Toronto Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ took a line drive to the face on Tuesday, prompting discussion on baseball pitchers potentially wearing helmets. Our own Rick Chandler did a lengthy investigation on pitchers being hit in the head, and he supports helmet-wearing pitchers. Then, last night, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser took a hard one-timer to the face, leaving a trail of bloody ice. And I don’t mean “Bloody ice!” like an Englishman who just tripped on ice, I mean blood-stained ice.
So, as Jimmy Three-Sports-Loving American, I must ask: why is hockey allowed to exist, and required that it does… why don’t these guys wear helmets?
Oh, they do?
I kid, I kid. But seriously, ~73% of NHL players wear visors, and that number is too low. The NHL is considering making them mandatory, and whether that happens or not, it seems clear that the minority’s priorities for comfort or vision or perceived BIG, MEATY BALLS are not nearly enough to outweigh the potential of being hit in the face with a dense rubber disk traveling faster than most speed limits (except in the Midwest — you can drive like 130 mph on Michigan highways).
Seriously, we hope Mark Fraser is OK, and we hope that the puck reassembled the logic section of his brain, and that he begins to wear a visor.