After hearing it was fantastic, I started watching Friday Night Lights--and the recommendations were right. I have little interest in American football and the show still sucked me right in.
Watching anything to do with American football, whether real or fiction, you quickly realize that the specter of permanent, career-ending injury hovers over every player, from high school to the pros. After doing a little research, I found that paradoxically, it seems the improvement of football padding design has actually increased the amount and severity of injuries; when players are armored up and feeling secure, they have a tendency to hurl themselves into other players with much greater velocity and ferocity than they would if they were playing, say, unprotected rugby.
I then started looking into the design of American football protective gear. While I haven't yet found anyone directly addressing the problem of how more padding can lead to more injuries, I was extremely impressed at the interface design of Nike's "Prepare for Combat" section of their football-gear website, where they sell the unabashedly macho "Nike Pro Combat" line of protective undergarments.
It starts off with a videogame-like overhead shot of a line of scrimmage, and you mouse over each position to select the one you play, thus determining your gear options.
Subsequent screens have you select the climate you play/train in, your preferred style of play, and how you like your gear to fit, all of which further tailor your options. Injury questions aside, it's a pretty good example of how to present a thick and potentially confusing product line in a fun and empowering way. Check it out for yourself here.
If anyone reading this works in the field of protective gear design and has any inside information on the subject, please do contact me at (rain) -at- [core77] -dot- com, as I'd love to learn more about the subject.