• Only four- or five-star rated helmets should be permitted. Some of the safest helmets are prohibitively expensive for public high school districts, but the four-star, $149 Rawlings Impulse is not. Only double-sided or Type III (individually fitted) mouth guards should be permitted. Double-sided mouth guards are the most cost-effective way to protect against concussions. Many players won't wear them because they look geeky. If everyone was wearing them, this would not matter.
A more general reform is needed, too. Football has become too much of a good thing. Tony Dungy told me for "The King of Sports," "If I could change one aspect of football, it would be that we need more time away for the game, as players and as a society. Young boys and teens should not be doing football year-round. For society, it's great that Americans love football. But now with the internet, mock drafts, fantasy leagues and recruiting mania year-round, with colleges and high school playing more games and the NFL talking about an even longer schedule -- we need time off, away from the game." We need less of everything about football.
In fashion news, the Broncos are the home team of record for the Super Bowl. The only significance is the home team of record chooses whether to wear colors or whites. Denver chose to wear orange. Denver has worn orange jerseys in the Super Bowl three times, and lost all three. The Broncos won the Super Bowl the time they wore blue, and are 1-1 in their whites. Surely Broncos execs choosing jerseys for New Jersey thought, "Superstition is ridiculous." Woe unto disbelievers!
Want to impress your friends while watching the game? If either the Broncos or Seahawks score on a pick-six, immediately announce they will win. Teams returning an interception for a touchdown are 11-0 in the Super Bowl. And see below for TMQ's Super Bowl pick.
Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-QB Non-RB MVP: Previous winners: Alan Faneca, Steelers, 2001; Lincoln Kennedy, Raiders, 2002; Damien Woody, Patriots, 2003; Troy Brown, Patriots, 2004; Walter Jones, Seahawks, 2005; Jeff Saturday, Colts, 2006; Matt Light, Patriots, 2007; James Harrison, Steelers, 2008; Dallas Clark, Colts, 2009; Dan Koppen, Patriots, 2010; David Diehl, Giants, 2012; NaVorro Bowman, 49ers, 2013. This year's candidates:
Doug Baldwin, Seattle: A wide receiver may not seem the choice for a team that does not throw the ball well. Baldwin has played an integral part in the Hawks' success, with catches and with downfield blocking. Because Seattle doesn't throw much, avoiding drops is essential in the Bluish Men Group offense. Baldwin was thrown to 73 times during the regular season and had just three catchable-ball drops. That 4 percent drops number is quite low -- Wes Welker dropped 7 percent of the catchable passes thrown to him in the regular season. Baldwin has never dropped a pass in a postseason game -- of course writing that sentence guarantees a drop for him in the Super Bowl. Bonus factor: Baldwin was undrafted out of Stanford, and TMQ loves undrafted players.