Years ago when my hubby played football in high school, the protective pads and equipment were pretty primitive. In recent years, the equipment has gotten much better. The helmets in particular have been greatly improved to protect against concussion. Recently, knee braces have become standard equipment to protect against one of the more common injuries to the knee. Fortunately, my hubby did not suffer any permanent injuries from his playing days because knee injuries in particular can cause a lot of problems as people get older.