Louisiana State University

  LSU and Helmet Hut

(Or how the long road to a national championship took a short detour though your
 friendly little website.)

This is true story that is being retold especially for those who can remember suspension helmets, plain black cleats, Billy Cannon, and Archie more so than Peyton or Eli Manning.  Hopefully they will also remember the drag out, black and blue type games played between LSU and Mississippi in a beloved past era of famous college football rivalries.
There was something strange in the air early in the week prior to this years LSU and Mississippi game. An unusual wind that blew not from the north or south but from somewhere in the distant past permeated both team's practice fields. Sure this was going to be a special game -- both teams recently being restored to near their glorious past status, LSU climbing to the top of the national rankings and OLE Miss, led by Heisman hopeful Eli Manning, But there were unusual signs that this contest would be different from the modern era, high scoring shootout that both teams had been accustomed to.
Donnie Jones the LSU punter and team's resident spirit booster was the first to comprehend the subtle message being conveyed by this unfamiliar breeze. The gods of the LSU -- Mississippi rivalry were talking and Donnie could hear their following pronouncement while watching the early week offensive and defensive drills from his place on the sidelines:
"Saturday's game would be played in 1960s mode." "Forget about the contemporary high powered offensive contest where the last team to have the ball would score the winning touchdown." "This game would be about blocking and tackling, a smack in the mouth whenever possible and no backing down from a physical challenge." "Any small lead was to be protected in the spirit of the legendary 1959 contest which was won by a late touchdown on the famous punt return by that years Heisman trophy winner Billy Cannon."  
After Tuesdays practice Donnie franticly sought out trusted friend and LSU head trainer Jack Marucci to reveal his mystic type experience and ask for Jack's usual sound advice. Donnie anxiously queried his friend -- "what could we do to help prepare the team for the unexpected "blood and guts" battle that was destined to take place on Saturday?"
Donnie and Jack immediately researched pictures depicting the history of this storied rivalry. Their ensuing plan was to locate a vintage 1960s style one bar face mask and attach it to Donnie's regular helmet for Thursday's practice before the game. As the team's resident spirit booster Donnie led the team in calisthenics at the start of practice every Thursday during the season. During these sessions he would introduce a theme pertinent to that weeks game that would hopefully help inspire the team to victory. The weekly ritual had turned into a highly anticipated and motivational event.
This week Donnie would line up in front of the entire squad but keep his backside facing his teammates prior to starting the notorious warm-up session. At the peak of the team's ravaging curiosity he would turn towards the troops in a dramatic fashion to unveil the antique piece of equipment from ancient battles past and start the emotionally charged session. The minimum protection face mask would effectively reflect the courage and rough playing style of past eras and help Donnie alert his teammates to the old style battle that the gods insured would take place.
Jack and Donnie were quite proud of their ingenious plan. But where does one find such a rare and discontinued face mask at moments notice? In what appeared to be somewhat of an ironic solution Jack determined that the only way to procure such an ancient piece of equipment was though a website search on the team's new high speed computer. Just as red keeps turning up for a desperate roulette player betting black the computer search kept pointing at a website named Helmet Hut.com.
Jack quickly summarized their predicament and desperately sent it via an email to the suggested website. Indeed, the roulette wheel does occasionally stop on black and Jack and Donnie hit the jackpot this time. Not wishing to disturb the gods of the LSU -- Mississippi rivalry Helmet Hut.com would not only send Jack and Donnie a rare one bar face mask but they would provide them with a completely restored 1960s style suspension helmet complete with contemporary LSU team logos. 
Donnie's subsequent impact at Thursday's practice was of legendary proportion. Even the coaches were emotionally moved. Most importantly he was properly outfitted to effectively warn his excited teammates of the old style blood and guts battle that was sure to happen on Saturday.
The now fabled helmet was added to the traveling squad and hand carried like a precious secret weapon to Oxford. Each player ceremonially touched the helmet as they departed the visiting team's locker room on the way to battle. An extra dose of confidence seemed to arc through each player as they touched the special headgear. The helmet further accompanied the team from the locker room to the playing field and was positioned next to the LSU bench much like a beacon ready to convey signals from above and beyond.
What a game! Low scoring, turnovers, close score, blood and guts -- just as the gods commanded. For most in attendance the outcome was in doubt until the final series. There was no such doubt in the minds of the winning LSU squad. With a little extra help from a friendly little website and a punter who would not ignore a message in the air they were well prepared for that special Saturday. 
Today a full set of LSU helmets, spanning each era, (restored and provided by Helmet Hut.com) is proudly displayed on the credenza behind the desk of LSU's head coach Nick Saban. After viewing this setting an uninformed visitor might assume that the renowned coach is simply a LSU football helmet historian buff.  The inside story is that the OLE coach is just making sure he is well stocked for future LSU -- OLE MISS game preparation needs.

If interested in any of these LSU helmets please click on the photos below.