TAPE (American Football)

What is TAPE (American Football)?

TAPE (American Football) meaning a mildly detrimental, pre-game, football ritual when applied to bare skin; often also used nowadays on the exterior of shoes, socks, or uniform by players who wish to set themselves apart from their teammates visually; such players accessorize applying tape to create racing stripes, spats, extra color, or other unique decorations to their “uniforms;” such decorations are generally illegal in college and pro play and are therefore strictly a school-boy affectation; adhesive tape on ankles, feet, and wrists adds weight and restricts normal movement of the joint thereby retarding athletic performance; adhesive tape on the bottoms of shoes reduces effective cleat length; tape for other than injury-support purposes is also a waste of time and money; it does not prevent injury to a healthy joint; external support is indicated only when a joint has already been injured; tape is now considered inferior to joint supports made of cloth and fasteners such as Velcro because tape stretches soon after being applied whereas the Velcro-type supports retain their original dimensions and therefore support benefits throughout the game; opposition to ritual taping is considered heresy in football circles; however, I have asked numerous trainers and orthopedic surgeon sports medicine specialists about it, including high school, NFL, and major college trainers; they all said the above analysis is correct and that they only provide taping services for healthy joints before each game because the ritual is so deeply ingrained that it would require too much political capital to fight against it; I would appreciate hearing about any scientific studies pertaining to the value, or lack thereof, of pre-game taping or otherwise externally supporting of healthy joints in football or any similar sport

 

reference: John T. Reed: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL TERMS