Denver Broncos

1960s Jerry Inman
(Game Worn)



It Must Be Time For A Husky

We are right in the middle of a new season and perhaps it's time to reflect. As we currently watch young quarterbacks dominate the game (remember when they used to spend the first four years on the bench just learning?), playing in beautiful new "football only" stadiums (gosh, it seems like the original Three Rivers Stadium was just opened a few years ago) and wearing dark pants coupled with dark jerseys (better left to Texas high school football) we ponder where is the game that we grew up with? 
The young Turks of the NFL boast about the "total" experience associated with today's game but somehow many of the best parts got left behind. The distinctive smell of hot dogs and only hot dogs cooking on rotating broilers under the stands has been replaced by a multitude of overlapping odors more associated with the food court at your generic neighborhood mall. Forget about participating in the exhilarating and seemingly life threatening "battle royal" to catch (and keep) a kicked extra point ball -- now it just hits a net. The unique "Honolulu" blue Detroit Lion jerseys were truly "Honolulu" blue (whatever that meant) but certainly not the more standard (light) royal blue hue that is used today. Game day souvenirs were limited to hard to find elsewhere, pennants, bobble heads and team yearbooks. At today's team shops you can purchase a full line of clothing and headgear that could be more useful for an expedition to Mt. Everest than to show your team loyalty. In those old days if you waited 15 minutes after the game for the cops and ushers to leave you could actually run onto the field, survey the bench area for souvenirs of spent medical tape and charge into the goalpost with the same gusto that Mr. Butkus exhibited while approaching a frightened running back just an hour before. Please do not attempt any of this today (especially when the government has elevated the warning alert color code or whatever it's called). Remember back when the grass sod that was planted to cover the baseball infield never quite took hold and added an interesting element to the game? Today a thin mist of pulverized recycled automobile tires, serving as padding for the artificial turf, permeates the air as a player hits the surface. Well, we could go on (and probably will in the future) but lets focus on when the game exuded character.  
What could be better to help refresh those glorious memories of pro football's character era than an original AFL Riddell 7 3/4"husky  with a Dungard full cage? Our featured helmet is a Denver Bronco helmet worn by Jerry Inman who was a steady defensive lineman for the team from 1966 until 1973. In college at Oregon Jerry was voted the team's most improved player and he continued to progress through a fine professional career that ended after playing for the WFL Portland Thunder. This helmet features the classic "reddish orange" striping and decal detail that the team used until converting to true orange in the late 1970s. The distinctive "fancy" type font, white die cut 1.5" player numerals are still in good condition at the rear of the helmet. This helmet was originally worn by someone other than Jerry as evidenced by the extra face mask holes previously drilled to accommodate a "BD-9" two bar plastic face mask. The original upper case "Riddell" trademark has been re-stamped at the rear of the helmet indicating that the helmet was reconditioned at the Riddell factory. As part of the reconditioning process the original gray snubber, gray rivet bumpers and brown leather sweat band have been replaced by corresponding white colored parts as Riddell changed the color of these parts for all of their helmets starting around 1970. Jerry still lives on the west coast  with his family and is still active in the community and church.   He keeps in touch with his line mates from the 60s and early 70s including Rich Jackson, Pete Duranko and Dave Costa."
The new stadiums may be more comfortable. Rather than having to fight though the legendary Steeler crowd at the original "Primanti Brothers" deli/bar in downtown Pittsburgh you can now order their famous sandwich (layers of fries, coleslaw and your choice of deli meat all stacked between slices of Italian bread) right at the game. But we will never trade comfort for those unforgettable special memories associated with the "inconveniences" of the old days. Pardon us, but compared to the character laden memory of the fabled Riddell "husky" suspension helmet a modern era, high tech, four point inflatable helmet is just full of hot air.