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Whatever happened to that "middle bar"-style facemask?


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Let me explain what this post is about. Once upon a time, quite a few offensive line and defensive liners in football wore a facemask that had a vertical bar going through the center.

 

However, over past 15-some years, those model facemasks seem to have gone the way of the one-bar facemask. The only person I know wearing such a facemask now is Taylor Boggs of the Arizona Cardinals, and there was one guy on the Saskatchewan Roughriders whose name escapes me that wore such a mask.

 

This makes me wonder: Why has this facemask gone largely extinct this century? I think it may be because the players want a good field of vision, I'd presume....

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I wore a helmet that had a vertical bar down the middle in 7th grade (think Herchel Walker). It doesn't really block your vision, as I saw the field perfectly and the bar more or less disappeared when I was playing.

 

I think it declined in popularity because people realized how goofy they looked. I HATED that facemask, I thought it made me look like a dumbass. 

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Because all the high profile players are QB's and Wideouts, and they have facemasks with fewer bars, so everyone wants to look like that.. As a college equipment manager, I can tell you that tv is the #1 culprit.. I have maybe 2 of 150+ players who actually request a lineman facemask.. The rest who get them, just get them because we run out of skill masks..

 

On a related note, the u-bar or "bull ring" has gone the way of the vertical bar as well.. Very few players still sport it willingly

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I believe that the NFL has banned these style of mask. I also wore a "cage" style facemask in recreation ball, middle school and high school. As stated, styles come and go. Personally, I don't like the current trend of linemen wearing smaller "skill position" facemask. I just think it looks dumb when a center or defensive tackle wears the same mask as a wide receiver!  

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On 1/8/2017 at 5:17 PM, Wandell said:

I believe that the NFL has banned these style of mask. I also wore a "cage" style facemask in recreation ball, middle school and high school. As stated, styles come and go. Personally, I don't like the current trend of linemen wearing smaller "skill position" facemask. I just think it looks dumb when a center or defensive tackle wears the same mask as a wide receiver!  

the NFL only banned "over built" custom masks. the bar is still allowed. 

Edited by Atomic
Removed derogatory language.
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  • 7 months later...
On 8/22/2017 at 0:35 AM, johnnysama said:

nfl-new-york-giants-rookie-minicamp-1f7c

Bringing this back- the guy who you saw wearing the 'nose bar' facemask @ Pitt, that's Adam Bisnowaty, who was drafted by the New York Giants and has kept that facemask. :D

His new number isn't as nice.

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On 1/8/2017 at 8:17 PM, Wandell said:

I believe that the NFL has banned these style of mask. I also wore a "cage" style facemask in recreation ball, middle school and high school. As stated, styles come and go. Personally, I don't like the current trend of linemen wearing smaller "skill position" facemask. I just think it looks dumb when a center or defensive tackle wears the same mask as a wide receiver!  

 

Current trend? You must have missed Jim Otto. He was old school but I'm pretty sure there were early cage styles available then.

 

They obviously reconditioned the helmets once before the season back then. Look at that thing!

 

jim-otto-640-x960.jpg

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I'd say Otto was an oddity. Even in his day, almost all linemen wore a full cage style facemask. Good point about today's visors doing a better job of eye protection than the middle bar style facemasks. Styles and trends do come and go. Remember in the 90's when all the linemen, linebackers and even some defensive backs wore a version of this?

 

 

 

DemarcusWare.jpg

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On 8/30/2017 at 4:31 AM, C-Squared said:

I remember getting into arguments at little loop because everybody was getting that big middle bar that we called the Thurman mask, but we were all obsessed with what we called the Deion Mask:

 

slideshow_1001810448_sanders5.jpg

 

This facemask and the standard 3 Bar are my favorite. Lots of nostalgia for the late 90's/early 2000's style.

 

nfl_g_favre14_576.jpg

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My sr year (94) all the skill position players went out and bought the Deion style and installed it themselves just because it looked cool. They all had gray masks while the team - issued ones were blue. 

 

The guys on on the lines all wanted the Haley style in some variant. I remember getting fitted for my helmet, then grabbing one out of some sophomores hands and forcing him to trade face masks because he had that style with the Loop jawn and mine was "world league" style. 

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22 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

The guys on on the lines all wanted the Haley style in some variant. I remember getting fitted for my helmet, then grabbing one out of some sophomores hands and forcing him to trade face masks because he had that style with the Loop jawn and mine was "world league" style. 

 

Marrone5.jpg

 

This one?

 

I remember some NFL players using this one, but I wonder why this mask was used primarily in the World League?

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