We already count pitches in baseball to save arms. Is it time to track hits in football to save lives? Here’s a modest proposal: Count hits to the head in football just as we track pitches in baseball.
The concept of limiting a pitchers’ throws to prevent injury has become gospel throughout baseball, from Little League—where young pitchers must leave the game after reaching pre-set caps—to the pros, despite the fact that there is no scientific consensus about how these numbers actually preserve vulnerable arms. These counts are so entrenched that graphics on TV broadcasts keep a running tally of throws, and announcers fill air time debating how long arms can hold up. Yet in football, where brains are at stake and the science is clear, a similar debate over instituting hit counts is virtually non-existent.