Mail-it-Friday: Why do helmets keep popping off these days?

By Sid Saraf,

We’re back! Welcome to Volume IX of Mail-it-in Friday. We’ve got some interesting emails from our readers this week, so why waste time? You guys sound off on the RG3 T-shirt, Antonio Smith’s suspension and a few other topics.

Remember, if you want your email featured here, fire off your missives to

OK, let’s get to work!


Pam Oliver works for FOX and is one of the best reporters in the business. When I saw the video of her getting hit in the face by a warmup pass last week I shouted “Oh, god no!”

But she’s fine. Pam is a tough one.

Kim wrote,

I just saw your story about the reporter who accidentally got hit in the head while on the side lines of a Colt’s football game.

I wanted to show you what happened to my sister, Rhonda Kelley when we were speed walking around our old high school track this past Monday evening, when the Salina South football team started practicing in the infield.

We were 1 lap shy of completing our 3 mile walk when I heard one of the coaches yell, ” Watch out Girl’s”! I ducked and put my hands over my head, but my twin sister Rhonda had been busy talking and didn’t hear him.

She had taken a direct hit in the face by a punted kick that was horribly off centered. The hit knocked her to the ground and the football left its X imprint on her cheek, gave her a black eye and cut her lip.

Thank goodness nothing was broken. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!

Holy schnikes! That. Is. Epic. Well, at least Pam didn’t have to deal with that. Yeesh …

John wrote,

Tell Pam if she wants me to beat him down for hitting the prettiest & toughest sideline reporter just say the word & Big John will handle it just for her.

You hear that, Pam? Big John has your back.


Texans DE Antonio Smith was suspended for the first regular-season game after ripping off Dolphins guard Richie Incognito’s helmet and swinging it at him.

Mitch wrote,

I played football for 8 years (1965 – 1972) and can’t ever remember anyone’s helmet coming off!!! Why do they “pop off all the time NOW”?

From Old-timer

I think it’s because NFL players have more hair than ever before. Back in your heyday, pro athletes were like soldiers. There were a lot of close-cropped hairdos, which actually makes the most sense because it’s so hot inside a helmet.

But look at the players we’re dealing with these days:

Then there’s this:

And this:

It’s hard to keep a helmet on if you have the equivalent of a shag carpet on your head. Since the NFL regulates everything else, they should have mandatory hair length. That will keep the things on nice and snug.

Paul wrote,

Antonio Smith has clearly demonstrated a history of unnecessary violence but it appears that it is being treated like a first offence. I could understand a little pushing and shoving but not kicking and now pulling off another players helmet and trying to hit him in the head with it. He could have killed him and then it’s too late.

This kind of idiotic violence should be dealt with a lot stricter than a one game suspension. That’s a slap on the hand.

If Antonio’s behavior continues to escalate, he will be pulling out a knife or a gun and then he’ll be suspended for 2 games.

Before long, he’ll be cell mates with Aaron Hernandez.

Speak loudly Mr. Goodell

I was with you until you exaggerated. Antonio Smith might be a lot of things, but he’s no Billy Cole:

Falakiko wrote,

Smith should be suspended for rest of season. He maybe belong to UFC.

Sir, you have the best name in recorded history. I just like saying. Try it with me: “Falakiko!” Kudos to you.

Tom & Patsy wrote,

while agreed, the NFL has become a game of girls, no player should be swinging any type of equipment at another player. really?

how childish is that?

I disagree. Girls would never act in such an infantile manner. The NFL wishes they had only girls.


A store on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Md. , is selling a shirt that combines RG3’s face and the Redskins logo. I was wondering if it was racist or not and if I was making too much of this.

Ina wrote,

I had to read what the t-sh*t represented as I do not know Robert Griffin’s face to recognize him (not a big football fan). Maybe if he were wearing his Redskins helmet/uniform otherwise it looks like a young black man and a likeness of Sitting Bull, which would make no sense. I am Native American.

You’re not a big football fan? Then how did you end up on Laces Out? Actually, don’t worry about it … thanks for reading!

A piece of advice for all of you: Take a second look at your emails before you send them. Then you won’t accidentally write T-sh*t instead of T-shirt. Spell-check doesn’t catch swear words.

And I am Indian.

Anthony wrote,

People see what they want to see

So I’m racist for wondering if it was racist? That sucks!

Timothy wrote,

It looks like the shirt is saying that RG3 is the face of the Redskins. He is only one man out of 52 others that make him look good. I don’t agree with the design, not racist but not right.

So, your issue is that RG3 is being put on a pedestal. Hmmm, OK, I’ll accept that.

Tom wrote,

You should grow a pair. How do you feel about the shirt? Stop worrying about how every one else will look at you for your thoughts. As for me it dose not offend me in the least bit. Not a Skins fan so I would never buy it however if Adrian Peterson has one sure.

Questioning my manhood, eh? I’ll have you know that I box, drive an overpriced sports car and go hunting and fishing. I’m a big, tough man!

Actually, none of those things are true. I suck. You’re right.

I should have just taken a stance. OK, fine, here it is: I don’t like the shirt. There, happy?

But Tom, I respect you for giving me some tough love. For that, you receive the Golf Clap of the Week Award:

Chuck wrote,

Take a vacation —you need help!

I know, didn’t you read what Tom said? I’m gonna take some time off and grow a pair.

Linda wrote,

I am with Patriot Nation, but if I was a Washington fan I would NEVER wear this shirt in public. In my opinion, it screams racist!

Love your site BTW

Well, aren’t you sweet! Thank you, Linda … I needed that. I was feeling pretty bad about myself after talking to Chuck and Todd. They are big meanies.


The Eagles ended their QB battle, naming Michael Vick the starter Tuesday. Right or wrong, it brought out an emotional response from you guys.

Lou wrote,

who was the starting QB at the end of last season?

This guy is a total waste, maybe because the way he followed the coach around with his arms around his neck !!!

He is the worlds worse……

Why because Jay says so???

Kelly should have stayed in college but he had to get out because of what was coming down.

good-bye Eagles

another season gone by and same thing going to show..


God, I love rambling emails. Next time, a little less coffee bro.

Martha wrote,

Have you nothing else to report and no better reporter to do it? That is truly pathetic, Fox Sports!

WTF? All I said is that the Eagles named a starting quarterback! But yes, I am pathetic. Just ask Tom.

Rick wrote,

Wow, people making these responses sure do get emotional. The story is about who the starting QB is, not their past. You (the fans) may not like Vick for a variety of reasons, but he did the time he was sentenced for & has been clean since. Philadelphia is a tough place to play and it’s tough to stay healthy @ QB, so Foles will probably get his shot this season.

Thank you, Rick. This is what I’ve said for a while. Michael Vick did a despicable thing with the whole dogfighting, served his time and is a free man. If the Eagles choose to employ him, fine. If they want to make him their starting QB, that’s also fine.

Let the guy play, just maybe don’t let him walk your dog.


This is so annoying. Every week I’m dealing with you Tebow people. Sigh, fine … I’ll publish them. But I’m gonna be a jerk about it.

Ed wrote,

The replay shows Tebow was hit and turned almost 90 degrees while in the act of throwing. I don’t care if you dislike Tebow. I don’t even care if you dislike Christians. But you should at least be intellectually honest in your criticism.

Oh, shut up.

1dannyg wrote,

Allowing this guy to write articles is a sin. He’s lazy and tipical of todays news/sports people.


Michael wrote,

Enjoy some of your stuff, but this was questionable.

First year qb’s in the New England system tend to struggle-Mallett initially looked horrible, and now looks like he might be a decent backup.

Tebow does seem to be more comfortable and frankly he’s an athletic stud-helpful in the nfl.

Enjoy your day

Since you were polite (and said you enjoy some of my stuff), you can stay. I disagree with you, but you can stay.

Carl wrote,

Why do you “sports writers” feel entitled to take cheap shots at Tim Tebow? If memory serves me correctly, I remember that he had a pretty good stay at Denver until the Broncs decided to go with Peyton.

Holy crap batboy, get a life.


Danny wrote,

Have you ever thought of the fact that Tebow has to play with second and third string players, that don’t block as well, run routes as well and just don’t have the talent of the players that Brady and Mallet were enjoying at the start of the game? Might want to be a little more level headed about your judgment.

I don’t have to be anything. Be gone!


Rosa wrote,

Glad to see Randy Moss on fox football. Luv you Randy!!!! But was that a Hatfield suit or McKoy??? jus asking

Hey, Randy knows how to dress. The man has serious style.

Michael wrote,

I could not agree more with you! preseason football games must come to an end. A teams season can come to an end for a game that does not count. Save your best players and important backups for the games that count. If they must have these

stupid games, make the practice squad boys play them. Injuries can and have made playoff teams miss the post season before.

That was well-reasoned and sound. Gracias, amigo.

Year 2013 wrote,

Chevrolet company as pick you has a lucky winner of 700,000 revert back with Name,Address,Mobile,Age.

Is that it? You sure you don’t need my social security, bank account and credit card numbers? Because I will gladly send those along as well.

As you can see, I’ve got some work to do, so that’ll do it for this week. See you next time!