The Protectors

Green Bay Gold, Dallas Blue, Burnt Orange, Redskins Cardinal, Maroon, Navy, Light Columbia Blue, PinkÖ Pink? Pink football helmets? "We made them for a movie," Frank Gordon says. "Something about a womenís football team." That makes more sense. Taking a tour of the plant to learn how Walter Payton and Charlie Joiner keep their heads on straight after fierce blows to the head, the last thing anyone expects to hear is that some high school or college football team is running around in pink helmets.

Actually, one of the last things Gordon worries about is the color. If he did, it might drive him crazy. One of the 25 shades he provides, for instance, is Texas Orange. It isnít from Texas and isnít orange, but itís the distinctive color of the University of Texas Longhorns. Frank Gordon is the president of Riddell, which supplies most NFL teams and many of the nationís colleges, junior colleges, high schools, and kidsí leagues with headgear.