We’ve gone from a country obsessed with football (well, okay, we’re still that) to a place where parents are leery of letting their kids play in the pee-wee leagues. The reason? Fear of the brain damage that accrues after years of getting conked in the head.

Football fans out there should stay tuned, however; some of the research about the aftereffects of that you’ll surely see in the coming years will be thanks to our very own hometown team. No, not the Ravens (may their helmets stay on and their luck reverse!), but the Kennedy Krieger Institute, which just got a promise of $2 million for is work on youth concussions, brain trauma, and recover. The donor? Why, none other than the NFL, which is funding eight such research projects nationwide.

Now, is this an act of good faith and an attempt to make the sport safer, or a craven attempt for a brutal sport to get better PR? Oh, probably a bit of both.