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Helmets and Facemasks


BlueSky

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Helmets and facemasks have always interested me, from the design and appearance aspects to styles of facemasks to how different players wear them. I'll take the opportunity before continuing to recommend the outstanding helmethut.com site. Great stuff for anyone interested in headgear.

Here's some of what I'm talking about. Willie Roaf wore his helmet so high that most of his forehead showed...

roaf_willie_head.jpg

...while I sometimes wondered if Aaron Brooks could even see where he was going.

04-aaron-brooks-2.jpg

In fact, he sometimes had to lean his head back just to get a look downfield.

1647482-53dfc0f19ad02922adfaf0a0ad5e55b0.jpeg

LT started out wearing a fairly common facemask...

lt1.jpg

...but evolved into an almost Vaderesque look...

34739_600w600h.jpg

(Side note - the outline of the shoulder numbers appears to be raised. Hmm...)

Continued...

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Then there's Steven Jackson, who wears his so close it looks like the mask is an extension of his face...

StevenJackson200.jpg

We have Joe Theismann and the "no, please, not the nose" high one-bar style...

s_theismann_i.jpg

And the opposite, the geeky Scott Player "chinmask" look. Sidebar - has anyone ever looked worse in an NFL uniform?

ArizonaCardinals_player-10web.jpg

Please post your own favorites.

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Looks like LT went to Schutt's new "Bulldog" mask. Also, the reason for the raised outlines on the shoulder numbers are because Reebok went to using the kiss-cut stretch twill for the letters and numbers. That is where rather than the base color on the numeral being sewn on top of the layer making the outline, the outline is cut out and then sewn on top of the base colored layer. Also, if you look closely at this year's jerseys, and last season jerseys, you could tell that the stretch twill is not as shiny as the standard tackle twill. I'm shocked that no one else has noticed this yet.

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This might be a little out of left field, but I've always like Willie Anderson's facemask for some reason.

495385xe3.jpg

god I miss those uniforms. They actually looked like a football team (sort of) now they're just wearing tigger costumes. And that thick plastic facemask is awesome.

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Looks like LT went to Schutt's new "Bulldog" mask. Also, the reason for the raised outlines on the shoulder numbers are because Reebok went to using the kiss-cut stretch twill for the letters and numbers. That is where rather than the base color on the numeral being sewn on top of the layer making the outline, the outline is cut out and then sewn on top of the base colored layer. Also, if you look closely at this year's jerseys, and last season jerseys, you could tell that the stretch twill is not as shiny as the standard tackle twill. I'm shocked that no one else has noticed this yet.

Last years chargers jerseys were kiss-cut also. In the actual cover of this SI, you could clearly see the outlines were sewn ON TOP of the white numbers. You can't really tell on this pic of it, but this is the cover.

327344786_8668477f7b.jpg

Also, this LT helmet, which you didn't show, is by far his best. The new one will take some getting used to.

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I was thinking about trying to come-up with a helmet/facemask database, with all the different ones worn now.

Then I realized how much work it was.

It really is a lot of work - I'm working on one as an ongoing project covering every facemask seen at some point.

This is still one of the weirdest ones I've seen - Doug Williams' jaw protector facemask.

Williams_Helmet_500-350.jpg

This is a strange one too, not very keen on this one:

EA60F8D9551944368D67E0BE00BBCF32.jpg

But you can't beat a Dungard! (or two!)

williamsmask1.jpg

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I was always a fan of Thurman Thomas' facemask

thomas10.jpg

It's the kind that I wore in pop warner.

In 7th and 8th grade football are whole team wore that facemask.

Thurman did hang on to that old early-80s style Schutt facemask forever, didn't he.

One of my childhood favorites was Kenny Stabler with the Raiders - this was an odd wire mask from Dungard - it was an RB model with the upper part of the bar cut off (photo from HelmetHut). Also note the really odd Wilson helmet; Stabler also used this mask on an old-school Riddell RK:

stabler7.JPG

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Whatever happened to the Pro Cap?!

helmet_lg.jpg

I think modern helmet technology got better and rendered it useless. And they just look goofy as hell. I would rather have concussions than look like gazoo.

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Whatever happened to the Pro Cap?!

helmet_lg.jpg

I think modern helmet technology got better and rendered it useless. And they just look goofy as hell. I would rather have concussions than look like gazoo.

True about the new technology. Of course, I think these Schutt DNAs have that "Gazoo" look as well as shown in the Arrington pic from above:

EA60F8D9551944368D67E0BE00BBCF32.jpg

Edited to add: Not really in the spirit of the odd/unusual helmets, but when Brett Favre hangs them up he will be the last player to wear an old Riddell WD-1 helmet - these are pre-inflated; you don't pump them up to adjust the fit. Note the really wide rear snubber in this photo:

photo17.jpg

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