With a readership and dedicated fans that are knowledgeable and passionate, HELMET HUT has a continuous flow of input that includes questions, comments, compliments, and corrections. Our staff agrees that all is appreciated and welcomed as we attempt to bring enjoyable, interesting, and accurate information to other helmet lovers like those of us wandering the premises of our company. Our May 2, 2009 ASK DR. DEL RYE column posted a number of interesting helmet adaptations including two presented for the always popular Joe Namath.
A COMPILATION OF HELMET ADAPTATION
Unlike most quarterbacks, Joe Namath often wore what most considered to be “linemen” facemasks to achieve greater facial protection, and why not? Broadway Joe was well known for his man-about-town adventures and good looks that made the ladies swoon and perhaps early in his professional career he knew that Hollywood and the theater’s stage would be calling. Before switching to one of his better known early cage type of masks such as the bolt on 1960’s vintage “Cow Catcher” as per his 1977 Los Angeles Rams helmet (and note the tape in the corners that served as protection from the worn off rubber dip)
the beloved Joe Willie protected his visage with a mouth and teeth protector made from sponge rubber covered with vinyl plastic. For the astute observers, the white dots that appear on the Jets decal are a reflection of a bank of stadium lights.
We were seemingly brought to task by an interested and observant reader that forced the staff to go directly to a relative, one who wishes to remain anonymous, of a long time locker room employee of the New York Jets. The individual our HELMET HUT staff interviewed was fortunate enough to have worked with his older relative as a part-time employee of the Jets, assisting within the confines of the locker and equipment rooms and we at HELMET HUT were fortunate enough to receive answers about the modification shown on Namath’s helmet. Unfortunately, the answers did not serve to clear up this interesting point of discussion but we will leave it to each reader and helmet fan to come to their own conclusion First, from our reader who questioned our description of Namath’s “mouth and teeth protector”:
came across this cool photo that shows Namath is in fact sporting a special helmet fitted with "outgoing" speakers so that players can hear him in the huddle when the stadium becomes deafening. the dots on the jets decal are speaker holes, the block in the facemask is his mic, he has his index finger on the volume control, smaller rivets can be seen in the helmet that hold the small speakers in place. Inside shot of the helmet: