Football is, without a doubt, one of the most grueling and physical of all the major sports played in America. Players are known to break fingers, toes and various other body parts and continue playing. However, they also do their best to cover all extremities that could get hurt during a football game, and the following are reasons why a cup can help or hinder you in the game of football.
The cup is designed to completely protect the groin area from any blow that may come its way whether from a leg, arm or shoulder pads. Without a cup, a shot to the testicles could cause at least extreme pain and agony, and you could even land in the hospital. It is not a requirement by any league to wear a cup unless you have a special groin condition, and then the league may step in and ask for one to be worn.
During game time, receiving a shot to the groin area is very likely because so many people are on the field and bodies are flying everywhere. Cups are designed to sustain all of the impact when hit so that your groin will feel nothing or very little. This is without a doubt the biggest issue in considering whether a cup is right for you.
A recent article on ESPN.com titled "When Did Cups Become Uncool" highlighted the Philadelphia Eagles and their distaste for wearing cups. The author, David Fleming, was taking a tour of the Eagles' training facility and speaking to players when he noticed that all of the cups ordered for the team were sitting on a shelf unused. When Fleming asked the team members about this, they said that cups were restrictive and wouldn't allow a player to move around as quickly because a cup blocks full leg movement. Eagles running back Brian Westbrook continued the conversation, saying that he has been hit in the groin only once or twice in his career.
Taking into account the restrictiveness of the cup for leg functionality, a player would be more effective at his position if he didn't wear a cup. But protecting yourself involves more than simply putting gear on and hoping that it will work. With any sport, especially football, you must be aware of your surroundings and what is going on so that you can assess risk. If you are not aware of a lineman coming at you, the consequences will be bad no matter how much protective gear you are wearing. Having a sense of what is going on can protect you to the point where you could play without a cup, as you will be aware of anything that could be coming at you. It is especially easy to spot potential threats to your groin because they happen in front of you.
There are many reasons why football players should wear cups, but at the same time, there are also many reasons why they aren't really required. But each person's body is different and requires different protection. If you are trying to decide whether to wear a cup and others are trying to influence your decision, listen to yourself concerning whether you need a cup because it is your body to take care of and your body if it gets hurt, so inform yourself and make your own decision.
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