physics of head-to-head collisions. The clip begins by detailing the number of concussions that occur in football every year – 100,000 – but quickly centers on the science of what happens in the NFL. The key moment? When the announcer declares a collision to be the "equivalent of getting smashed in the head with a sledgehammer."
When it comes to the media coverage of concussions and head trauma within sports, the great majority has focused on professional athletes. The value of this type of story is that it brings greater exposure to the issue, which has led to improved medical protocols and equipment for athletes. The negative is that the coverage isn’t actually focused on the people who play the most. Last year, there were approximately 1,700 men who played professional football. That number pales in comparison to how many young men play college football, high school football, and in leagues for younger players, most notably Pop Warner. All together, these leagues add up to millions of young football players between the ages of 6-18.
Young players have neither the body mass nor the speed of professional players and the physics involved are not as severe as that shown in the clip. But while the collisions are not as brutal, the accumulated impact of them can be devastating. Dr. Ann McKee of the Sports Legacy Institute at Boston University argues that players experience thousands of sub-concussive hits during a season and that the frequency and the accumulation of these mild repetitive injuries are what pose the biggest risk. The danger is obviously great for pros, but it is also substantial for players at all levels. Sub-concussive hits are tantamount to what happens during a low-speed vehicular accident. Each individual one might not be the equivalent of getting smashed in the head with a sledgehammer, but they certainly add up. Changes in how the game is played need to occur that will benefit the greatest amount of players of the game, not just the paid ones.
 Tim Cronin, "Doctor: Football Must Change Rules to Protect Players," Chicago Sun-Times, May 16, 2011: http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/5329586-419/doctor-football-must-change-rules-to-protect-players.html