Dear Dr. Del Rye:
I am a great fan of Kansas football and basketball and have followed both for decades. You would be surprised how wonderful Kansas fans are as like many rural based states, we have always been supportive of our high school and college athletic programs. One of the strange things that always stuck in my mind came during my favorite time of Kansas football, the period that included the Riggins teams and immediately thereafter as it was at the same time of my junior and senior high school activities. Jayhawk quarterback David Jaynes always wore a helmet that was different from the rest of the team because he never had the decals on them. Was there a reason for this other than to allow the quarterback to stand out, perhaps for publicity reasons? Thanks and as good as your Kansas State summaries were, I would of course much prefer the same for my Jayhawks. Once again, thank you.
Jacob V., Lawrence, KS
Coincidentally, there are members of the Helmet Hut staff that are partial to Kansas football despite their trials of the recent past. David Jaynes of course is a legend among the Jayhawks faithful having been born in Kansas City and raised in Bonner Springs. He was an All American in 1973 and set new KU passing records with 5,132 yards and touchdowns thrown among others. He was fourth in the Heisman Trophy vote and took Kansas to a 7-4-1 season and a trip to the Liberty Bowl against North Carolina State. Though he was the inaugural draft choice of the fledging World Football League, Jaynes went to the hometown Chiefs as their 1974 third round draft pick and appeared in two games for them, the sum of his NFL career. What was not widely known, was that at Bonner Springs High School, Jaynes suffered a concussion that was significant enough to require extra head protection when he arrived at Kansas University. The team was outfitted that season in clear shell helmets and as most Helmet Hut readers know, the Jayhawk decal was applied on the inside of the clear plastic shell by the factory, before delivery to the team equipment staff. Jaynes however was outfitted with a new Riddell PAC helmet as it was believed this would provide better head protection than the other helmets. As the equipment staff did not have the decals in their own inventory, Jaynes played through the entire 1973 season with a plain blue helmet shell, absent of any KU logo.
Thus it was not to bring more attention to his performances which were certainly outstanding on their own but rather, the lack of any matching decals in the athletic department plant that brought about this interesting helmet anomaly. It could also be mentioned that Jaynes received some notoriety when he married the widow of famous actor, Cary Grant. Thank you for your interest.
Dr. Del Rye