Dear loyal readers, 

As this year’s Super Bowl draws near we have decided to start a season ending special column. We have deviated from our normal question and answer format for this installment to present Dr. Del Rye’s first annual “Helmet Follies.”  

Please enjoy these vintage helmet rarities which sadly have become virtually extinct in the current era due to the strict enforcement of uniform and equipment rules by the emperors of college and professional football. We invite you to suggest your own captions and to share with us any similar helmet oddities that we can use for “Helmet Follies II”. – Dr. Del Rye


(1) This must have been Doug William’s solution to being blindsided so many times when he played for the Buccaneers – “dual cages.”

 (2) With a history of deep pocketed owners like the Hilton family you would think the Chargers could afford to occasionally replace helmet numerals for a star like Lance Alworth.

(3) Someone should have told Garo Yepremian that players of his vintage were “grandfathered” or allowed to still wear the conventional style one bar facemask style late in their careers.

 (4) Jim Otto was beloved for his “old school” style but did he overdo the vintage riveted look for this helmet?

 (5) The Ford family would never allow the shiny stainless steel bumpers of their new cars to leave the assembly line with paint overspray from the car body (would they?) but they didn’t seem to demand the same level of quality for their football team’s facemasks.

 (6) When John Riggins played for the Jets was he promoting his level of effort on his helmet sticker or the proof of his favorite cocktail? 

(7) Sorry to all you Joe Namath fans but it appears that Y.A. Tittle was the first New York quarterback to wear an arched helmet logo.   

(8) The Raiders famed motto “Commitment to Excellence” must have started sometime after this game in which their helmet number font styles did not match. 

(9) Either Keith Lincoln put his helmet on backwards or the equipment manager reversed his lighting bolts by mistake. 

(10)  Can you imagine the NCAA allowing a player today to customize his own helmet logo like this Michigan State Spartan did in 1966 to taunt his team’s arch rival Notre Dame?