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Football is widely considered the most popular sport in the United States. Much of football's intrigue stems from its violent and brutal nature. Football is essentially a series of sustained collisions on the gridiron. Therefore, injuries are commonplace in the sport. Your neck and upper spine are particularly susceptible to injury. The football neck roll can help protect these vital parts of your body.A football neck roll is a thick piece of padded foam, comprised of vinyl or nylon, which is intended to fit around the back of the shoulder pads along the jersey's neckline. The equipment is designed to be attached to shoulder pads with straps. The football neck roll provides an extra layer of protection that can stabilize your neck and head and reduce the chances of sustaining an injury during impact on the field.An ideal neck roll should be a light, yet durable, piece of equipment. The neck roll should be fastened tightly to ensure maximum safety. However, despite the need for a clenched fit, the neck roll should still be adjusted in a fashion that allows your neck to breathe comfortably. It is imperative you monitor the neck roll amid play to assure it hasn't fallen out of its proper alignment.Neck rolls are especially designed to prevent injuries like stingers and whiplash. The website for the Orthopedic Associates of Hartford PC reports a stinger is an extremely painful injury that affects nerves traveling throughout the spinal cord, arms and neck. Defensive players most commonly suffer the wound when tackling an opponent on the other side of the ball. Depending on the severity, the pain from a stinger will vary. A moderate stinger can subside in 15 minutes or less. Unfortunately a more severe stinger can linger and become a recurring ailment.Neck Rolls can be purchased in most sporting good stores and generally range in price from $10 to $100. Sportsdepot.com raves about the McDavid Cowboy Collar, considered by some to be the foremost neck roll available on the market today, and lauded because it helps to lessen shock around all sides of a helmet. Conversely, a standard neck roll strictly protects the bottom of a helmet. Sportsdepot.com is currently offering the McDavid Cowboy Collar for $50.99 as of February, 2011.