In this brave new economy of ours (you know, the one where they privatize the profits and socialize the debt), we’re all gonna have to fend for ourselves a bit more. That’s why I was so happy to get a note the other day from reader Chris Markham (that’s him at right), who informed me of an interesting do-it-yourself project he’d recently undertaken. I hereby surrender the podium to him:
One day back in 2004, I was randomly perusing through a Spencer’s store, when I saw this beer helmet for sale. It was nothing grand, just a simple blue and black helmet with some holders on the sides for a recommended beverage (oops!). After a couple of minutes pondering what I could really do with it, I decided to buy it and, since I’m a lifelong Bills fan, turn it into a Bills helmet. I was very happy with the results and bring it tailgating with me to every game I attend.
A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be in Spencer’s again and saw the same blank helmet. Now that the Bills have their oh-so-beautiful throwbacks, I decided to make another one and document the process.
First I used painter’s tape to tape up the pads on the inside, as well as the silver “snaps” on the outside. Then I bought white plastic spray paint and painted the entire helmet white. It took a couple coats to completely wash away the black and blue.
Next, I bought some acrylic black and white paint and mixed them to get the right shade of gray. Then I carefully painted the facemask (yes, on my dryer).
I was able to find Bills throwback decals on eBay and applied them to the helmet underneath the beverage holder. I was unable to find helmet stripes on eBay, though, so I ended up buying the stripes from this site. Happily, there was no minimum order.
After applying the stripes, I used some white striping to create a the blank neck bumper (one thing I love about the Bills throwback helmets, is that there’s no mumbo-jumbo on the back). Then quick poke through the top of the helmet for the straws and it’s ready for action!
I decided not to add a nose bumper decal for a two reasons: 1) I tried a blank one and it looks better without it, and 2) I couldn’t find one that said “Riddell” on it.
It was a pretty simple and fun process, costing only $40 or so create. When not in use, the throwback design looks great on display next to the regular helmet, and I can be assured of being the best-looking guy drinking out of a straw this Sunday. Go Bills!
Great stuff. I think I speak for everyone here when I say we have nothing to fear from the nation’s recent financial meltdown as long as home-grown ingenuity like this is on display. Show me a Malaysian who can turn out this kind of workmanship for 10¢ an hour and I’ll show you an NFL team that’s arranged to play some of its “home” games in a foreign country (oops). Let’s hope the Canadian customs officials don’t confiscate Chris’s specialized headwear when he goes to Toronto for the Bills/Dolphins game later this season.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Three good baseball card finds from Andy Chalifour: Charlie Hayes during his cleaer-facemask phase (I’ve run a shot of this mask before, but this photo is much better), Curt Flood with his name spelled out on the fingers of his glove, and a hilariously lazy attempt to make Oscar Gamble not look like a Phillie. … Ryder Cup observations from Chris Burris: Ben Curtis has the American flag on his shoes; all the Americans had mesh-ventilated caps, except for Phil Mickelson; the Americans’ bags look like this; and the Golf Channel’s Alex Miceli has some interesting ideas about how to dress. … Got a note from Matt Mitchell with “i blame you” in the subject line. Text read as follows: “Whenever I see something like this, my first thought is ‘Hey — TV numbers. I gotta clip this and ship it to Paul.’ Note the mesh backs. And who’s green and who’s blue?” … Yesterday’s post on helmet carts led Chad Cate to point out this site. … It also led Bill Gornall to show me this (details here). … And it led Helmet Hut honcho Curtis Worrell to let me know that he’s in the market for a vintage helmet cart, so if you see one driving around, please carjack it and send Curtis the keys. … The perfect marriage of athlete and sponsor (thanks, Scott). … The Daily News here in NYC had this on their web site yesterday (with thanks to John Muir). … Doug Mooney attended the MotoGP race in Indianapolis last weekend and noticed Nicky Hayden saluting the Colts with a special helmet design. … If you go to this page and scroll down a bit on the on-screen menu, you’ll find a nice little video clip of the University of Illinois equipment staffpreparing the throwbacks worn in the team’s home opener (with thanks to Andrew Joseph) … Several readers sent along this shot from the NHL’s rookie tournament in Traverse City. Note the “JHM” memorial patch for John H. McConnell on the Blue Jackets jersey. … James Wortham was poking around in his in-laws’ attic when he found a box of his father-in-law’s sports-related treasures — Little League photos, early shots of the Astrodome, scorecards, etc., mostly from the early ’60s. Priceless stuff, and he’s been nice enough to gather it all into a slideshow here. … The Magic’s new uniform is apparently shown in this NBA 2K9 screen shot (as forwarded by Anfernee Lam). … Big article here about NFL players wearing wristbands above their elbows.