"PLAIN IN APPEARANCE ONLY"
HELMET HUT NEWS/REFLECTIONS February 2013:
PLAIN IN APPEARANCE ONLY
By Dr. Ken
Whenever I write one of the monthly Helmet News/Reflections columns for the HELMET HUT site, I make the assumption that those who take the time to read the article have a strong interest not only in football, but in team uniforms and of course, helmets. My wife and daughter intermittently but frequently remind me that there can’t be as many self-admitted “helmet nuts” walking the streets as they believe me to be, but if there is a point of focus for those of us of similar ilk, it would be HELMET HUT. I also assume that many if not most readers have a helmet, and perhaps more than one helmet, in their collection of football “stuff.” I personally do not see what I have accumulated as memorabilia so I don’t use that term though some collect specifically to enhance a collection, or add monetary value to a collection of football related items specifically for the purpose of having items of material value. In my house, that explanation would at least be acceptable and understandable. My personal collection is built upon memories that the items stimulate, all pieces of a personal history that remind me of specific events, games, periods of time or place. With a lot of helmets, it equates to a lot of memories but “each to their own” and I never question the motivation that one might have for saving, purchasing, or collecting anything. Believe me, I get it!
Because my collection is in the truest sense of the word, “mine,” others cannot fathom the “rhyme or reason” in the display when viewing the helmets that line the wall of our office/rehabilitation facility. Certainly it makes sense to me only because of the deeply personal sense of the collection and the manner in which it is arranged and I will at regular intervals, rearrange the two hundred- plus helmets for a multitude of reasons. Some don’t always easily accept that one grouping might be based upon a specific collegiate conference “from 1965” or that the many game worn professional league helmets are from patients who have played in various leagues leading to a mixture of NFL, AFL, my beloved WFL, CFL, WLAF, and Arena League for example. A grudge that I harbor for some specific teams or colleges, usually based upon a relationship that one of my sons or I have had with that institution or franchise, might eliminate their individual helmets from my collection. This causes more confusion and requires explanation for those who view or attempt to view the shelves with a sense of logic. Thus, one can say that if nothing else, the helmets, their arrangement, and the exacting nature of the choice of helmets is quite personal.
Young or old, contemporary who played during the same period of time I did or a current high school student, one observation does seem to be prevalent; “How come many of the helmets are so plain?”