Midshipmen 1961
(Authentic Reproduction)



What turned out to be a transition year between stars Bellino and Roger Staubach played out well in a 7-3 campaign that included wins over Notre Dame and Army. End Greg Mather was a demon on defense, caught well, and totaled sixty-one points, forty-five of those points coming off of his kicking foot, a new NCAA record. QB Ron Klemick engineered four wins in the first five games, was injured, but returned for the Notre Dame game. He always had difficulty picking up his receivers downfield so Athletic Director Red Coward suggested that the receivers have their helmets painted bright red, just as the Navy painted the heads of their dummy torpedoes so they could be easily spotted when used for target practice. This didn't work out in practice and the idea was shelved until the Army game. Believing that Klemick would in fact have difficulty finding his receivers in a veritable sea of gold helmets, all of Navy's potential receivers entered the stadium with brightly painted burnt orange helmets and were called the "Flaming Mamies". Stitched onto the back of the white Navy jerseys was the slogan, "Beat Army" and again, Mather was the hero with four receptions, two field goals, and extra point, and a fifty-three yard punt that pinned Army on their own one yard line. Notable was the attendance of President Kennedy, the first sitting President to attend the classic since President Truman in 1952, and he stated that he "thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the game", a 13-7 Navy victory. The game set off a wild, twenty-four hour celebration at Annapolis in part because Army did not make a first down until the second half and despite the score, Navy had dominated the game.   

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