Dale Hackbart




Add Dale Hackbart to the growing list of former players who have turned to Helmet Hut to complete their personal helmet collection. Over a career that spanned 14 years Dale kept his actual game worn helmets from only the last three teams (Vikings, Cardinals and Broncos) that he played for. Dale was "overwhelmed" when he received authentic "Helmet Hut" reproduction helmets that reflected the first three teams (University of Wisconsin, Packers and Redskins) that he played for. Much like a retired salesman reflecting upon a stack of his old business cards from his former contacts and employers each of these helmets will forever provide special memories for Dale.     
Before switching to defensive back in the NFL Dale was an outstanding college quarterback at the University of Wisconsin. Noted for his strong passing arm he finished seventh in the 1959 Heisman trophy voting (won by Billy Cannon from LSU) and he led the Badgers to a Rose Bowl appearance against Washington in 1960. He was the first round pick of the Minnesota franchise in the very first AFL draft held prior to the league's inaugural 1960 season. He was also drafted that same year by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the NFL draft. He turned down a contract offer from Minnesota when they refused to give him a signing bonus and instead started his pro career with the Packers. Shortly after the AFL draft the Minnesota ownership group renounced their AFL franchise rights and accepted an offer to join the established NFL in 1961 as an NFL expansion team.  Ironically, even though Dale was the first ever draft choice of the Vikings he did not play for them until they acquired him from the Redskins in a trade prior to the 1966 season.
On the field he was known for his reckless behavior, sharp knuckles and forearm chops.  He would no sooner "back off" from completing a tackle while crossing the out of bounds line than a New York City cabbie would yield to a yellow light.  As reflected in the accompanying picture and just as any true Viking fan would admirably predict, more than thirty years after his football retirement Dale, much like an old western gunfighter, still reveals no more than a small hint of a smile. Dale stands proudly, still in fighting trim, before these glorious reminders of his athletic career.
Helmet Hut is honored to help Dale complete the missing pieces in his collection -- we are pretty sure that he is hiding, albeit unintentionally, a genuine wide smile behind that tough exterior comportment.