Last Wednesday I Ticker-linked to the photo shown above, which appears to show an Auburn player wearing a visor of some sort on his helmet.
As it turns out, that’s exactly what he was wearing. The full scoop was recently provided by the War Eagle Reader, an Auburn-centric blog, which posted this 1973 sports comic about Auburn player David Langner (click to enlarge):
The note at the bottom says, “He is currently creating interest with his sun-visor, which attaches to his helmet for punt and kickoff returns. (The accompanying illustration shows a visor-clad Langner thinking, “I vonder if dis makes me a visor person” — apparently a weak pun on “wiser.”)
The player in the photo at the top of the page is not Langner, however. It’s Mike Fuller. So the visor phenomenon apparently spread among several Auburn players. In fact, you can see two players wearing visors on the same play — and see one of the visors go flying off the player’s helmet — in this video clip:
Faaaascinating. I hadn’t been aware of this chapter in headwear history (or if I had been, I somehow forgot about it). Wonder why they stopped wearing the visors. Like, did they decide it wasn’t really adding any performance advantage, or did the NCAA crack down on it? And did any other schools ever try something similar?
Research request: I’m working on an ESPN column for the BCS title game. It’s tricky, because Notre Dame’s and Alabama’s uniforms haven’t changed much over the years, so there aren’t many details to discuss. I think I’ve covered most of the major stuff, but I’d welcome any suggestions regarding past or present uni-related factoids that are worth discussing for these two teams. If you have ideas you’d like to share, send them here. Thanks.
ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column is about the new MLB BP caps. One very small aspect of it — literally two sentences’ worth — was quickly seconded by Deadspin, Yahoo Sports, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, USA Today, the Sporting News, and Philly.com, among other outlets. Not bad for a non-issue that nobody cares about (or so a handful of you keep telling me). But hey, that’s the socialist media conspiracy for ya.
I have exactly zero interest in fighting this fight again today, especially on the cusp of a holiday weekend. If you want to argue about Native American imagery in sports, feel free to post a comment to my ESPN column (or on Deadspin, or Yahoo, etc.). But not here, not today. Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Northern Illinois has gotten new uniforms for the Credit Card Bowl. “I found it interesting that the jersey has ‘NIU’ on the front,” says NIU alum Josh Petty. “All of their jerseys in the past, going back to at least the Michael Turner NIU days, have always had ‘Huskies’ on the front. I don’t remember them ever wearing red pants or a red facemask, either.” There’s a video about the uniform here. … Good piece on the differing uni approaches taken by Oregon and K-State (from Jeff Barak). … Here’s another article on the Cal rebranding brouhaha (from James Ryan). … Yabba-dabba-do, look at this great Oilers jacket! (Great find by Bill Kellick.) … “The National World War II Museum in New Orleans is running an exhibit with the Football Hall of Fame that’ll look at pro football in the 1940s,” says David Robins. “It’ll be running during the Super Bowl, and looks interesting. The Museum had a similar exhibit on baseball several years ago.” … Good article on how the Feds investigate counterfeit jerseys (from Tommy Turner). … Stephen Drew will wear No. 7 with the Red Sox, just like his brother did (from Tom Mulgrew). … If you skip ahead to the 1:20 mark of this video, you can see some great 1985 footage of the Providence College hockey team wearing Cooperalls (from Dan Herr). … Kinda looks like the Eagles got their own font wrong in this photo, no? (From Alan Borock.) … What was the deal with the hashmarks at the Defense Contractor Bowl? Looks like they got them in the wrong spot, painted them over in green, and then repositioned them (screen shot by Geoff Poole). … Tim Forster was digging through a closet while visiting his parents over the holidays and found this Starting Lineup helmet collection from his childhood. “I’d forgotten that I modified the helmets with tiny number decals,” he says. “I think that was the start of my uniform obsession!” … New crest design for U.S. soccer (from Nicole Haase). … Good infographic showing the growth in the number of college bowl games. … The Hershey Bears are selling a pretty cool-looking 75th-anniversary puck (from Ben Gorbaty). … Amusing piece about colorful soccer footwear (from George Chilvers). … Weird sight last night in the Department Store Bowl, as a fold in Patrick Kurunwune’s jersey created an odd numerical illusion (screen shot by David Sonny). … That game was played in the Panthers’ stadium, as you could probably tell by the blacked-out Panthers logos on the field (thanks, Phil). … Happy birthday to longtime reader, expectant father, and all-around swell guy Jack Krabbe. Enjoy your day, buddy! … Chris Kite received a cool infographic-style poster that categorizes baseball team names. … And we conclude today with an endearingly bizarre animé-style Ichiro cartoon (submitted by Steve Mandich):