‘No Evidence Jousting Causes Brain Injury,’ Claims Knight’s Mangled, Disembodied Head
'I've been jousting for years, and I've never felt better.'
Citing centuries of clinical trials and Royal Decrees on the matter, a knight’s mangled, disembodied head hath claimed there is zero evidence that jousting, meleeing, and other forms of chivalric combat lead to brain injury.
“Personally, I have taken over 100 lances to the face, and I tell thee my head is in better condition than it hath ever been,” spake Sir Lambekin of Hamwich, as he struggled clumsily to place his severed belfry back upon his shoulders. “If anything, all these lance blows hath made my skull stronger.”
Head injuries have long been a point of controversy amongst sporting fellows. Many Knights of the Realm say grievous head trauma is an essential part of the game, whilst others argue it is both possible and preferable to do sports without a large portion of the competitors dying violently.
Under fire from anti-decapitation-in-sports activists, the Royal Magistrate of Tournaments and Jousts has invested a large sum of gold into studying the matter.
“Our findings doth indicate there is no difference in brain function betwixt a knight who lost his head in a joust or melee, and a knight who was pierced through the heart with a broadsword and/or bludgeoned to death with a mace,” spake Rundhar Horseswashing. “Plus, every serious scientist knows that the brain is a useless organ, and that most important cognitive functioning occurs in the liver. If anything, we should be investing in better liver armour.”
The studies have proven controversial. Criticks have claimed the research was biased, in that the only knights who were studied were tournament victors and those who died but employed dark magick to reanimate their headless bodies afterwards. Additionally, the largest study was conducted by a necromancer whose primary source of income is in resurrecting fallen knights.
“What the fans want is a knight who can pick himself up by his cranium and get back in the fight,” spake Belchior the Crow-eyed, the Kingdom’s leading expert in sports necromancy. “Do we really want to spoil the nature of the game just because a few knights can’t afford to have their heads reattached?”
Progress towards more head-friendly jousts has been slow. Nevertheless, under pressure from the Jousters’ Guild, Horseswashing’s tournament has made significant improvements in helmet and lance technology.
“Our new Xtreme Ympact™ exploding helmet hath made great strides in preventing decapitation by instead causing the entire body to explode on impact,” spake Horseswashing. “Most knights are still hesitant about strapping a large amount of volatile explosives cursed by dark fire sorcery to their bodies, but we think they’ll eventually come around.”