Last Friday afternoon I made a quick trip out to Giants Stadium, where Jints equipment director Joe Skiba wanted to show me the new Schutt XP helmets he’d gotten in. That’s the XP on right (with a Schutt Air Advantage on the left, for comparison) here and here, with an interior comparison here.
Personally, though, I don’t get so excited about new helmet models — I get excited about details. Fortunately, Joe had plenty of cool details to show me. Among them:
• Here’s a closer look at the raised, rubberized logo that appears on the nose bumper plate of the Giants’ non-Riddell helmets. (The Riddell helmets get a flat Riddell wordmark decal, but Skiba says these will be replaced by a 3-D rubberized version shortly.) Last year the “ny” was solid blue, except when the Giants wore their red alternate jerseys, when it was solid red; these year it’s blue outlined in red, and that will be reversed when the team wears its red alts.
• As you know, no company but Riddell is allowed to have its logo on an NFL helmet. The prohibition includes Oakley and Nike, who make the visors that many players wear. But Nike, true to irritating form, has found a spot where they could sneak in a swoosh: on the little clip that holds the visor in place. Not only that, but look what’s printed on the visor’s edge. Fuckers.
• See that clear plastic clip holding the lower portion of the facemask on a Riddell Revolution helmet? It’s called a side stabilizer, and as you can see, it’s usually screwed into the helmet. But Skiba showed me how Riddell has come up with a new screw-less fastening system that just snaps into place, so the stabilizer clip just pops right into position. So far, though, the Giants haven’t used this for regular game action.
• And here’s the ball the Giants and Dolphins will be using for next weekend’s game in London.
Skiba (who, incidentally, is in a very amusing state of denial about this) also introduced me to the team’s director of creative services, Doug Murphy. In addition to getting those rubberized nose bumper logos made, Doug also coordinates the team’s extensive photo archive. We agreed that I’d come back in the near future so he could show me some old pics — stay tuned.
Uni Watch News Ticker: As many of you know, Wisconsin is my favorite state. But even if you’re not a Badger State fan, you’ll still want to check out this page that David Sonny and the Rev. Nørb both alerted me to, where you can page through every Packers yearbook from 1960 through 1967. Loads of great pics and info — highly recommended. … Not truly uni-related, but still very cool (with thanks to Casey Lute). … Holy crap (blame Scott Turner). … Logo revisions aren’t just for sports teams. … Someone over on the Chris Creamer board noted that Yi Jianlian was wearing a jersey patch — presumably a 40th-anniversary mark — the other night. Not clear why Yi was wearing it but the other Bucks weren’t. … Doug Mooney found an early reference to tearaway jerseys in this Time magazine article from 1947, which includes the following: “No matter how far ahead they are, Michigan players always manage to look half undressed — their blue jerseys and yellow pants ripped and torn. [Coach Fritz] Crisler has a reason for that too: once he lost a game at Princeton when an opposing player grabbed his halfback by the sleeve and brought him down. Now Crisler uniforms his teams in flimsy zephyr cloth so rippable that [RB Tom] Harmon once used up 20 jerseys in one season.” … Also from the Time archives: This 1929 rundown of college football results, including the following: “Eight out of eleven Oregonians took off their jerseys, played with their bare arms sticking out of their pads.” … If you lost an eye while serving in Iraq, would you have your glass eye imprinted with your favorite team’s logo? Philip LaBonte did. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Nice breakdown of basketball footwear history here.